New Communication Technologies – 01
22 March 2018
How dating apps make it easier for relationships to happen.
“Women are already hard to talk to in person, I’m not trying to deal with all that pressure either”, Kamien McLaughlin stated as he scratched the back of his head. Kamien is a 21-year old senior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who is determined to find a female mate after a lifetime of being single. One of the ways he plans on achieving this is through dating apps, which have seen a recent surge in membership over the last ten years as people have adjusted to the possibility of finding love through the internet. Some of the popular apps that he is a member of are Tinder and Bumble which are both ranked in the top 5 of dating apps (Business Insider). In these applications dating is simply boiled down to connecting with those people that you find attractive (swiping right) and dismissing those that are not (swiping left). “Yeah it is superficial but that’s cool with me,” Mclaughlin states with a smirkish grin on his face.
In his high school years McLaughlin attended Marquette University High School, an all-male institution which he faults for his troublesome past with women. Pair him rarely spending time with women and balding at a extremely young age, he felt like his love life was doomed, “At that age I didn’t really have that self-confidence that I think is important in getting them (girls).” Dating culture in college is hyper-sexualized. Apps like Tinder and Bumble are often used for “flings” instead of actual relationship building which can leave individuals like Kamien caught in a whirlwind wondering how to approach women. Looking for mates has expanded past dating apps into other more traditional apps such as Snapchat and more notably Instagram.
“Back then we actually went outside and talked to people,” Donald Green said sarcastically. Donald, a 60-year old married man shared his viewpoint of how the younger generation is consumed with social media and it has deteriorated the youth’s ability to communicate face-to-face. “We would go to basement parties, the park, little ‘shin-digs’ where you were basically forced to talk to that pretty girl because you probably won’t see her again,” Green stated while reflecting on his 20s while looking at nostalgic photos. Perhaps social media has ruined this generation’s communication skills? Or has it elevated it into another form by making people more interconnected?
“… If you really like somebody you should get to see how they act and you can’t do that through a social media site,” says Jacqueline Hargrove, a junior who also attends the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her preference is to meet prospective mates in-person rather than having a first encounter through a dating app or social media in general, “Some people actually do find people that they want to talk to or be around with (through social media) me personally I feel as though I have not… It hasn’t to me before but it might. you never know”.
Whether it is by swiping on dating apps on the internet or by mastering the art of in-person conversation, Kamien is determined to get the job done and find his true love. “It’s been a long wait, but it’ll be worth it in the long run,” Mclaughlin stated with a smile.