ZU Magazine is a publication of ZU Media. The following is an article from Issue 5: Revolution.

Staff Writer | Nicole Johnson

Rather than connecting with other people in-person, apps like Tinder and Bumble have revolutionized the way many people date and find partners.

Although opinions about these kinds of apps differ, there’s no denying that they have changed the dating world, potentially forever.

Tinder’s on-site sociologist Jessica Carbino says that more people than ever are committing to relationships thanks to the app. Surveys conducted by the company revealed that their users “are more likely to be looking for a committed relationship than offline daters.”

According to the survey, Tinder users were doing a better job than offline daters of getting straight to the point by asking questions when initially contacting people.  

“When you are dating online, you actually have a very clear idea of what the marketplace is like,”  Carbino said. “You are able to have a visual idea of the pool in front of you, whereas the people who aren’t dating online are simply speculating as to what the pool may be like.”

Rather than playing a “he loves me, he loves me not” type of game, dating apps are a way of confirming that the people on them are single and ready to mingle.

“In real life, I spend a lot of time deciding if I like who I’m dating,” said junior cinematic arts production major Kim Stratton. “With Bumble, I can go on a date within a week and quickly know I don’t like them.”

College is a time for meeting new people and expanding social groups. But, have dating apps caused students to be stuck in an endless world of swipes?

Rachel Wolfson, content marketer and writer said, “I believe that dating has become a lot more difficult over the years, mainly because more and more apps have been created.”

Websites like eHarmony and Match.com have been around for two decades, but new dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Crosspaths are on the rise.

Dating apps let people make connections behind a screen, a feature that users appreciate. According to Wolfson, this is the problem.

“Before dating apps, people would have to meet in person. Next, they would decide if they wanted to see one another again. They didn’t have the option of going online, or on their smartphones to look at hundreds of different options,” Wolfson said. “Simply put, dating was quite easy before the creation of these apps; you’d meet someone, you’d ask them out, you’d get to know them and you’d build a relationship.”

A survey by Consumers’ Research found that there are millions of matches made every day on services like Tinder and Bumble.

The Pew Research Center found that 66 percent of online daters say they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app. This is a substantial increase from the 43 percent of online daters who had actually progressed to the dating stage when the Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2005.

In 2017, The Knot surveyed upwards of 14,000 recently married or engaged individuals and 19 percent of them said they met their spouses online. This is a significant increase from the Pew Research Center in 2015 that said only 5 percent of people met their spouses online.

The debate between dating apps being beneficial or detrimental is ongoing. People have had incredible journeys and found love through, as some would call it, an unconventional way of dating. Others believe it’s best to stick to the basics of meeting in-person and letting the feelings flow naturally.

If you’re looking to mingle, perhaps give dating apps a fair chance before ruling them out.