Dating Apps: Blessing or a Curse?
Can you open your heart on an online dating platform? Even in modern times, many cultures have strong reservations about the use of dating apps. The older generation are fearful of experimenting with technology and seem quite skeptical about how the younger generation meet over the web and build relationships by mistakenly misinterpreting people on the other side, sometimes.
Nowadays, communication is just a click or swipe away. The concept of dating apps may seem very exciting and experimental but in comparison to a real relationship, it has its own disadvantages. Not only dating apps but social media as well impacts the personal and emotional connect that one shares during face to face communication or interaction. Technology seems to have overpowered our lives and has been instrumental in the formation of a new lifestyle or way of living. This is very evident during social gatherings as one often finds people engrossed in virtual connect in spite of being amidst friends and family.
The essential question under consideration is whether dating apps are a blessing or a curse? Well, this is debatable for it can have multiple view-points. Until ‘now’, the most common way observed to establish connections or make new relationships is through familiar acquaintances, family, friends, social circles, work relationships. However, there seems to be a shift from such approach to virtual interactions for finding partners. Online dating is gaining popularity and is quite loved and loathed.
Dating sites such as Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid have made it much easier for people to meet. Swiping right and left through a million options, initiating emotional and promising conversations and then deserting each other like half-written novels, seems to be quite an emergent trend. However, this could be mentally exhausting and draining. Dumping unsuccessful and unpleasant dates and interactions can have an emotional set-back and impact. “I’m into old school love, this generation wouldn’t understand” a line that has been heard several times. This refers to the patience, respect, understanding people had and have in successful relationships, unlike today’s extremely self-centered and impulsive relationships.
Taking into consideration its disadvantages, why do people gravitate towards such interactions? Why are we putting ourselves through heartbreaks? We find online shopping easier and this seems too a quick and easier option, find love online! Through these dating apps, we are trying to market ourselves in order to get swiped, right? These apps do make life easier as it helps in narrowing down choices, age, similar interests, location, physical appearance, sexual preference and appear to be time saver. For many, these apps act as a source of an ego boost when one receives a match, which deep down makes one feel special, Let’s face it! I feel that when you have so many options on your plate and you review the people as candidates, it makes you more judgmental and one is likely to decline the not so good candidate that they might have accepted in a face to face meeting.
For many, it’s an escape from boredom but people may also join with the intention of just interacting with people. According to a study by (Menkin, Robles, Wiley and Gonzaga, 2015) that involved users of age 20-95 years old on eHarmony, “found that users consistently valued communication and characteristics such as personality or kindness more than sexual attraction.”
They also found “there was little evidence that older users valued companionship more,” and they appreciated sexual appeal as much as the younger users. On the other hand, Menkin et al. results were “similar to the finding that across the lifespan, people generally want to experience more low-arousal positive emotions (such as the warmth and comfort companionship provides) compared to high-arousal positive emotions (such as the excitement associated with sexual attraction).”
However, there are areas of caution. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the state of the economy, online scams have increased tremendously. According to an article in the Hindustan Times, a few researchers from the University of Siena found out through a fabricated profile observer that the scammer builds upon a romantic relationship with the target for at least 6 to 8 months, strengthens an emotional bond and then extracts the resources needed. In North America, about 1400 online dating sites have been created in over a decade. About 23 percent users have met online and had a relationship and 6 percent of the married couples have met online. Results also showed that around 63 percent of users using social media and 3 percent of the population have been a victim of an online scam at least once in their lifetime.
After the hook-up phase is over, the scammer initiates a plan of meeting up but will delay it several times, and will give excuses such as accidents, deaths etc., so that the target gets manipulated and sends in money to cover the costs and loss. I feel, with these apps coming in and several scams happening, it will somewhat create a fear of commitment in peoples heart leading to a downfall in relationships.
Michigan State University had conducted a research where they found out that 28 percent of the relationships that spark online are likely to break within a year of them being together. Also, couples who meet online are three times more likely to get a divorce in comparison to the couples who met face to face.
One of the major problems for women who engage with online dating is that they come across plenty of men who are simply looking for sexual desires in a relationship. Well, many people would agree that most of the men have a higher sex drive compared to women. Most of the men also have a misconception about women only being on dating apps because they’re only interested in hook-ups . Women need to be vigilant and alert to safeguard their well-being and from receiving sordid messages.
The concept of online dating just has a different structure and has drastically changed the face of romance. It has its pros and cons. Communicating online does seem easy but it has a tendency to make you isolated and detached from the real world. Therefore, I feel one cannot choose whether dating apps is a curse or a blessing. I know people who use dating apps, but the sad part is that everyone looks for something casual which again shows that this generation does not know how to value and respect relationships and people.