The Different Narratives of Online Dating and Dating Apps

Online dating appears to be a practical way to date for most people nowadays considering all the very niche dating apps out there for everyone’s use (most free and some cost money). Online dating has not only disrupted more traditional ways of meeting romantic partners, its rise also comes at a time when norms and behaviors around marriage and cohabitation also are changing as more people delay marriage or choose to remain single.

According to a Pew Research Study, roughly 60 percent of participants have had positive experiences with dating platforms. Many people have success finding romantic partners online, whether they’re looking for something casual or long term. The positive outlook of online dating has benefits including ease and efficiency, expanded options, a sense of control and more vetting options prior to dates. 

According to the same study, some 57% of Americans who have ever used a dating site or app say their own personal experiences with these platforms have been very or somewhat positive. Still, about four-in-ten online daters (42%) describe their personal experience with dating sites or apps as at least somewhat negative. Data from a 2020 Pew Research Center study confirms that many women are experiencing some form of harassment on dating sites and apps like receiving sexually explicit messages or images they hadn’t asked for. A few disadvantages of online dating that people experience are: 

  • Online dating may attract the wrong types of partners
  • People often don’t look like they do in their pictures
  • Online dating is rather shallow
  • You will not make the same level of connection as with traditional methods of dating 
  • The potential of stalkers and sexual predators is heightened and you can not be certain of everyone’s intentions online

We have always dealt with the issues of online predators and the media has pushed those cautions onto young children and parents especially. Do dating apps fuel this problem we have and has it made it worse? Is it as bad as reality shows and TV/Movies series make the dangers out to be? Or are we using that as an excuse to not accept these non traditional methods of dating and meeting partners/people?

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