The ups and downs of dating online

By America Lopez-Santiago
February 21, 2020

Throughout the centuries, something most people have always wanted was to have someone in their life romantically. Dating has changed through the years and it’s not nearly the same as it used to be when you date someone you met in person.

Tinder and Bumble dating app. Screenshot provided by America Lopez-Santiago.

Nowadays, you can either swipe right if you like someone or swipe left if they don’t seem to be someone you might want to date. Dating has become more focused on how someone looks rather than who the person is and what they like.

According to Pew Research Center, 71 percent of people say that it is important to look at the other person’s pictures. Looking at the other user’s pictures is the most important thing when looking at someone’s profile, and then the second is seeing what kind of relationship they want out of the dating app. 

Though back in the day, people thought that meeting someone online was weird and unheard of until 1965. During 1965, “Operation Match” was created by two Harvard students that want to help others and make dating easier. Since 2009, dating apps have started up and have become the new norm for people to meet other people. Thirty percent of Americans have said that they have used a dating app or site, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center. During a study in October last year, 12 percent of Americans said they are in a committed relationship or married to someone they met online.

“I have had more success when it comes to Bumble because I feel like the app is designed to be safer,” Noel Davenport, junior writing major, said. “I met this guy on a Bumble named James, and he took me out for my birthday. It was pretty nice, and we are still talking now. We’ve been talking for three months and are going pretty strong.”

Even though dating apps and websites have made dating more accessible, they have also made it harder as well. More people are either aggressive or not sure of what they want from the dating website. While using dating apps and websites, 28 percent of users were called offensive names. 

A message of a guy asking to have sex and not taking a no for an answer. Screenshot provided by America Lopez-Santiago.

“There would be times where guys would be rude to me,” Davenport said. “While I was on Tinder I put on my bio that I just wanted to talk to someone and some guy that I matched with said, ‘What do you want, hoe?’ I was kind of in shock of what the guy was saying but just decided to ignore him instead. You are bound to meet those people on the apps whether you like it or not.”

Not only do younger women get harassed, but they also get sent explicit messages and sexualized. Fifty-seven percent of younger women have sent explicit messages, whether it’s the other user asking them to have sex straight off the bat or sending nude photos of themselves without giving them a warning. Some women are even sexualized by men for their race. 

“I feel as though Bumble is predominantly caucasian men,” Paige Marquez, sophomore psychology major, said. “Some men have tried to sexualize my ethnicity by saying, ‘Oh, you’re Latina, I’ve never had that before.’ It was bizarre for me at first, but after a while, I would just unmatch with them.”

Online dating will always be 50/50. There will be good and there will be bad too. 39 percent of people’s experience has been positive, and 14 percent has been negative when it comes to online dating. 

“I feel as though it mostly depends on the person,” Davenport said. “There was a time where I went on a date with someone that I had met from a friend, and it didn’t go well. Then there was a time where I met someone on Bumble and that ended more successfully than the person I met through my friend.”

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America Lopez-Santiago

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