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Each person felt like a real possibility, rather than an abstraction.The first Tinder date I ever went on, in 2014, became a six-month relationship. In late 2014 and early 2015, I went on a handful of decent dates, some that led to more dates, some that didn’t—which is about what I feel it’s reasonable to expect from dating services.
“And I think it’s really hit a low point.”Whenever using a technology makes people unhappy, the question is always: Is it the technology’s fault, or is it ours?
Is Twitter terrible, or is it just a platform terrible people have taken advantage of?
titled Nancy Jo Sales’s article on dating apps “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’” and I thought it again this month when Hinge, another dating app, advertised its relaunch with a site called “thedatingapocalypse.com,” borrowing the phrase from Sales’s article, which apparently caused the company shame and was partially responsible for their effort to become, as they put it, a “relationship app.”Despite the difficulties of modern dating, if there is an imminent apocalypse, I believe it will be spurred by something else.
I don’t believe technology has distracted us from real human connection.
I don’t believe hookup culture has infected our brains and turned us into soulless sex-hungry swipe monsters. It doesn’t do to pretend that dating in the app era hasn’t changed. Tinder arrived in 2012, and nipping at its heels came other imitators and twists on the format, like Hinge (connects you with friends of friends), Bumble (women have to message first), and others.
Older online dating sites like OKCupid now have apps as well.
“81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app”; “54 percent of singles on Hinge report feeling lonely after swiping on swiping apps”; “Only 1 in 500 swipes on Hinge turn into phone numbers exchanged.” Mc Leod has noticed the same waning of enthusiasm that I have.
“We have people in for focus groups all the time, and we do surveys, and since probably like 2014, it seemed like there was this sort of declining satisfaction over time in these services,” he says.
In 2016, dating apps are old news, just an increasingly normal way to look for love and sex. Of course, results can vary depending on what it is people want—to hook up or have casual sex, to date casually, or to date as a way of actively looking for a relationship.
The question is not if they work, because they obviously can, but how well do they work? “I have had lots of luck hooking up, so if that’s the criteria I would say it’s certainly served its purpose,” says Brian, a 44-year-old gay man who works in fashion retail in New York City.