It can be argued that apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr are taking over the dating world and further normalizing hookup culture, leaving little to no room for romance and intimate connections that go beyond physicality. They have provided people with a space where finding sex is easily accesible and created a platform that grows users dating pools exponentially.
Western University professor and medical anthropologist, Dr. Treena Orchard studied the app Bumble over the past five months to see how users interacted on these sites and communicated with one another. She found that out of the 2500 matches she got, only five individuals wanted to meet up. This made creating intimate relationships with others more difficult. Orchard thinks that although these apps normalize hookups and one night stands, people were hooking up on campuses far before tech-mediated systems emerged.
“They [dating apps] are like geographic information systems where [hookups] can happen instantaneously,” said Dr. Orchard.
She does believe that these apps facilitate more hookups than ever before in that they have changed the dating culture because they generate more encounters. On these apps users can swipe through many profiles in a fraction of a second, deciding who they think is attractive based on the photos and biographies that are available to them.
Dr. Orchard argues that these apps are not necessarily killing romance because of hookup culture, instead Orchard believes these apps are designed for you not to find a romantic connection.
“The apps logo is a hive showing that [like bees] we are encouraged to be productive and what that means is going through all of the matches on a daily basis to ostensibly be more successful. You also see the same person five or six times,” said Dr. Orchard.
Orchard thinks that users on these dating apps see people again that they have already said no to because the creators do not want you to run out of matches and delete the app.
Samantha Morgan, a recent Western University graduate has found an intimate connection through Bumble despite Dr. Orchards observations. Morgan thinks that these platforms just facilitate meeting people and that romantic connections come after. From her point of view, romance is what you make it to be. Users can not expect to have romance because they are using apps like Bumble.
Whether you believe Dr. Orchard or Samantha Morgan, it is up to you decide whether or not these apps kill quote unquote, true romance.
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