The Different Narratives of Online Dating and Dating Apps: Post Deliberation

Hearing everyone’s thoughts, opinions and experiences with online dating and dating apps was very interesting to hear and discuss as a group. I feel like the general consensus was the same all around such that it is scary and the media saturates our minds a bit about online dating but either people use them and like them, or don’t think we should get rid of the idea of it.

The first question I posed to the group was, “Are there more disadvantages to dating apps than advantages or vice versa?” Most people had disadvantages to share whether they use dating apps personally or know stories through their friends. The majority was mutual about this as it is different for everyone and everyone uses dating apps differently or even not at all. Those that don’t use dating apps, don’t have anything against them or think there are more disadvantages, just a personal preference. There are lots of issues such as the basis of judging people on their looks and the possibility of talking to someone who is a catfish, yet the advantages of meeting people you would never meet online, and the chances of the dates going well, outweigh the negatives.

The second question I posed was, “Does the media saturate our minds of how to view online dating/is it just as scary as the media makes it out to be? (Movies like The Tinder Swindler, shows like To Catch a Predator or Catfish).” A lot of people agreed that even if we didn’t have dating apps, people would find ways to meet people online since the internet is easily accessible and we rely heavily on social media currently.

The third question I posed was, “In what ways has online dating changed/shifted during the pandemic? Where does it stand now? Does it look different now than it did before the pandemic?” Due to the pandemic we have been able to especially rely on our online connections and even were able to take the time to expand/explore them. Everyone agrees that it did not change too much other than the fact that people were even more excited and ready to get back into the dating scene, and the best way was through people they met online.

The final question I posed was, “Is it worth it for our society to allow this to become the norm of dating and finding a partner? Are the dangers something that we should consider when deciding to need dating apps or if we should get rid of them?” No one truly had negative thoughts about this becoming the norm of dating considering it already has become the norm within our society. This question sort of wrapped up the discussion about this topic.

Overall, there isn’t much to be changed about the online dating world and dating apps other than the fact that there are concerns and the issues posed on the media about online predators is real and true, but that doesn’t stop us from pouring out our lives on the internet in social media. As long as social media is alive.

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?