Sunday, January 17, 2021

Navigating dating apps in a sea of options

Over 40 million Americans use online dating websites like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge according to the Huffington Post. With a vast number of dating sites becoming more available day after day, it is now completely normal to find someone online.

According to The Pew Report and American Life Project research centers, approximately 6% of internet users who are in a committed relationship or marriage have met online.

“My ex-boss met her husband on Bumble. Apparently, it is much more women-friendly,” Andrea Cuadros, a junior marketing and business administration major said.

One out of five relationships start online, according to Pew Research Center. The real question comes down to which platform is better.

Is it better to meet somebody online or offline to decide who you want to spend the rest of your life with? The internet is a vast platform where achieving just about anything and everything is possible. Just like trying to find a job or apartment online, people try to find a companion/lover online.

The point of seeking relationships online is to be able to maintain that relationship offline through all the phases that follow. Online dating sites are, after all, a service or method that enables people to get in the real world to meet compatible people.

When singles cut out online dating as part of their options, they are missing out on opportunities that could change their relationship status.

“In a city like NYC, where no one has the time to know someone meaningfully, and where everyone as a basic human seeks connection, the best place to have an opportunity at finding someone compatible is a dating app,” Cuadros said.

Online dating has grown in popularity over the last decade. According to the Business of Apps websites, over 57 million people around the world use Tinder. It has helped a lot of people unite, as it’s been known for being a huge singles’ platform, enabling interactions between people who have never crossed paths.

On the other hand, the online dating platform is a crowded digital place and can be an exhausting experience.

“There is a level of toxicity in it. They match you with your preferences, and that’s good. And later if they don’t like one thing about you, it’s just, ‘Bye,’” sophomore hospitality management, environmental science major James D’amato said.

Most people overemphasize physical appearance on these sites. According to the Huffington Post and the Art of Charm website, men tend to fake their height being taller, and women tend to focus on their weight and wish to appear slimmer.

“I remember there was this guy I matched with. He stopped talking to me because he did not like the color of my eyes,” D’Amato said.

Many people fail to realize that attraction can be more intense and long-lasting when it is their character that speaks more to you. It is important to expand your type as you never know what might surprise you. But at the same time, there lies a level of nastiness among these sites, like sending explicit images or passing perverted comments. According to Pew Research, many incidents have highlighted how dating sites can become a place for harassment, especially for women.

“Honestly I guess we are already used to being catcalled daily, so at least on an app it is safer,” Cuadros said.

“I like that Tinder blocked sending photos. I know this guy who has been banned from Tinder. He put naughty pictures on his profile since you cannot send them anymore,” Isabella Then, a senior environmental science major, said.

Women are more inclined to believe that dating sites are not a safe way to meet someone. According to Pew Research, 60% of female users from the ages 18-34 say that someone they have met on the app has continued to contact them even after they rejected the person.

“I was sent explicit messages and even asked to do so. I think this happens to a lot of girls. Due to my unpleasant experience, it has definitely changed the way I’d like to involve myself in these sites. It’s the reason I stopped using it,” Tsion Hailemariam Assefa, a freshman psychology major, said.

According to Pew Research, women who use these sites find it more difficult to find someone they are actually attracted to, while men find it more difficult to find someone with shared interests and hobbies.

Despite their many frustrations, online dating sites are still a source for singles to find people with the same interests. However, it is also important to be aware as many of these users remain anonymous and it is hard to tell who is on the other side of the screen, according to HuffPost. Yet, the goal of these sites still remains the same, choosing from a pool of potential singles who could be the one.

“I would still totally recommend online dating. You just have to have common sense while using it. If something happens, or things get too personal, just block them,” D’Amato said.

 

Email Faozia Faria at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

 

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