The Reality of Dating Apps

There’s an app for just about everything nowadays. From ordering fast food to buying stocks, the possibilities apps could bring you are endless. An app now could even lead you to find your significant other… or can it? 

Along with social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, dating apps are slowly making its way onto almost everyone’s home screen. According to Pew Research Center, 3 in 10 American adults have used a dating app or site, and 12 percent of those who have used those platforms are in a relationship or have been married. The popularity of dating apps have now resided in younger generations. Around 48 percent of 18-29 year olds and 55 percent of LGBTQ+ community actively use dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge.

So, what’s the issue here? Speaking from my own personal experience, these dating apps bring you a better chance of developing insecurities and a need for validation rather than your next boo. 

I downloaded Tinder my first year of college as a means to scope out boys. Never did I truly pursue anything until I thought I found someone that was “different from the rest.” It was a tale from the first swipe. We texted, snapped, called or facetimed until today became tomorrow. There was never a day we stopped talking to each other, and for the first time it felt like I had that “someone” to confide in. To give my story a bit more spice. The catch? We were six hours away from each other. 

In every aspect of my life I am a pessimist, but have an exception when it comes to being a hopeless romantic. This would be my modern love story, where after only talking through a phone he would travel miles upon miles to see me and would realize our lives couldn’t go on without each other in them.  We planned for him to come up one weekend during the summer, and I was beyond excited to finally see him IRL. It became the day he was supposed to arrive and he texted me his ETA. It was so unreal to me what was happening.

But, the sparks dimmed just as fast as they first flew. It was way past the time of his expected arrival, and I received a text saying he wasn’t coming anymore. That was all. Four months of “talking” plummeted down the drain. Words couldn’t surmount to the way I was feeling at that moment. I was left broken for the rest of the summer by someone who hardly cared, and that bothered me.

The worst part about it was that I blamed myself. “I was too pushy, too clingy.” I kept making up excuses in my head. But the reality of the fact was that he didn’t want to pursue anything with me in the first place. He knew how to speak my language, and used it for his personal deviance. 

Apps are meant to benefit the user, but rarely anyone else. You can see where this would be an issue when two users’ happiness is at stake. 

I understand that most people use dating apps as a means to hook up, casually date or just meet new people. If you’re a user reading this, I bet you’ve found yourself swiping for hours just to see how many matches you get. We all like our egos to be brushed once in a while, I’m as guilty of doing that as the next person. 

Although, have we ever considered the effect that these apps can change how we view “love” in a society? I feel as if more than ever we have turned to a love that’s conditional: a love that needs to be created, processed and delivered within three to five business days. If it’s not what you want, you can return it hassle-free by simply ghosting. It’s this “me, me, me!” mentality where we do something wrong and negate the fact that a relationship is ultimately a compromise of shared interests, needs and desires. 

As an ex-user, I believe that dating apps give false promises to successful relationships by hooking users with psychological tactics that keep them addicted to the app and as well addicted to their own need of self-fulfillment. 

So, delete the app.