Two columnists debate the merits of online dating. Has it allowed us to make meaningful connections? Or just ruined everything?
Dating apps are a positive thing
Online dating has become prevalent; it is now the social norm. Many claim that social-dating sites are changing the way millennials and others view love. People say such apps as Tinder and Bumble are ruining “real life” connections. But these people miss what online dating is really about.
Social media have allowed us to connect with people we never would meet in our everyday lives. Take Linkedin, for example. I have personally connected with hundreds of professionals, some of whom I know I would not have been able to connect with if it had not been for Linkedin. Even though Linkedin exists, that does not mean I no longer have the ability to network with people in person. It means I have an added advantage, another tool in my tool belt.
Dating apps are similar. If people have profiles on Tinder or Bumble, they are able to connect with people they may never meet in person. This allows them to make many more connections than they would have been able to before, all because of social dating sites. Of course, some people say they do not need dating sites to pick up people. I would argue a majority of online dating users could also connect with someone at a party or a class as well as online.
Dating in the 21st century is weird — I would know. But online dating is a good thing. My generation has the ability to connect with people in a way that generations past never could. People used to say, there are millions of other fish in the sea. And although that has always been the case, dating sites make this sea a reality.
Dating apps ruined my life
By Wylliam Smith
Last year, I officially downloaded a dating app. Up until that point, I had the pleasure of living my life without the horrendous sites that are supposed to help you find your soul mate. I wish I could go back to that time, before I had Tinder, Grindr, or Growlr. All these apps have done is make me more cynical about dating.
I have only had one girlfriend in my entire life, and we dated for six years, so maybe I am slightly naïve on this topic. But I suppose I have always viewed the actual concept of dating as awkward, yet magical.
While dating apps are advertised as way to get rid of all the uncomfortable first stages of dating, it only seems to exemplify the worst parts about dating. The superficial “lust at first sight” is the only thing dating apps offer people.
When looking at people’s profiles on Tinder, I normally see six different photos of a person and maybe two sentences describing what they’re like. When someone swipes right on me, or anyone for that matter, it is based on if they think the person is attractive. It completely erases the portion of the relationship in which you like someone for who they are as a person and banks on physical attraction first.
As a minority on a dating app, I get more people fetishizing me because I am black than I get people who actually want to meet me because of who I am on the inside.
Yes, that may sound cheesy and maybe a tad bit dramatic, but I would like to think that people as a whole are better than that — that we see beauty as more than just skin deep. But dating apps stole that innocence from me.