A Guide to Dating Apps

Have you ever found yourself in an internal conflict when using dating apps? Asking yourself should I delete it, should I meet up with my matches offline, is this really for love? Despite the presence of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and other dating apps, we tend to experience cognitive dissonance when utilizing them. This causes social angst for users who may not be entirely sure why they have resorted to this modern form of dating that is a complete social contrast to offline traditional dating. Each platform is different: some are notorious for hooking up, others casual dating or even the development of long term relationships. Regardless of the distinction between these apps, ultimately engaging with other users is confusing. Many tend to have a less straightforward experience that is filled with uncertainty; it can be a learning experience. I asked some of my friends who are actively logged on to these apps to get their perspectives and experiences on these platforms and help guide you through the process.  

Swiping Sprees

Based off of a discussion with my friends Bumble, Tinder and Hinge are the main dating apps used. Recently, Hinge has gained a large following as it hosts detailed profiles and fosters a community of individuals who are looking for a more serious relationship, while Tinder is predominately used for the hook-up culture. Essentially, Tinder is based on physical appearances. When speaking with users, they mentioned that it can be a form of entertainment for ‘swipers’ as you are in control of deeming a person as worthy of being swiped right. This is a slippery slope as it encourages surface level judgment and may cost someone the opportunity to get to know a genuinely interesting match. Of course, it is inevitable that you'll make snap judgments about a person’s appearance, but from my personal experience, putting a name and story to the face has greater results.

Online to Offline

When meeting their matches, my friends have endless stories that ultimately conclude with the same takeaway: it was awkward?? When going to a coffee shop and sitting down with your date, the conversation can be a bit awkward, as with all first dates. However, using dating apps in the initial stages can set a precedent for how future interactions between two people will take place. Something to keep in mind as a user is being aware of the challenge involved in transitioning from communicating online to offline. Because people have the ability to hide behind a screen, users often times feel more comfortable with messaging, but it can make offline interactions extremely awkward. In person dates can go wrong in more ways than one but, my golden rule is if it doesn’t work offline, that's okay because ultimately, you gain a little bit more of an understanding of what you are looking for and what you are not.

Should I delete the app

Dating apps are still a new and unexplored world. At times it can be overwhelming and you may have to ask yourself, should I just delete my account? This feeling is completely normal and relatable. Apps expose you to a mass variety of people who all have different intentions, the platform itself can make you feel vain for just focusing on pictures when swiping and finally you may just not know what to do with it. When dealing with all of these factors, it's common for most to delete the apps on and off again. The best way to go about handling this internal debate is to reevaluate why you created an account initially. Perhaps while you are on a break from using your account, figure out what you are looking for, whether it be a hook-up, friendship or long term relationship. This plan can help you narrow down what you are looking for and potentially decrease the amount of cognitive dissonance that you may be experiencing.

In conclusion, dating apps are a great tool to meet people and condense your search for a special someone if that is what you are looking for. The moral of the story is try to think critically rather than be desensitized from using these platforms. It can be a learning process, but the results can be more positive if you consider all of the above factors.