On a recent Thursday night, I walked into a trendy East Side bar, ordered an IPA and proceeded to have a conversation with a complete stranger for about two hours. After a couple of beers and some not-so-stimulating conversation, we left the bar and made plans to see each other the following week.
We never followed up on those plans. Since match.
When smartphones greatly democratized internet access, the launch of dating apps took the trend mainstream. Dating apps give people a way to work dating into their lives, and it removes traditional barriers of how to meet people. Each app has a slightly different purpose, with some leaning towards casual interactions and others generally being used to find more serious relationships. The most popular dating app in the United StatesTinder, has more than 50 million monthly users worldwide, with a median age of Lindsey Harness, assistant professor in communication and Milwaukee at Alverno College, native to me in an.
We granted anonymity all names have been changed to a of young Milwaukeeans, all who currently use or have used dating apps in the dating, in exchange for a candid look into their experiences. Each provided a different perspective on this popular, but still somewhat stigmatized form of dating. Chelsea moved to Milwaukee from Michigan over the summer to take a job at the corporate headquarters of a large manufacturing company. She currently uses Bumble, Tinder and, after a bit of coaxing from her friends, she recently created an on Coffee Meets Bagel.
Her favorite app to use is Tinder.
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Coffee Meets Bagel is her least favorite. She likes using Tinder because, unlike Bumble, traditional gender norms usually become par for the course and the onus is on the man to initiate conversation.
While Chelsea goes on around three dates per month with men she meets on dating apps, I was surprised to hear that of all of these, she cannot recall having been on a single second date since moving to Milwaukee. This makes it hard to meet people outside of dating apps, and this difficulty keeps her coming back.
John, a 25 year old who works for an asphalt sealing manufacturing company, travels all over the country for work about six months out of the year. These trips usually last about a week at a time, once a month. While travelling, he uses both Tinder and Bumble.
During our phone conversation, he tells me he had just gotten to Nashville the night before, and already had a date set up by the time he landed. The Nashville date is not the exception, but more of the rule for John.
He estimates that he has used dating apps in more than 20 places, including almost every major city in the U. He enjoys the streamlined process and certainty it provides him. You already know going into the date that they like you.
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All you have to do is not be an asshole. As technology continues to be embedded into our daily communication practices, it can seem emotionally and psychologically safer to communicate with seeming strangers electronically than face to face. Milwaukee John says that he can see the negative effects some may have from using dating apps, for his specific situation it helps him have more, and more meaningful, connections with people. He likes being able to stay in contact with someone, as opposed to a drunken hookup with someone he meets at a bar that may leave, never to be native from again the next morning.
He has a friend who lives in Milwaukee that is currently in a serious relationship with a woman he met on Bumble while in Florida. They fly out to see each other often, and John could see himself doing the same for the right person. You might dating an awesome conversation.
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You might meet them in real life. Who knows what can happen? They might be you lifelong partner. While Jessica is a Milwaukee native, her story begins in Madison, where she attended law school.
Shortly after ending a six-month relationship that closely followed a four-year relationship, she decided to download Tinder. Her goal was to go on as many first dates as possible in an effort to find out what she really wanted in a partner. They immediately hit it off, sharing a similar sense of humor and love for the outdoors.
These common interests, along with a busy law school schedule, are another big reason Jessica decided to try dating apps.
I like to wake up at 6 a. The ability to find someone with your same hyper-specific interests is one of the largest draws to dating apps for many people.
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In recent years, a of apps targeted to niche groups have emerged. Sweatt, which launched intargets the fitness community, and FarmersOnly, which launched insays everything you need to know in the name. Beyond just specific interests, dating apps also serve as an effective form of connection for people who may belong to marginalized groups. After dating for only six months they moved in together. They have now been dating for over a year and live together with their dog.
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They tell me that each of their long-term relationships prior to meeting each other taught them a lot and put them in a position to move so quickly. The couple sees the stigma that is still somewhat associated with dating apps as generational. Paul also recalls having negative attitudes toward the technology, but quickly warmed up to the idea. But beneath that thin veneer of pretentiousness was an extreme desire to try it.
When I finally got out of the relationship I was in, I immediately got on Tinder. I thought of it as a way to broaden my horizons and learn more about myself through other people.
Then I loved it because it helped me do exactly that. I gained experiences that I know for a fact I would never have had without Tinder. He then said something that I would have never expected to hear while interviewing two people I had never met. Friends of the Shepherd Help support Milwaukee's locally owned free weekly newspaper. Back to Search .