If we go back in time – to the early days of online dating, not only was there a negative stigma attached to using dating websites but the user ‘pool’ was much smaller than it is today.
Because of that, people received less messages than they do nowadays. This wasn’t a bad thing though because people took their messages more seriously. Their attention span wasn’t divided through a million people and a million apps like it is today. According to a study put together by Telefonica, Yahoo and Google, people nowadays receive, on average, 63.5 notifications per day.
People had less choice, and were more serious about finding a potential partner. The only problem was, online dating was seen as ‘creepy’ and ‘uncool,’ and therefore, nobody admitted to their friends or family that they used online dating sites, in fear of being judged.
Dating sites were viewed as a place for ‘losers,’ ugly people, and for middle-aged divorcees that had run out of hope.
But my idea is that dating applications were much better than they are now because people that used online dating sites back then were far more responsive and serious. They read the messages, and they had time to reflect on each person. And then it all started to change. Now we’re all tooooo ‘busy.’
The biggest development we’ve seen in recent years, is the arrival of plenty of mobile apps, first of all Tinder, giving us access to opportunities that were previously unavailable (at the click of our fingers), it’s no surprise how this has influenced mass change in our society.
Tinder made us ‘disposable’
Due to the sheer volume of opportunities that dating apps now offer, people are much more ‘disposable’ than they have ever been. But if we stop and think for 5 seconds, we immediately realise that, in a real-life situation, it would be very unrealistic to approach 100 people in one day if you were at a bar or to have 100 people approaching you.
Yet nowadays, through online dating, we can. Tinder has made it possible to reach out to as many people as our fingers will allow. And often, people are sending out so many messages out daily, that they’re juggling multiple conversations with multiple people, and it can be difficult to emotionally connect with someone through an app, particularly when your attention is divided so scarcely.
If someone doesn’t ‘deem’ (whatever that means) a conversation to be going well, they tend to “unmatch” or block the person they’re chatting to, and ‘move on’. Apps and the huge volume of opportunities available make it easy to ‘switch off,’ and move quickly onto the next person, because there’s no emotional connection, and it’s easy to forget that there’s a human being on the other side.
Have we forgotten this small detail? And have they forgotten, that WE’RE on the other side of the phone, too? Maybe yes…
Keyboard (or display) courage…
A widely-known benefit of using online dating apps, for most people, is being stuck behind is a screen, or a keyboard, which gives them more ‘confidence.’ But, isn’t it fake confidence???
Not only would it take a considerable amount of time to approach 100 people in a bar, but it also requires a great deal of confidence that a lot of people don’t seem have these days. What’s interesting though, is that before online dating, people managed anyway, regardless of their confidence levels.
If they didn’t manage, I wouldn’t be here, writing this article right now. So do we really need online dating? Organic romance was the only romance that existed, and in some ways, through the big ease and accessibility that apps give us, we’ve grown less confident, and we’ve fallen into a self-perpetuating cycle, or a catch 22.
Why talk to Jane or Bob at the bar, when you can send ten people a message on Tinder, instead?
As we take less organic risks, and as we exercise those neural-pathways less often, we grow less confident and less strong at communicating with each other as time goes by, particularly when we’re railroaded with social media that makes us feel insecure, and feel bad about ourselves.
And, can you really judge a book by its cover? Can a nicely taken, filtered Instagram pose and a black and white bio gives you the right evidence to make an accurate judgement as to whether this person could be your future soulmate, or not? How many times have you got excited, been on a date, and realised that there’s no spark?
‘Instant Gratification Nation’ is the world we live in.
I’ve met people on dating sites that wanted to talk for weeks before meeting, and it was easy for that conversation to fade out. And if I did meet them, I quickly discovered that they weren’t right for me. And what a lot of time wasted in the process.
However, imagine if I’d have met that person at a bar. Would I have asked for their phone number? Probably not. And if I did, they might have met up with me quicker, because that initial trust and rapport was there. I don’t think you can truly create the same effect through an app.
