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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Tinder-ella Stories: Modern “Love” Through the Use of Dating Apps

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVM chapter.

By Abby Spires

What has happened to the grand declarations of love we’ve seen performed in 90s romance films? Love letters, flowers from a mystery someone, or standing in the pouring rain outside a lover’s house, have shifted to story likes, a late night “wyd” text, and swipes right. Dating apps have changed our modern understanding and standard of what love looks like. How did this happen, and why have we accepted it?

Dating apps are extremely popular among college students and young adults in search of love, or rather, the modern-day equivalent. Tinder is the most well-known and popular dating app in the world with more than 75 million active users. The app was designed for people to meet others from their area to match, meet, and find love. Tinder users “swipe right” to like or “swipe left” to dislike others’ profiles. User profiles typically include a few pictures, a bio, and possibly some interests or hobbies. When two users like each other, they can then message each other through the app. There are several other apps, like Hinge, Bumble, etc., that function the same way. 

Many of my friends, classmates, and myself included are active on dating apps. Some for the hope of finding “their soulmate,” others for hookups, and some are just active “for the bit.” I have heard my friends say, “I kinda hate them but I also think it’s becoming harder to meet people organically,” and, “I swipe for the validation, but in reality I never actually answer or meet up with [any of my matches].”

Dating apps have changed the way people meet and connect in the modern world. They offer convenience and accessibility, allowing individuals to browse potential partners based on various criteria such as location, interests, and appearance. However, the reality of dating apps is complex.

Many dating apps prioritize visual attraction, potentially fostering a shallow approach to dating, where initial judgments are often based on photos and brief profiles. Some users may present an idealized version of themselves on dating apps, which can hinder authentic connections. Similarly, people may exaggerate or misrepresent themselves in their profiles, leading to disappointment and frustration when the reality of that person or match doesn’t meet expectations. Dating apps use algorithms to match users, but these algorithms can inadvertently reinforce biases and limit exposure to diverse perspectives in regard to dating.

Meeting strangers online can also pose safety risks. In such a digital era, catfishing and posing as another individual is easier than ever, especially on a dating app. The potential for harassment, stalking, or dangerous in-person encounters is higher when using dating apps. Any user, regardless of gender or age should be cautious when meeting up with a match.

Dating apps have indeed had a significant impact on our modern understanding and standard of what love and romantic relationships look like. Several factors have contributed to this transformation, and societal acceptance of these changes can be connected to various reasons.

Dating apps emerged alongside the widespread adoption of smartphones and the internet, offering a convenient and efficient way to connect with potential partners. The ease of use and accessibility of these platforms played a crucial role in their acceptance. Modern life is fast-paced, and people often seek convenient and efficient ways to communicate and date. Users can quickly swipe through profiles and arrange dates, aligning with the desire for instant validation. 

Traditional dating norms and practices have evolved over time. Younger generations, in particular, have embraced new ways of meeting and forming relationships, including through dating apps. The acceptance of online interactions and relationships has grown over the years. Social media and internet culture have made it more commonplace for people to connect and even fall in love online. Digital communication allows for a more low-key approach, reducing people’s fear of rejection that may come with grand gestures. Many people have found genuine love and long-term relationships through dating apps, leading to positive narratives that contribute to their acceptance.

While dating apps have transformed the dating landscape, they have both positive and negative aspects. It’s also important to remember that matches in an online dating world do not define you as an individual, and that dating apps are just one way to find love. So whether you’re active for laughs or to find the one, happy swiping, and may your matches be as magical as Cinderella’s fairy godmother!

Edited By Sierra Byrne

Hi y'all! I'm Abby (she/her), I'm from Scituate Massachusetts and I'm a sophomore Public Communication major and Art minor at the University of Vermont. I enjoy skiing, discovering new music, traveling, and spending time with my friends and family. I'm a big fan of Target trips, a chronic Pinterest user, and a huge cat lover. When I'm not exploring the Green Mountains of Vermont, you can find me on the beach working as a lifeguard in my hometown.