Mobile Dating Apps: Swipe Left for Match, Swipe Right for Pass


Article by Renesha Poole | 753 words

There are mobile apps for nearly everything we deal with on a daily basis. Banking, errands, food and fitness are just a few matters we entrust to our smartphones. In essence, they’ve become our own personal assistants, helping us tackle one task at a time. Now mobile apps are moving beyond their role of personal assistant to that of personal matchmaker. The rise of mobile dating apps over the last few years has changed the dating landscape immensely. Your next date could be a few left or right swipes away, but what does that really mean for your love life?

The Convenience of Dating Apps

Whim Screenshot


For one thing, it makes dating more time and energy efficient. Instead of sifting through endless dating profiles, you can connect to another user almost immediately. Dating apps quickly connect you with other users who are interested in meeting up, as seen in apps such as Whim, created by Eve Peters.

In an article entitled “New Dating Apps Cut to the Chase, Set up Dates Quickly,” Peters, who once worked as a product lead for OKCupid, believes the key to successfully using mobile dating apps is cutting out the chitchat. Writer Tracey Lien says of Peters’s app, “If two people are interested in each other, they’re going on a date. Tell the app when you’re available, and it’ll tell you when and where you’re meeting.”

Whim, along with other notable mobile dating apps like Tinder, Grouper and How About We are making dating more direct. There’s no messaging system or profile pages on Whim. Users simply choose a night they are available for a date and are presented with pictures of candidates. Once two people are “matched,” Whim chooses when and where the date will be based on each candidate’s availability and location.

“At the end of the day, having a live, face-to-face interaction with someone is the best way to figure out who is compatible with you,” Social Psychology Professor Eli Finkel told Lien. Online profiles simply cannot replace direct communication.

The Risks of Mobile Dating

Mobile dating apps seem great. Their effortless nature makes dating quick and convenient—two adjectives seldom used to describe dating. However, that’s not to say using mobile dating apps will be the solution to all your dating needs. Mobile dating apps present scenarios that don’t work for everyone.

In her article “The Dangerous Downside of Mobile Dating Apps,” relationship coach Nancy Pina encourages singles to look elsewhere if a long-term, healthy relationship is their objective.

One point Pina makes is that mobile dating apps connect people based on several factors unrelated to romantic feelings but rather based on spontaneity and convenience. Singles who may be lonely and seeking company more so than a serious relationship will gravitate to mobile dating apps because of the instantaneous response. This sets singles up to make regrettable decisions.

Also, due to the lack of information disclosed about mobile dating app users, safety and genuineness are highly questionable. Even if you’re meeting a date in a public space, you know very little about your date and make yourself more susceptible to harm.

“These apps generally promote finding other singles in places such as bars, which can lead to various safety issues for women. Paying close attention to your intuition usually nosedives with alcohol and can lead to the tendency of giving out too much personal information to someone you do not even know,” Pina writes.

And because you don’t know a lot about your date, there’s always a question of whether they’re actually single. This information is not asked of them nor disclosed when you come across their picture. It’s an assumption, but not a safe one, especially since the quick nature of mobile dating apps would allow a cheater to hook up fast before their significant other finds out.

If you don’t mind meeting someone on the fly, mobile dating apps might be up your alley. They’re quick and don’t inconvenience you. With mobile apps, you don’t make time for dating: dating comes when you want it. What’s more fascinating about the surge of mobile dating apps over the last few years is what it says about people’s sentiments over how dates should be set up. More individuals just want to hurry up and meet someone rather than work out factors like the time and meeting place. Whether you would use a dating app or not, the mere existence of them shows a new level of trust in smartphones—perhaps a little too much trust.

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