Tinder Conversion Rate, Sex hunters and Cheating…
Scientists have put together hundreds of studies over the years on how to maximise online dating results, and one of those studies is that if people post photos of themselves having fun or smiling, then their results increase dramatically. But isn’t that artificial? Can you really judge someone because they changed their photo? Isn’t it unconscious manipulation?
And let’s not forget about the amount of married people on dating sites who exploit these opportunities in order to cheat on their partners. Online dating makes that easier for them. And if there is a breakup, it’s so much easier to ignore our emotions, bury our heads in the sand, and quickly get back on that Tinder dating roulette.
Simply having access and the opportunity at the click of our fingers makes this easier than it used to be, and, theoretically, more discrete.
Another interesting subject is ‘ghosting’ and ‘catfishing.’ Not only it is easy to lie about who you are and upload younger photos of yourself, or photos of a different person, but it’s also easy to forget that there’s a human being on the other side with emotions. “Blocking” or “un-matching” them, is certainly easier than telling people that you’re not interested.
Have we left our morals behind in online dating? Another thing is, lots of men and women use online dating sites specifically to find sex, (and I’ve obviously be one of them) although they may pretend that they’re ‘looking for a relationship.’ And when things get too serious, they’ll say ‘I’m not really ready for a relationship.’ Have we become dishonest? Have we become ruthless cowards? Would these people ignore or blank us if we were standing right in front of them?
My view is that if you really want to find love, you should put your eggs in multiple baskets, and not just rely on online dating. Ask that person that works in your local cafe out on a date. Take a risk. Approach people when you’re out and about. And ping a few messages here and there on your favourite online dating app.
But don’t get complacent with one method, and never stop taking risks and putting yourself out of your comfort zone, because you just don’t know what you might be missing out on. Also, I believe in ethical dating. Treat people with respect, be honest, and ONLY message people you are truly interested in getting to know, because otherwise, it’s a waste of your time, and theirs.
You can not look for love…
I can hear you…
“Let’s not forget that dating apps have worked for some people, and created some truly happy couples, marriage and children, so they’re not all bad!”
True… But I often think these situations are pure good luck. It’s luck of the draw, and there’s no guarantee. Love is the one thing you can’t guarantee, and no app will change that.
On the flip side though, you have to be ‘in it to win it,’ right?
After all, love is something that just happens, and you can’t guarantee if and when it happens, if ever. Often, it’s when you’re not looking that it hits you right out of the blue, when you’re not expecting it. So is online dating counter-productive? Is this search making us not find love?
It happened to me to find love on Tinder. I really did find it, but I wasn’t looking for it, and she wasn’t either… what were we looking for? I don’t really know, what matters is that we found each other, just to get lost 1 year later… So I do believe this is possible, but very often we see so many ‘happy’ couples that have met through online dating sites, that are not really happy? Don’t forget, that it’s so easy for people to pretend through social media that they’re. Maybe they’re lonely and desperate, and they feel that being in ANY relationship is better than none.
We should learn to be comfortable with being alone. If we work on ourselves and enjoy life, love will come when we’re not expecting it.
Sure, there are some genuine, amazing and attractive people on dating sites. And you might just meet them, and it could go to plan. But don’t forget that some of the most beautiful, fascinating and attractive people aren’t, and I am going to be one of them (not to say I’m beautiful and fascinating, but just saying it’s time to leave it for real). The only way to find those people is to go back to the old way. So work on your confidence, and go out and find them. And if you are going to use online dating sites, be honest on your profile.
Don’t lie about who you are. Don’t try and oversell yourself, because it’s better to have someone reply to you who has read and seen the real you. At least that way, no one gets disappointed down the line.
And we don’t want that, do we? How many “swipes” do we still need to go through? How many people do we have to un-match or block? And how many times will we still be blocked or un-matched? And finally, how many times do we still have to read or answer 2 of the most boring questions ever asked… “Hey… How are you?” and “How was your weekend?”
And if I didn’t bother you enough, and you still want to stick to Tinder, here there is a list of interesting stats coming from it, which will maybe help you increase your ‘conversion rate’ 😉