Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Swipe Right For Love

The dating app revolution.
The dating app revolution.

This Valentines Day, Yasmeen Frasso discusses the use of dating apps.

Dating has always been a curious thing; since the days where Victorian women would be sought after and courted by a suitor (think Jane Austen) not much has really changed.

You seek out a potential partner, work up the courage to ask them out and do you best to impress them over a series of meetups. The desired result? Having lots of babies perhaps, but if not maybe just living happily ever after together.

Yet, as with everything, the progression of technology has forever changed the dating landscape.

Enter the dating app revolution.

Back in the mid 2000’s, sites such as the ever famous began to spring up, allowing people to connect and meet new people over the internet.

Since, the rise of smartphones has allowed dating to become even easier and more convenient. With a simple swipe to the left or right giving you the power to find that special someone. These apps have infiltrated society, including those from the age of 13 to those over 50, apps like Tinder have rapidly become a household name.

These dating apps are generally easy to set up and use. You enter a few basic details, craft a brief bio and upload your best pictures, then wait for matches to flood in.

Whilst these apps have made meeting and chatting to people more accessible for everyone (of any gender/sexuality), they aren’t without their issues.

Of course, the obvious danger is getting catfished. As our parents and teachers once told us, you never know who you’re really talking to online.

But what’s more interesting is the psychological effects that are now being researched.

A recent study, reported on by the Guardian, has shown that users of Tinder, in general, have lower levels of self-esteem and body confidence. This isn’t too surprising a finding considering that most Tinder activity involves determining a person’s worth within seconds.

Who ever said it’s what’s inside that counts?

These apps so often revolve around superficiality. But in a post-romantic world where one night stands are apparently preferred to relationships, it seems this is to be expected. It’s not abnormal either in our social media driven world – but that’s another topic in itself.

Also, dating apps seem to skip the most fun parts of finding a partner. There’s none of the cutely awkward moments, or the general getting to know each other over a period of time. They simplify the dating process, as most technology aims to nowadays. But in doing so have they cut out the romance and genuine connection?

That’s not to say that dating apps are all bad. There are plenty of success stories, where individuals have found long-term partners using them, or for those who aren’t looking for relationships, they’ve provided successful one night stands. In some cases, what started as an attempt to find a partner has resulted in finding life-long friendship instead. Like anything, these apps have their good and bad points. It’s how you use them that determines the result.