When looking at some of the dating apps out there, I began to wonder if they are considered social apps or if they are just plain socio. Let’s break it down. According to our reading, social networks are defined as contained communities that allow for the sharing and curating of information. They are networks of individuals who come together for a common goal, whether it is to share experiences, pictures, content, etc. Then, you have the sociopaths who “exhibit extreme antisocial behaviors and attitudes”, like sitting on a couch looking at a dating app instead of going out and meeting someone. So, are dating apps defined as Social Media?
When looking at the Conversation Spectrum, a strong argument can be made that they are. They represent multiple facets, from their Facebook-verified registration system, photo sharing features and even social commerce by way of paid advertisements. People use dating apps for one reason; to connect with other individuals with a shared goal. What that shared goal is, is up to the two users connecting. Users communicate via messages, likes, winks, high-fives, etc., share photographs with one another and link to Instagram and Facebook. If all goes well, the two people end up meeting in person. It’s a classic fairytale. Girl logs into Tinder, boy logs into Tinder, boy swipes right, girl swipes right, inappropriate pictures are exchanged, the two meet, they fall in love for 45 minutes or so, and then they move on with their lives.
Dating apps are changing the way that people interact. The days of meeting someone in a bar and awkwardly approaching them, offering to buy them a drink, asking for their number and then getting rejected are beginning to slip away. Instead, you can find that one amazing picture of yourself, set it as your profile pic, lay in bed and creep on people from the comfort of your sweatpants.
So, is this socio? Why would someone choose to use an app for dating? First off, let’s be honest. 90% of people on dating apps are not looking for love. The 10% that are will never find it online. Chances are, they are just as socially graceless online as they would be in person. Dating apps (or hook-up apps as they should be called) were designed to assist people in finding that one night stand or friend with benefits. There is a common understanding among most users that this is the expectation. In short, dating apps are for hooking up and meeting someone in a bar, at a restaurant or at the gym is still your best bet if you’re looking for love. Or try Christian Mingle.