Online Dating Applications
Online Dating is Changing the Way Humans Connect
Something all humans have in common and could be said is biologically ingrained in our DNA, is the need to connect romantically with other humans. In modern times, humans have the ability to connect with other humans instantaneously around the clock through the computers carried in pockets or purses, in the form of dating applications. The term dating did not even arise until the 20th century. In the 18th century, a rudimentary system of courtship was the standard. This consisted of heavy parental involvement, including visits carried out in controlled environments with supervision. Women who visited with too many callers were often considered tainted. Dating saw its rise in the early 20th century, mostly in the lower class where the courtship system was just not feasible in satisfying the masses with a way to connect with romantic partners (The History of Dating in America). In modern times, however, the ability to connect through technology has changed dating culture once again. Figure 1 below shows that those within the age of eighteen to forty-four are the most likely to use a dating application.
Figure 1 According to the Pew Research Center, young people are using data applications more frequently than older age groups
Humans are now able to put their profiles online for anyone to view and are able to connect within minutes of reciprocation of interest. Online dating applications have increased the availability of options for their users, but satisfaction is not guaranteed. Not being able to meet a partner in person before you form a connection has some disadvantages. Surveys performed by Kyla C. Flug, a student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, show that the experience can be filled with dishonesty from a potential romantic partner. Fifty-nine percent of online daters surveyed thought that the person they were trying to connect with purposefully misrepresenting themselves. This came in the form of being dishonest about appearance, race, culture, and work background (Flug, 28).
An additional focus in this survey was directed at how technology allows room for discrimination. Most of the information given to a potential partner is visual. This means that online dating application users may not be able to present themselves as someone who would be worth meeting. Participants of the study stated that the major reason they had unsatisfying experiences on dating applications was because of their appearance and perceived or stated weight (Flug, 27). Giving other online users a chance to pre-judge their potential partner based solely on the primordial instincts of human biology can cause some users to feel disappointed. Disappointment is not the only pitfall of dating applications; online dating applications may not offer a significant increase in the likelihood of finding long-term relationships.
A study published through The Pew Research Center in 2015 shows that “the vast majority of relationships still begin offline.” Only five percent of those surveyed are in a long-term relationship that began as a connection through dating applications (5 Facts about Online Dating). This survey shows a grim outlook for potential new users of online dating applications if they are looking for a long-term relationship.
Humans are constantly looking to connect with others romantically. It is in the biological nature of our species to meet partners and reproduce. Dating applications could seem like the obvious choice for many reasons. It is, however, critically important to carefully research and weigh out all of the options before accepting dating applications as a solution for individuals looking for a romantic partner in modern times.