As a young person in the day and age of rapidly evolving telecommunication, Tinder and Bumble are two very familiar apps that I have come across on my phone. While these apps are not the pioneer’s of online dating, their success and ever growing amount of users are outstanding compared to other dating apps available to the public.
Tinder launched in 2012, and with rapid success and constructive feedback from its users, Bumble was created as its predecessor in 2014. Sean Rad, co-creator of Tinder has said the need for Tinder’s creation was his observation that “no matter who you are, you feel more comfortable approaching somebody if you know they want you to approach them.” He believed a “double opt-in” system could be created to potentially alleviate the stress of meeting new people. Rad has also said Tinder filled a gap in the availability of social platforms for meeting strangers, rather than connecting with people a user already knows Tinder’s basic functions include a easy to use interface, allowing users to swipe left or right on individuals they want to match with. (GQ Magazine) This easy to use application was reaching over one billion swipes a day by the time Bumble was released in 2014. Bumble was the result of Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd suing Tinder for sexual discrimination and harassment, and taking her settlement earnings to create Bumble. She describes Bumble as a “feminist dating app”(Time) and their approach to heterosexual dating only allows for the female user to reply first to a new match. Other dating sites such as eHarmony and Match.com are much more popular among the older demographic of individuals looking for a serious relationship and even marriage.
As shown by the info graphic above provided by Pew research, there is a very high success rate that individuals who meet online will match and meet up! While the percent of those who continue to pursue a relationship with said individual is smaller, there are people out there who have made it work. Jason and Ellie, both college students at Penn State University have been together for over four years. “We met on Tinder”, Ellie explained. “Jason and I had went to the same high school and didn’t talk often, but our match enabled us to both realize that there was an interest for one another.” Ellie and Jason are just one of the many success stories to come out of online dating. In this case, the match between Jason and Ellie was the spark that drove the want to meet in person again, this time with more inclination for what they are looking for.
Many young people have given one or the other a try in order to develop a new relationship with someone by using a simple way to engage with new people online. To this day online dating continues to create positive interaction between individuals, as shown by Ellie and Jason’s experience, along with this info graphic below. But what is the demographic of people who are using these sites and apps?
This chart by Pew Research shows the amount of user interaction through the use of dating apps over a broad set of younger people, ranging from high school students to college students and up. “Internet dating has become the dominant form for those seeking romance – it’s the third most popular means of meeting a long term partner and around half of all 18-34 year olds now use dating apps.”(BBC) I took to asking one of my neighbors about these statistics over a face time call. Jack Golden, a senior at Owen J. Roberts high school had some incentive on why these numbers might be. “I can understand why the numbers are lower for high school students” Jack said. “We are constantly surrounded by others our age at school and we see even more people at the programs we are involved in outside of school. I’m also at an age where i’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for. With college on the way I wouldn’t want to commit to something serious and meet up with someone only to move away to a university in a few months.”
While dating may be in question for some, marriages have even come out of relationships that have started through the use of a dating site. This info graphic provided by Pew Research shows that while online dating apps are extremely popular, a few amount of individuals have actually proceeded to continue a relationship from their first contact. Truth be told, my older cousin Ashley belongs to the 12% of individuals who have been in a committed relationship or married from a dating site. Ashley met Andy in early 2016 using eHarmony, and has since married, currently with a 2 month old baby named Graham. A quick phone call with Ashley allowed me to understand just how she was so successful in finding a partner through the use of an online site. “I was tired of seeking someone out, just to be turned away by lack of interest and connection. When I met Andy on eHarmony we clicked right away and began going on dates. It felt so natural, and after some time I knew we were going to work out.” Ashley and Andy married in September of 2019, and currently reside happily in Virginia. Even though a small number of successful connections bloom from the use of online dating, they are very real and show just how possible it is to meet someone just from the other side of the screen.