North Texas Daily

Love at First Swipe: the growing world of online dating

Love at First Swipe: the growing world of online dating

Love at First Swipe: the growing world of online dating
October 01
12:38 2015

Anjulie Van Sickle | Staff Writer

@anjuliegrace

Fashion merchandising sophomore Tristen Newman has a pretty simple love story. He met a guy, they went on a typical first date, and they’ve been dating for the past nine months. The only catch: they met on Tinder.

In a culture of “hook-up” dates and quick fixes, dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge have become increasingly popular. According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, one in five adults ages 25-34 have utilized online dating.

Tinder, a free app for iPhone or Android, lets users anonymously browse possible matches in their area by swiping right if they’re interested or swiping left if they aren’t. Users can also click on someone’s picture to view the person’s profile.

“It’s a fast and easy way to meet single people around you,” education sophomore Destiny Beaver said.

The app is easy to set up. Users only need to connect to a Facebook account, and Tinder will upload the user’s first name, interests, photos and age to create the profile.

Although there are several online dating sites, such as Zoosk.com, Match.com and OurTime.com, most students said they immediately go to Tinder when trying out online dating.

Newman said he first started using the app last year when his best friend at home told him to give it a shot.

“A lot of people think of Tinder as a quick hook-up app,” Newman said. “It’s hard to find someone on there who’s genuinely a nice person.”

When Newman first started using Tinder last year, he was turned off by people who lied on their profile, a process known as “catfishing.” He stopped using it for a few months, but after he met Brandon Hagey, his current boyfriend, he decided to give the app another chance.

“It wasn’t any different in person than online,” he said about his first meeting with Hagey. “It was a shock to me because I had expected it to be a little bit different, just from the way we interacted online, because one is face-to-face and the other’s on the Internet.”

Newman’s story is a rare example when compared to the statistics found in a Pew Research Study. According to the study, one-third of the people using online dating apps have not actually gone on a date.

McKenzie Pepper, interior design sophomore, used Tinder for a just under a year before deciding it wasn’t for her.

“It’s fun and it’s different, as long as you’re safe about it,” she said. “I’ve made a few friends, but never once did I want to go on a date.”

Tinder seems to be taking advantage of the millennials who use it. The app has introduced TinderPlus, where people will get charged $9.99 if they’re under 30 and $19.99 if they’re 30 and over. The new addition also allows for more swipes and likes.

“I think it’s very sketchy,” RTVF and business sophomore Daniel Caballero said.

Despite the hook-up mentality some students have toward the rise of the online dating world, there is still potential for a happy ending.

“You’re going to find good and bad people, both in the real world and online, so don’t make an online dating app negative because it’s online,” Newman said. “You might end up finding someone you fall in love with.”

Featured Image: Tinder is one of the ways couples use online dating to meet. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

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