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Find love in the palm of your hand: The age of dating apps

You download Tinder to see who’s available. You find a person you’re interested, swipe right. They like you back. Congratulations, it’s a match.

The so-called “hook up apps” offer a unique and strangely efficient way of meeting people.

Nathan Thompson, PhD candidate in Sociology said apps like Tinder give people more possibilities.

“Apps such as Tinder and Grindr have provided a lot of new possibilities for meeting individuals that you may not have had the chance to meet before, even though those individuals may be less than 100 meters away.” Thompson said.

The Bruns created its own Tinder account to see who’s interested. We reached out to other users to see what they think of dating apps.

Jake, 21, is a UNBSJ student over a hundred miles away who downloaded tinder after his girlfriend broke up with him last December. “My buddy said I should get it just to talk to girls again,” Jake said. “It hasn’t actually turned into anything with anyone I’ve met on tinder.”

“I think Tinder is good as long as it’s used with caution, because people on here are essentially strangers.”

Thompson said people have to be careful with dating apps. While they can better facilitate some people’s dating lives, they can also be a crutch that, according to Thompson  “can turn into what people have called the “fast food” version of dating; that you can now pick and choose, block, not respond to, or even troll others without much consequence.”

Garrett is a UNB student, under five miles away, who has used Tinder for almost two years. He met two of his girlfriends through the app.

“I always had a great time. I traveled a lot for hockey and it was always interesting meeting new people from different areas and getting to know them.”

Garrett believes that our technological generation has become dependent on those online dating apps.

“Some use it as a joke, some are actually looking for real relationships, opposed to going to bars or social events and meeting people.”

Garret said that if you’re going to use tinder, you should be cautious of people. 

“Look for mutual friends, get to know them. Maybe meet for dinner or an activity. Look more into their profile. See if they have Instagram or Facebook and if they do, maybe look into those profiles about them,” he said.

According to The Guardian, about 450 million profiles are rated every day on Tinder, and research says membership is growing by 15 per cent each week.

Thompson says that besides lessening face-to-face interaction, people should also be concerned about sexual health.

“There is reason to be concerned about the lack of sexual health awareness we have in general, mixed with an increase in dating app usage. In fact, Tinder just added a Healthy Safety section to the app.”

While he believes that the safety information is a move in the right direction, Thompson says it does not make up for a lack of sexual health education in schools and at home.

Thompson encourages people to “swipe right” more often with those they may not initially be attracted. “Even when you’re at a fast food restaurant, it can be a good idea to try something new off the menu instead of ordering your usual fare.”

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