Reflecting on dating apps

Charlize Harding, News Editor

Today, most young adults download the infamous dating app, Tinder. Whether it be on or after their eighteenth birthday, most have or have had it.  

What makes dating apps so difficult for college students is that most do not know what they want. Or there are the occasional ones where they know exactly what they want, and it comes across as intimidating. 

What happens when you match with the person you were hoping to? You jump for joy, you laugh and get a little bit giddy right? Or do you think, “What do I do now?” If you are like me, it is all the above.  

Then anxiety sets in until the person makes their move, because you are too shy to do it first.  

When you finally get that first message, do you look at it, see when they sent it then put your phone down and wait an “appropriate amount of time” to make sure they do not think you are into them or anything? Because that would be crazy if they thought you were into them.  

Now you are talking — there is a consistent back and forth and you are feeling good about yourself and the situation. If you are like me, usually the next step is what you dread the most. When they ask for your Snapchat.  

It is not that I do not like Snapchat — it is this compulsion I get that I cannot look a certain way or talk a certain way. But they have already matched with me and talked to me, so surely, I shouldn’t care.  

Things are going well, and you are engaging in funny, lighthearted and engaging conversation. You feel a sense of relief. Then, comes the nearly inevitable downfall.  

Responses are getting dry, the conversation is less engaging and you feel as though you are the only one who wants to talk.  Naturally, you start to give back the same energy. At this point you are thinking to yourself, “Why did I want to match with them again?” But regardless, you did.  

Part of you is happy you did, the other part is annoyed. They leave you on open. No matter what, no matter who, you are left thinking, “What could I have done?”  

You are both college students trying to figure life out. So, you ignore the slight disappointment when you see their name and the “open” notification, and you move on with your day.  

As soon as you have your groove back, your phone goes off. You check it, and it is a notification from them. You cannot help the slight jolt of excitement, but you remain impartial and try to establish a suitable time to respond. Once you do, you are left on open again.  

You move on with your day, and just avoid the two apps all together. All the while in the back of your head you are thinking just how stupid they are. 

What makes dating apps for college students so problematic? For me, it is the constant back and forth. You never really know how it will turn out. There is also a small part of me that thinks, “Is this really how I want to meet my partner?”  

I always thought it would be done organically. But that’s not the way of the world now. 


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