The convience of dating in the twenty-first century
The prospect of dating in 2019 can be daunting at times, but even more so when dating is online.
The accessibility and convenience of technology has encouraged people to have an active online presence, meeting new people through dating apps and websites.
“In some ways dating apps have made the world smaller, meaning people can connect with each other without being limited only to classmates, dorms, or through socializing at school,” said Shadisha Bennett Brode, a therapist/outreach coordinator at GC counseling services.
Kerry Neville, an assistant professor of english and creative writing and published author of a variety of articles about love and dating, has seen the dating atmosphere change drastically from her time as a college student to an adult.
Neville recalled her first dating experiences as more social, meeting new people face to face.
The only form of online dating were classified dating advertisements found in online newspapers.
“You met people through friends, you met people by going to parties or to events. Nobody had their mobile phones out checking things so people actually talked to each other,” Neville said.
Online dating profiles allow participants to filter through profiles based on age.
“Research indicates that most men, no matter their age -60, 70, 25 or 30- believe that the ideal age of a partner is a woman in her early twenties,” said Neville.
Her point is supported by OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, whose website’s data shows that men between 20 and 50 find the most attractive ages in women to be 20, 21, 22, and 23.
“There are many married men [and I assume women, too] who are on these sites who are not in open marriages or polyamorous relationships but list that they are married and looking for a hook-up partner on the side,” Neville said.
Dawson Shores, a mathematics major, said that during his time using Tinder he frequently saw bios stating a desire for a short-term sexual partner.
“A lot of the bios say ‘only here for hookups,’” Shores said.
Neville thinks this might be by design.
“[Dating apps] are not looking for you to find your perfect match. They keep you swiping so that increases traffic and their revenue. Because if you find your match, you leave the site,” Neville said. “It plays into this idea that there’s always going to be someone who is more perfect for you.”
Tinder’s most recent advertising campaign, #swipelife, is encouraging users to keep swiping and going on dates rather than settling down with romantic partners in meaningful relationships.
According to the website Business of Apps, Tinder generated $800 million in revenue in 2018. This number comes from Tinder Gold, a paid subscription for Tinder users. For just $14.99 a month users get unlimited likes, extra super likes each day and the rewind feature.
However, websites such as Match.com and eHarmony are geared towards long lasting relationships and marriage.
According to statistics and data from eHarmony, 15 million matches are created every day on the site, and an average of 542 people get married every day due to meeting on eHarmony.
Thomas Burriss, an environmental science major, said his father found a spouse on the dating website Match.com.
“They’re very happy together, and that’s all I could hope for [using a dating website],” Burriss said.
Match.com and eHarmony are geared towards an older demographic. Match.com requires users to be 18. eHarmony requires users to be 20. Tinder recently changed their age requirement to 18, but there have still been users aged 13-17 reported on the app.
eHarmony’s algorithm is also built towards pairing people for long-term relationships. The website calculates matches for you based on personality, hobbies, and goals with a focus on finding someone you can be with long-term.
The fast paced accessibility of Tinder could appeal more to a college student rather than the lengthy process of finding your perfect match on eHarmony or Match.com.
Photo by Lexie Baker | Staff Photographer
Graphic by Heather Hayden | Asst. Graphic Designer