Qualitative research suggests that there are a diverse number of ways in which people use these dating apps – somewhat obviously the major reason people use them is to to meet people, with the possibility of a hook up, but within this there is a huge variety of experiences – from people who use them several hours a day without a single catch, to those who use them successfully to enrich their sex-lives, or materially, by only dating rich guys who buy them things.Two interesting documentaries to check out which explore dating apps (albeit in a non-representative way) are the BBC’s ‘addicted to dating apps‘ (only available until November 2016) and Vice’s ‘Mobile Love Industry’ The types of relationship facilitated by dating apps certainly illustrate many aspects of life in a postmodern society – such as individuals having more choice, and relationships being shorter lived, and thus more unstable and more insecure; while the fact that women are just as likely to use them as men demonstrates increasing gender equality and breaking down of traditional gender roles.She has fascinating insights into the mysteries of this new means of matchmaking.By Todd Schoepflin I haven’t thought about dating in a while.In the United States there are millions of people between the ages of 18-24 (18-24 is considered prime dating and mate selection ages).The US Census bureau estimates that 8.5 percent of the US population or about 26 million people are single and between the ages of 18-24 years that’s nearly 15 million males and 15 million females (retrieved 12 June 2014 SOURCE Tables 1 and 2; and calculation based on Table 57 Statistical Abstracts of the US SOURCE ).Those numbers should be very similar in 2010 when the Census is collected.Does that mean that you could have 15 million potential mates out there somewhere? You see, it would take more time than any mortal has in their life to ever interact with that many people.
Some basic stats on Tinder certainly suggest its use is very widespread, and growing….
These days, the word “date” means that we have a babysitter for a few hours, giving us time to grab a cheeseburger and a beer.
I have no experience with online dating, and before I watched this video interview of Dan Ariely I had never heard a scholar talk about it.
The question of whether the normalisation of these apps affects relationships and family life more generally remains to be seen – as it stands, it seems that it’s mainly younger people who use these apps before they ‘settle down’, and thus most people see them as something to use in your 20s, before looking for a serious long term partner later on in life.
However, it could be that now these apps offer the possibility of a life of continuous hook-ups, that fewer people see the need to settle down with a life-long partner, but that remains to be seen.