Dating Apps: On Campus and in a Pandemic

Swipe right or left and your whole life may be different, okay okay it’s probably not that serious… but let’s be honest we’ve all wondered who might be just a swipe away. It’s no surprise that college kids all around the world use dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge just to name a few. Hell, I’m not going to lie, I've spent my fair share of time on these apps that sometimes make me question my own judgement. But after watching how different people interact on these apps, it has served as a naturalistic observation that was quite shocking. Let's look at a few ways dating apps can be used besides what's presumed.

  1. 1. Easy Way to Make Friends

    After first downloading these apps, I was so intrigued by the amount of people I could possibly meet. I quickly realized that even if I don’t use these apps to find a romantic relationship, I can use them to find more friends. Starting college is scary, especially during a pandemic when you don’t truly have a way to meet people in person, so that led me to start thinking about how I could make more friends through online platforms. After some time spent swiping, I began talking to some really cool like-minded individuals, which I didn’t think happened on apps like Tinder. Quickly I realized the stereotypes that come along with dating apps aren’t necessarily accurate. In both previous years and more recently, if you tell someone that you’re on Tinder or some other dating app they would make assumptions about you and the type of person you are. But I say we need to break down that judgement because dating apps can be used in a multitude of ways.

  2. 2. Meet People in Your Area and Around the World

    Being a freshman at such a big school is quite scary when you don’t know many people and you’re nervous to go out and make friends. By dating apps using their formulas to connect you with people in your area, you are more likely to meet other students on your campus and get connected that way. Although most dating sites use your location to find people in your surrounding area, they can also match you with people in other parts of the world. While this may not be useful for in-person dates and stuff like that, it can expose individuals to other cultures and allow them to have different experiences than they might be used to. Especially during this time in a pandemic there have been an increase in “virtual” dates, so technically one could go on a date with anyone anywhere in the world which is a new and interesting experience. 

  3. 3. Pandemic Friendly

    It’s no surprise when I say we are in the middle of a pandemic, I mean come on, that’s just about all anyone can ever talk about. But, this pandemic has caused an increase in individuals downloading and using dating apps, mostly out of boredom I would assume. With meeting others online now being such a common idea, it has only expanded during this pandemic. A positive of this is that one can talk, video chat, etc. with another for a longer period of time before actually meeting them. This allows for a deeper connection and the ability for each person to get to know the other better. 

So, if you’re on the fence about downloading a dating app I say you should just give in and at least try it. I was also very unsure about dating apps but if I’m being transparent, I actually enjoy the conversations I have with others through these platforms. So get out your phone, download that app you’ve had your eye on, and get swiping.