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  • Writer's picture The Vindicator

Do Dating Apps Work?


Written by Jake Ryan

It’s Valentine’s Day! (Or not, depending on when you’re reading this.) You know what that means. People all over the world, buying flowers and chocolates and … stuff, all in the name of love. However, not everyone has a special someone to spend the holiday with. How sad. But it doesn’t have to be. Nowadays you don’t even have to talk to people in real life to meet them. You can just use an app! It’s amazing what we can do with technology nowadays. 

But that’s not to say these things are foolproof. There are definitely a lot of hurdles to get over. One of the major issues with dating apps is the disconnect between the people involved. This happens for a variety of reasons: lack of connection, weak texting skills and other factors outside of the control of the individuals trying to start a relationship. So, let’s talk about those hurdles.

A Lot to Choose:

Pretty self-explanatory. There are a lot of dating apps available. Of course, Tinder is the most popular, but there’s also Bumble, Hinge, Farmers Only — and that’s just scratching the surface. Once you make the decision(or decisions), you’ll have to make a profile and figure out how each app works. You could also just copy and paste your profile from one app to the others. Life hack! 

The Paywall:

One of the other major hurdles to get over for anybody trying to use a dating app, is actually matching with people who have liked your profile. Why is that a challenge? Well, it’s ’cause they want your money. Can’t exactly blame them — they have to keep the servers up somehow. Some of the prices are a bit absurd  and lock away basic features, such as  actually seeing who liked your profile. Tinder’s cheapest upgrade is 20 dollars for a week. The most expensive is 180 dollars for 6 months. It’s a hefty price to pay for what should be a basic feature, plus an ad block. People who use the app for free will naturally stay around longer, and therefore generate more ad revenue for Tinder as well. Starts to make you wish you invented your own dating app. 

Do I Know You?:

You may not believe it, but unless you’re a psychic or have perfect intuition, there is absolutely no way to know everything about somebody based solely on a few pictures. Who would’ve thought? But with dating apps, that’s essentially all you have to go off. Of course, there’s also the occasional response to a prompt. Think of it like speed dating, but even weirder. It’s as  if you and the other person just sat there and stared at each other. What did you learn about them? They’re good at staring contests?

A Means to an End:

Some people get trapped in the instant gratification of getting likes and matches, and lose focus on what the point of the app actually is. Granted, this varies by person. Some people go into dating apps with the end goal of finding their soulmate, falling madly in love, getting married and having kids. The fairy-tale wedding! How quaint. Some people want … something else and that’s fine, too — but it’s up to you to determine what you want. You have to put in the work. You have to know what your goal is before going into it. Surprisingly, the app on your phone serving as a photo gallery can’t read your psyche. It doesn’t know you. Which reminds me…

Getting to Know Someone:

The hardest part. It is kind of ironic that many people use a dating app to avoid the whole “having to interact with people in the real world” thing, then freeze up at the part where you have to talk to somebody on the app. (Definitely not a self-diss). That goes back to one of the main issues present in any conversation that takes place between two strangers online: you don’t know this person. It’s hard to properly express emotions or tone over text. As much as emojis or gifs may aid in that, they aren’t perfect. It can be a start. But to fully get to know somebody. you have to be willing to take that next step. Go out, see a movie, go bowling, take a long walk on the beach, get sick from going bowling, go to a concert, go get some food, do something. Maybe you’ve tried, but the person you matched with lives really far away. In that case, you can just fix the radius in your settings. 

Going back to what these apps are for: they aren’t your Instagram feed or a glorified Snapchat expansion. They’re just a messaging app with added rules. The question of whether dating apps work or not isn’t a fair one, because there isn’t a single answer. If, at any point in history, somebody has met and developed a relationship or even married another person after meeting on an app, it works. You can say they’re ineffective, but to say they never work isn’t true. I’m gonna get off my soapbox now. 

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