It is simply human nature to long for a connection.
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We all desire to feel wanted and needed; to find that special someone who we can eventually settle down with, to have that white picket fence and start a family or not. The two generations of modern youth, Millennials and Gen Z, are perhaps the most in-tune with technology and social media.
We feel a need to project our best selves and live our lives glued to our smartphones, which cater to our every need. Online dating is nothing new; sites like eHarmony and Match.
However, dating apps are a slightly newer phenomenon that have begun to reshape the dating game. Dating apps have their perks and downfalls.
How are these apps affecting the way we connect, form relationships, view ourselves, and others? Is it ultimately for better or for worse? Tinder allows users to put forward their best self through choosing their most flattering photos and coming up with a catchy description to sell themselves.
Men are traditionally expected to make the first move, but Bumble defies this commonplace assumption. Additionally, Bumble makes great efforts though marketing and user engagement through city-wide advertising and events to mingle.
Among the handful of popular apps, Bumble is the most persistent when it comes to marketing and user engagement. A range of filters allow users to narrow down the dating pool through personal preferences, whether it be physical or personal traits. Limitless options are literally at our fingertips. After all, we use our phones for practically every other part of our lives.
So why not take advantage of the tangibility that these apps have to offer?
However, some may argue that these apps make it too easy to connect with others, leading to a sense of laziness and lack of organic human connection. But apps can provide ample opportunity for those who are a bit more shy in the romance department, allowing them to dip their toes in the water. People who suffer from social anxiety or extreme shyness now have the ability to form connections and interact without the pressures of being in person.
You can swipe through dozens or hundreds of profiles in the span of a day, increasing your chances of finding someone who reciprocates interest. However, can such endless options be a bad thing?
Many dating app users fall victim to the mindset that the grass is always greener on the other side. Despite matching with someone, users will continue the endless search through swiping. You might even miss out on your soulmate if you accumulate too many matches, as they get lost in the dozens of suitors on your screen. Receiving this notification provides a sense of instant gratification and validation that might take days or even weeks to obtain otherwise.
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Having the instantaneous reciprocated interest provided by dating apps increases this by a tenfold. That little notification activates the very same pleasure centers in our brains associated with chocolate, porn, and even cocaine.
Studies have shown that dating apps can contribute to lower self-esteem, anxiety and depression. No one likes to feel rejected, and being turned down or ghosted can activate the same part of the brain associated with physical pain, according to a study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In another study that surveyed 1, college students who used dating apps, individuals who use Tinder have greater self-esteem and body image issues.
OKCupid provides a wide range of filters that allow users to specify exactly what they want in a partner.
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These types of questionnaires can provide a match made in heaven—or even the option of finding someone incredibly different from you. The majority of dating apps also include a proximity feature, allowing users to narrow down how near or far their options may be.
In some cases, you can even set your location to anywhere in the world. By setting your location and radius preferences, you can connect with individuals close by. But this can also be borderline creepy, such as the app Happn that shows users people they literally cross paths with. While this may be exciting and potentially spark a connection, it may be too close for comfort. The chance to narrow down your options based upon personal preferences can certainly be a major plus. Meanwhile, some studies have shown that that such customizable filters can have a downfall.
A recent study by Cornell University found dating apps that let users filter potential matches by race promotes discrimination.
While in-person meetups, such as match events at bars are prohibited from preventing participation based upon race, dating apps are free of these discriminatory legal boundaries. However, other studies have shown that dating apps have actually increased interracial partnerships and marriages. A study written by Josue Ortegaa sociologist from the University of Essex and Philipp Hergovich at the University of Vienna, found that a rise of interracial marriages have occurred since the dawn of digital dating, beginning in the s.
Regardless of the allowance of racial filters, an individual who is indifferent to the race of their potential suitor has greater access to a much more diverse range of options—perhaps one of the main factors in the rise of interracial partnerships and marriages. People who are less likely to meet in person due to demographics or social circumstances now have the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
Ortega asserts that despite the discriminatory filter options, our rapidly changing world is reshaping the dating scene and making it more diverse than ever before. Another aspect of dating apps worth noting is the fact that they serve the LGBTQ community in a positive way. In my experience, dating apps bridge a cultural divide amongst queer and trans people. One night stands are no longer taboo, and with the recent rise of modern feminist movements, women are no longer ashamed to feel just as sexually empowered as men are.
But is the ease and accessibility of hookups through dating apps killing romance for good?
Dating apps make sex accessible at our fingertips. Apps certainly make it easy-peasy to find a hookup within minutes and arrange a late-night rendezvous any day of the week. The sex-positive movement is without a doubt a step in a liberating direction within society, especially for women. But how do men, the more notoriously sex-positive gender, view digital dating? But I also think it can stop people from socializing face-to-face. Chatting online makes it so much easier.
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The burning question: are dating apps truly an effective way to form meaningful connections, or do they simply lead to a socially-inept, sex-driven and depressed generation? The answer truly depends on the individual. There have certainly been many success stories.
I know a couple or two who have met online and have sustained long-term relationships.
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The only reason we really ended it is because it stayed unlabeled. They serve as an outlet for the less romantically experienced to gain confidence and flirtation skills. But on the dark side, they can do the exact opposite.
So swipe away, stay safe, and enjoy the ride! Fashion Beauty Culture Lifestyle News. Back Fashion Accessories. Back Culture Music. So how are these apps changing the dating game?