Online dating: luck of the draw or meeting?

COVID may have closed the world off, but it has caused a huge increase in the online dating community.
Mandatory stay-at-home orders in March failed to stop people from seeking love and relationships. In March 2020, Tinder recorded its highest volume of swipes, a reference to the method by which users swipe right or left on the smartphone app, to accept or reject a matching partner. In one day, 3 billion people, probably at home in their pajamas, swept left and right, looking for love. The leading online dating company also saw a 70% increase in business between March and May 2020.
Meetings on campus
Online dating seems to be the preferred route for college students to seek romance. ABODO, an affordable housing company located in Madison, Wisconsin, recently surveyed 5,000 students to find out if they used dating apps. A staggering 91% said they had “slipped just for love” in the past month.
Delany Burk, a sophomore at the University of Sierra Nevada, has been using online dating apps since she was in her second year in high school. They were ready to take a risk and go for it.
“Going to a boarding school, especially an art school, there weren’t a lot of options,” Burk said. “Most of the guys over there were either in a long term relationship or gay. Even though I never ended up dating someone in high school, I wanted to put myself forward.
Tinder, the original swipe right or left app, connects users who liked other people’s photos. They can then log in through messaging to see what kind of relationship the other person is looking for. While many use Tinder for quick connections, Burk sought a deeper connection.
“The culture of connection is the problem I found,” Burk said. “I’m a very relationship-oriented person. I had a hard time getting into the frame of mind and trying to filter through guys who just wanted relationships.
Burk said Tinder’s profile questions are straightforward. Some examples they gave were: “What is your political opinion? Do you drink or smoke? Do you have pets? ”It is up to the user to choose whether they wish to disclose more personal information on their profile.
Luck found Burk this spring. They’ve been dating the same guy for a few weeks now.
“I didn’t have this conversation [what kind of relationship he was looking for] with the guy I’m dating, ”Burk said. “We met, we watched a movie at his place and we went skiing the next day. I could just tell he wanted a relationship. He clicked quite easily.
According to Burk, the most popular dating apps, Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble, are all about the same when it comes to results. It’s up to the user to keep looking, in a sea of ​​millions, for what he wants.
“It depends on what you’re looking for and how lucky you are. I had terrible luck on Bumble. Not finding people I connect with, ”said Burk. “I feel like it’s just luck of the draw on one of these apps and I don’t know what to recommend as they’re all pretty much the same. You have to know what you are looking for and be willing to filter through a lot of people to find what you want.
While Burk met her current dating partner online, SNU senior Kaylee Wahlstrom met hers the old-fashioned way, in person while working at the Travel Center of America in North Dakota, her state in North Dakota. ‘origin. They’ve been dating for five years now.
“I think online dating is a good opportunity to find people with whom they are more compatible or with whom their goals align better,” said Wahlstrom. “I’m quite a social awkward person so I think online dating is something I would be very scared to do, but if I felt it necessary I would probably use it.”
The hookup culture is something that seems to reach everyone’s ears, even if they aren’t using online dating. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 47% of Tinder users use it specifically for a fast connection before moving on to the next one.
“I’ve never been one to participate in the hookup culture,” Wahlstrom said. “I try not to judge, but I feel like it has a negative impact on the people who are involved in it. I say this from an observational point of view.
“I think the fact that society generally says that the hookup culture is bad is what is most harmful to the people who participate in hookup a lot. I think if you’re emotionally mature and that’s what interests you, then go ahead and own it. There is a lot of power in being who you are and making your own choices without the influence of the opinions of others.
Jonathan Breiter, assistant professor of commerce at SNU, has a positive opinion of online dating. For a baby boomer who met his wife, Tricia, 20 years ago at a trade show in Dallas, he supports the young (and old) generation looking for relationships when the traditional way is difficult for the pandemic.
“I think online dating is amazing, as a concept, as a business, as a social statement for today,” said Breiter. “There are so many lonely people in the world. Literally, there is a social dating website for every demographic. there is something for everyone. I think it’s amazing that these services are available and that they are there to build relationships and bring people together. “
There are dating services for every category one can imagine. However, how can a student stay safe in the virtual world, where anyone can be anything behind the screen? Breiter shares the advice he would give his own child.
“I would insist on facetiming or zooming in with someone before I meet them. Ask for references. Do your research, find out as much as you can about that person. It will never be perfect. There will always be a shadow of a doubt, ”said Breiter.
With four years of experience in online dating, Burk knows how important it is to protect yourself in this area, not only to trust your instincts, but also to know how important it is to let people know. its community who you hang out with and where you go. dating a stranger for the first time.
“I really make sure I’m safe at all times when I’m dating people,” Burk said.
“Often my concern was not being safe. I always make sure this is the person I’m talking to before meeting her. I always send my phone location to my friends before I go out.

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