Tinder, good opportunity or risk for our future society ?

In the run-up of Valentine’s day, have you found your soulmate ? If not yet, it’s still time to cast an eye over dating applications. Today, it’s one of the main ways for a lot of people to search for love. According to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook, online dating services had around 413 million active users worldwide by the end of 2022. Moreover, dating apps like tinder are more and more used to meet people when they are travelling around the world. But are dating apps the best way for that? Even if it’s the easiest and fastest way to meet new people, it’s also generating some sort of social break in our society.

Tinder is one of the most famous dating apps in the world. Created in 2012, this application was dowloaded more than 530 millions times since its creation. Used by a majority of people between 18 and 25 years old, this kind of app is becoming one of the most common ways to meet new people. The era of meeting and getting to know people in real life started to disappear because of this phenomena. Dating apps take advantage of this and are doing all their best to increase addiction to their apps. How are they doing it? First, the interface. They are trying to make a mobile app which is attractive to people. For example, Tinder and the system of swiping is one of the things that was created to make people addicted. They can swipe how much they want to in a really short time. They are also using the logics of games, like casino roulette which can be really addictive. Moreover, the constant availability of potential matches can create a sense of endless possibilities and a feeling of constant stimulation. Then, the powerful algorithm. Indeed, when you are using dating apps, you are sharing in the application a lot of personal information. It allows Tinder to show users profiles that they are likely to be attracted to, to meet people who look like their ideal partner. It can create a sense of satisfaction and self-worth. Furthermore, it also increases chances of finding a match and then creating a feeling of social validation. So finally, people have the impression that it’s more easy to find people who are matching with us online than in the real life. 

Another famous option is, that a lot of dating apps offer the possibility to change your localisation and to translate the content and the messages in different languages in order to meet people in and from different countries. It’s important to know that Tinder is available in 190 countries and in more than 45 languages. Today, dating apps like tinder are becoming a real tool of traveling for a lot of people. You can even find a part of Tinder’s website dedicated to this subject : « You probably know by now that traveling without Tinder is like going out to eat without your wallet — you limit your experience and end up salivating over what couldve been. Fortunately, the app allows you to meet up with locals in your destination — and who knows? They might give you a taste of the best coffee you ever had or take you to the best silent disco in town. ». This incitement to use Tinder during travels is followed by some tips to meet people abroad and to prevent mistakes or misunderstandings. This can be especially useful for solo travelers who want to explore a new place with someone who shares similar interests or hobbies ; or to those who want to meet locals and gain insights into the culture and customs of the place they are visiting. Moreover, it can be risky to use dating apps while travelling if you are not aware of the culture, customs and social norms in the country because what is considered appropriate or acceptable in one place may not be in another. You have to also be conscious that people who are using dating apps are usually there to find a relationship and not to be a guide for someone. Finally, when you are travelling, it can also be nice to let everybody know that you are travelling and to be clear about your intentions, to not break any hearts during your travels. And most importantly, even if you are using dating apps during your travels, try to enjoy the present moment and don’t be too focused on your phone ! 

Indeed, dating apps are building connections and relationships between people but it can also be a real cause of social division. Firstly, Tinder is becoming a real trend and creates a group phenomenon. Severals studies showed that a majority of people don’t download Tinder for the first time because they really want to but because they want to be included in their circle, be a part of discussions, share their experiences etc.. One of the other factors of using datings app for people is boredom. As explained previously, datings app are designed to generate entertainment, and it can become very addictive. It can generate virtual isolation in a real world. Some people can be afraid of being judged in reality, always looking for some kind of validation and attention that they can find online but can’t find in reality. It can become very hard in the future for the generation who is used to be on datings apps to get to know new people. One other potential issue is that the ease and convenience of online dating can lead to a culture of superficiality, where people are more focused on physical appearance and short-term relationships rather than deeper connections and long-term commitment. Finally, datings app can affect the overall social health negatively because of the vision of relationship that they are carrying. In some studies, they are talking about the culture of disposable relationships. Indeed, in Tinder for example, you have a multitude of possibilities to meet new people, so it’s like if it’s not working with someone you can « meet the next person » without even putting in effort to make things work. That point can be a real problem because it produces a kind of distrust between people and a constant instability in people’s love life. 

Overall, while Tinder and other dating apps can be a convenient way for people to connect with potential partners around the world, it’s important to be aware of their potential downsides and use them in a healthy, balanced way.

Camélia Sghayare 

Sources : 
Tinder.com, Tinder’s policies 
LeMonde.fr, article « La recette très secrète de Tinder », Michael Szadkowski
Exploratory study, University of Quebec, « Pratiques et usages de Tinder, une étude exploratoire », Maude Lecompte, Simon Corneau and Dominic Beaulieu-Prévost 

Pictures : 
Unsplash : Mika Baumeister, Yogasdesign, PriscillaDupreez. 

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