Tinder can’t replace face-to-face dating

Tinder and other dating apps have taken away the anxiety from meeting that special someone.

A quick swipe right lets users access a wider pool of people without the pressure of too many awkward coffee dates.

Whether users are looking for a serious or casual relationship, most agree that they feel more courageous dating through a digital interface rather than approaching someone face to face. This courage, however, may come at a cost.

Tinder is the best example of this phenomenon.

The app, which depends on a simple swipe to sort through potential matches rather than exploring an in-depth profile, lends itself to a series of hits and misses without a middle ground.

One common mismatch involves a sexually charged person looking for a hookup with someone unfortunately looking for a serious relationship.

That kind of Tinder matchup looks like an exchange of vulgar comments and defensive comebacks, making the whole endeavor unproductive.

Elias Aboujaoude, the UM fall convocation speaker in 2012, gave a speech about the “e-personality.”

A psychiatrist at Stanford University, Aboujaoude argued that people often behave differently online, since Internet allows the primal part of their personality to manifest.

As a result, in terms of dating, Tinder usually leads to regression rather than progression.

The e-personality theory supports why Tinder and other dating apps can’t and shouldn’t replace the necessity of meeting someone face to face.

Dating apps are not really making us more courageous. They just help fuel the more aggressive aspects of our personalities that would not otherwise make an appearance on a first or second date.

Some apps like Hinge (for meeting friends of friends) and The League (exclusive to young professionals) are helping mitigate these effects by limiting the pool of people the users can meet and narrowing the gap between people’s true selves and their virtual ones.

This may ensure that power couples in high-stakes industries like finance are one step closer to happily ever after, but where does this leave the average college students who want something more serious than a hookup?

The fact is that dating apps are not going away anytime soon, and they will probably continue to grow as they become more relevant in a culture that is skewed toward work in a work-life balance.

Technology may curate who we meet, but more alarmingly, it may affect who we become as individuals. Although the online dating culture is a frontier worth exploring and navigating, it’s still in its Wild West days.

Let’s not just present ourselves as ideal people for Tinder or Hinge.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

February 11, 2015


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

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