Does swiping right really work?
In today's world of self-motivation and self-improvement, we often forget to invest time into socialising and meeting new people.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram help us stay in touch with family and friends, but interacting with strangers is risky as that would require us to share our personal lives with them and maybe even end up interacting with fake profiles. This is where dating apps like Tinder provide a safe space to meet new people without giving away sensitive information.
With all the opportunities dating apps offer, does it really work? People have different opinions. They differ in their use of the app and what they hope to achieve through using such apps.
For self-confident and ambitious folks like Saquib (not his real name), dating apps are not for meeting new people. He says that dating apps reassure him of his likeability and he likes knowing that if he wanted to, which he of course does not, he could easily get along with someone new.
Even in the past, when he did have a partner, Saquib used Tinder to keep his spirits up and to assure himself he was still desirable. Today, he believes wholeheartedly that he could be compatible with someone if he ever wanted to commit like that ever again. Something about having data and statistics to back up how much people like you as opposed to being told the same thing every day helps Saquib sleep a lot better at night.
Indeed, we all need a little reassurance at times. Seeing other people interested in interacting with us could be a possible source of confidence and to feel good about oneself. Using dating apps is surely one way to achieve that.
But, how effectively can you meet new people through dating apps?
Tinder is an eccentric, diverse and dynamic platform. Putting aside its core purpose of helping people find someone to share their lives with, some people want to make friends. Abid (not his real name), a long time user of Tinder, says that he would often come across men on his Tinder matches who would state in their bios, "Happily married with two children. Looking for friends". He would be curious why he saw these kinds of individuals in his matches but he was pleasantly surprised to see such unproblematic intentions being proclaimed in a dating app.
When asked about his current relationship status, he said that he had recently met someone through Tinder. They talk, they spend time however, Abid finds himself suffering from intense boredom during their one-sided conversations. He does not mind listening, but he knows it is a problem when he begins to zone out. Despite matching on Tinder and having similar interests, Abid is not all sure what is happening with this person. In his words, "we just do not vibe."
Such incidents make one wonder, can matching people based on the similarities be enough to have spark with them?
There are some things which no one ever tells you about using dating apps. For instance, imagine talking to a person through a dating app and then finally deciding to meet them face to face. There is always a possibility that the other person might cancel on the day and ghost you afterwards. What do you do then?
It is very important to understand that dating apps are not binding. Be it while looking for validation or friends or a partner, using such apps with an expectation of loyalty and complete transparency is a little too flat-headed. Additionally, dating apps for women might be the same as their Facebook spam box — you never know who will slide in and when you are getting fished. So, best to be cautious when treading through such waters.
Dating apps are the modern day fairy tale godmothers. They promise love and memorable experiences filled with all kinds of emotions. Regardless, dating apps do not eliminate the awkwardness which comes with meeting new people, especially when you only know them online. There are many more aspects which dating apps do not necessarily aid — What happens when you like someone? How do you start up a conversation without coming off as an absolute scoundrel? Is there a protocol for standing someone up?
Venturing into the online dating scene is an adventurous risk. Yes, it makes meeting people easier and more controlled. However, does it take anything away from the organic way of interacting and meeting new people? Hence, whether or not dating apps work is much more of a complex question than a simple 'yes/no' answer. There is no harm in deciding for yourself.
On a serious note
Dating apps can be a risky and dangerous platform. Although meeting new people might be fun, being cautious of how much information you put out there is a matter of personal safety. Given the disadvantages of any social media platform, you never know who is lurking around to steal your information or approach you with ill intent. There might be individuals or predators on dating apps who actively seek out willing and friendly minds to execute their scams and add them to their malicious line of unethical work.
When you do decide to meet someone you have met on a dating app, it is important to look them up on other social media platforms. If necessary but also additionally, going forward with an initial video call so that you know who you are actually talking to, possibly reduces the chances of being catfished. Even if the person checks out, taking safety measures while meeting the person is always a wise decision. For instance, carrying pepper spray, meeting in a familiar and public space, sharing details with friends or family and letting them know where you will be meeting, and sharing your location from your phones with people you trust.
Dating apps can be fun, but it can also be life damaging if one is not more cautious and careful in how they utilise such apps.