Swiping right into new relationships

Social Media Apps/ Chloe Charbonneau

Online dating sites have been in existence since the mid 1990s, but in the last few years it seems as though almost everyone has tried a digital dating service. People are getting more accustomed to meeting others over the Internet instead of hitting it off with the person they danced with in a bar or caught eyes with across the library.

Call me old-fashioned but I think there would be something kind of cool about being set up on a blind date. Too bad that’s nearly impossible nowadays.

Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the copious amount of other social media sites, it’s quite difficult to fly under the radar of the social sphere and be completely undetectable after a simple Google search.

As social media continues to rule over every aspect of our day, it’s only natural that it makes its way into our dating lives. Enter Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps of the modern day.

If you’re not already on Tinder, chances are you know someone who is. Tinder has become a social norm and as people have become more interested in using online means to meet their next fling or significant other, the whole “purpose” of the app has essentially changed.

In the past most people saw Tinder as an app solely meant for those looking for a hookup. But times have changed and people are now turning to the hyped-up “dating” platform for actual relationships.

In a DMR Tinder Statistic Report from April 2016 it was reported that, as of March of last year, Tinder has approximately 50 million users worldwide – 65 per cent of which was made up by North Americans. Of all these users, 80 per cent of those who create accounts are using the app to find long-term relationships.

With literally billions of matches made since Tinder’s initial release in September 2012, it’s one of the most commonly used dating apps for people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Tinder, however, isn’t the only app that allows you to “meet new people in your area”. OKCupid, Bumble, Plenty of Fish and the iconic Match.com (just to name a few) are all available in app stores and are ready to help you get out into the dating world. And while most of these sites cater to those in the LGBT+ community, there are some that are aimed specifically at helping girls meet other girls and guys meet other guys.

Grindr, “geared toward gay and bisexual men, designed to help such men meet other men in their area for dating, friendship or sexual encounters,” was first launched in 2009 – three years before Tinder even existed – and has kept steadily popular throughout the years. For the girls out there, HER – originally released as Dattch in late 2013 – follows the same kind of guidelines, but throws in some cool features like blog posts and upcoming pride-like events in your area.

Although you do need to create some form of profile to use Tinder, there is some anonymity behind the popular app. With the limited amount of photos you can post and the fact that a small bio is completely optional, you can choose exactly how much you wish to reveal to your potential right-swipers.

But this brings in a flaw with our society. People are more likely to swipe right if a person has more than one photo and at least a little something to offer about personality in their bio. We’re just a community of people who need to be in the know and the more information that is given to us about the person we potentially want to meet, the better. So this is exactly why people are so hesitant about blind dating. When you don’t know anything about someone, how do you mentally prepare yourself to talk to them? Sounds like a whole bunch of anxiety to me.

This leads to another (more serious) problem we face. With one in four people suffering from mild to serious forms of anxiety, trying to put yourself out there to meet new people can be difficult. So when the time comes and your friend tells you they’ve met the perfect person for you and that they think you should meet up sometime – but refuse to divulge in any intimate details about said person – it can really spark a train of panic.

So many things in our society impact the culture of dating: social media, mental health, sexual orientation, and a plethora of other factors. No matter how hard you try, there will always be something that will make meeting the right person a little difficult. But have no fear, give everything time, the benefit of the right-swipe and you might just find the person of your dreams.

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