Dating through a catalogue – harmful or harmless?

Is the online world of dating going just a little too far? How are dating apps like Tinder having an effect on the younger generation? Students, teenagers and under 25’s in general are caught in the tech-race where smartphones have become one of the core – if not THE CORE – commodity on a day-to-day basis, meaning more and more relationships are being made via online dating apps and social media spaces.

“Is this woman from Tinder into me or shall I just move on?” This piece from The Guardian highlights the confusing thoughts that can cross the minds of any average online-dating ‘hunter’. It is likely that people question the sincerity of any relationship, especially when all forms of communication is made online and not necessarily in real life.

According to the BBC, “one in three teenagers meet their ‘friends’ online”. Shockingly, 25% of teenagers said that they felt happier online in comparison to real life, in a Newsbeat poll of 1,015 British teens. Another interesting finding from this survey found that 10% of teens felt that their online friends knew them better than their friends that they interact in reality. It can be eye-opening for many knowing this relationship transition has shifted so much, as more and more under 25’s are looking for the one online.

Harmful or harmless?

It seems that all eyes are on the dating app Tinder right now. At the moment the features on the app are free, but within the next month or so Tinder will be rolling out new services – including the feature of undoing a swipe which is used to indicate an interest in somebody else. This new process is called Tinder Plus, and prices will range up to $20 a month.

Speculation could arise as to why should people pay when the free ones are already pretty good? But then again, through trends and ‘following the crowd’, the younger generation may feel the need to update to the new ‘in thing’.

Comments all over social media are reflecting the dangerous curiosity too, about the future of online dating and how ‘inhumane’ these apps are making people by fragmenting the image of what a relationship’s foundation should be based upon.

Is this how we date now? It seems that most people like to browse through their networks, treating the whole thing as a form of catalogue. This is ultimately having an effect on the perception of intimacy: people may see that when they eventually get to hook up in real life, they find themselves hooked to their mobile phones even during a romantic meal. As this article depicts, people hesitate to commit due to their wandering eye – we are overwhelmed with choice – which is undoubtedly felt through the amount of people all taking advantage of new apps, like Tinder.

Never mind actually feeling satisfied, we don’t even understand what satisfaction looks like, sounds like, feels like.

We don’t see who’s right in front of our eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification.

According to Dr. Jess: “You can find success and people to go out with. But when you meet somebody, you either click or you don’t.” And this is the real scare here.


Other interesting articles that continues my discussion can be found below: 

Unlocking the habits of Britain’s smartphone generation

Seniors’ presence growing on online dating scene

And DoingSomething – an interesting alternative for online dating lovers that encourages people “to meet someone over a game of ping pong, or at a pop up restaurant, or at a murder mystery game.”

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