Dating shows and online dating becoming popular in America

By Anthony Pietrewicz
December 9, 2020

Online dating is nothing new, it has been around since the middle of the nineties. The difference between then and now is how much it grew in popularity as it became normalized. Today, about 30 percent of adults admit to having used dating sites or apps to meet new people, and about 60 percent of them have a positive view of it. COVID-19 has boosted the popularity of online interaction, along with online dating, because of the lockdowns. Our society is shifting towards prioritizing online networking, and online dating is a result of this change.

Photo credits to “Married at First Sight”

An experimental new Netflix series puts online dating to the test. “I’ve met the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I’ve never seen her before.” This is the basis for the show, “Love is Blind.” It follows a couple transitioning to dating in-person after only knowing each other through the internet. 

Another show does dating a little differently. In “Married at First Sight,” a set of strangers do just that, get married. They are assigned spouses randomly and have to decide if they want to spend the rest of their lives together. The show is controversial because it completely throws aside traditional dating and shows what happens when people marry on the spot. It makes entertaining television drama, but it can not be healthy for the participants. This series was just recently renewed for an upcoming second season. It is poised to only increase the drama.

Both these shows take regular relationships to the extreme. Almost nobody would be comfortable being a participant on either of these shows. The people on the show are being exploited and deprived of their own romantic freedoms, their drama is our entertainment. 

A problem a lot of people seem to have with shows like this is that it all feels fabricated. There is no way anyone could be able to find true love through such unorthodox means. People want to see happy and healthy relationships to form their own off of, not the awkward interaction TV couples have. On the other hand, shows like these create a false sense of reality for the viewers. They can be led to believe that the relationships they are seeing are healthy and ones to aspire to, when in actuality they are not at all.

Tinder is the most popular dating app for young adults today. It’s advertised as quick and fun to use software for meeting new people. A society of online dating has been built upon apps and sites like these that are easy to use and highly accessible. Making an account takes only minutes before the user can begin to meet people in their area with similar interests. Tinder has 57 million users worldwide, six million of which have paying subscriptions to get more features.

Photo credits to Insider

With all the developments and progression in online dating, it definitely has a promising future. Dating has become more of a form of entertainment in recent years, through apps, websites, television shows and other forms. Old school dating is not dead, it is just taking a back seat to the popular new wave. It is important for our generation to remember what dating is at its core. It should not be entertainment. Rather it should be a way to branch out, meet new people and hopefully to eventually fall in love.

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Anthony Pietrewicz

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