Online dating was already very much on the rise, but the sharp increase in usage during the coronavirus outbreak has only served to illustrate the societal changes we are moving through.
Whatever you think about online dating, whether you believe it’s a technological avenue that has aided the dating game or merely created a monster, the fact is the industry has never been healthier.
In the United States alone, it’s believed that as of 2020, there were over 26.5 million dating app users, with a worldwide total said to be numbering in excess of 300 million. In other words, a massive amount of people are now happy to use these services in order to find love, friendship, or just some casual fun.
The COVID pandemic had an interesting impact on the scene, helping people to meet and communicate in a way that was more amenable to the guidelines and regulations that may have been in place in a locality. In other words, meeting in big groups was next to impossible; therefore, using your app to find that ‘special’ someone made our lives easier.
Overall, some deride the direction online dating has taken us while millions are making the most of the opportunities it has brought with it. From a societal perspective, it may be hard to predict what the future holds, but it seems we are, on the whole, enjoying the journey we are all on.
Opening Up Niche Markets
Initially, as with any new technological advances, the lion’s share of the market in online dating came from the youthful audience who voraciously enjoyed the freedoms and access they provided.
However, the industry has made a point of broadening its appeal, and now there are users from all demographics using specific niche apps that get them to make contacts with like-minded folk.
There is a sense that anything is possible when it comes to apps or dating sites. Logging into whichever app you’ve signed up with initially seems to be as if you’ve opened a new toy and can’t wait to get the wrapping off, but it’s also something of Pandora’s box.
Now that we’ve got used to the idea of online dating, many have gone full circle and decided that the ‘old school’ ways of meeting new people are far more innocent, and that sense of naivety is one aspect of a larger backlash that has occurred.
The Pros and Cons of Online Dating
So let’s first look at the upsides to online dating. Here are three common reasons that crop up when it comes to the positive aspects of online dating.
Using dating apps allows us to connect with far more people than in more organic situations. This, in theory, will make it easier to find people who fit our desire, be that from an aesthetic point of view or other key factors (like locality).
Meeting people via dating apps also saves small talk because everyone who is present and signed in is of a like mind; this makes the chances of a connection significantly higher than random meetings that may take place in a bar or workplace.
You Are In Control
Being on a dating app puts the power back in your hands. You are the master of your own destiny, to some extent; in other words, you choose whether you’ll meet someone and this not only simplifies the process, it also saves time.
If you find yourself newly single, you can simply log in and look around at what’s available, like a human buffet.
Better for Introverts
If you are shy, the idea of trying to hook up in the ‘real world’ might scare you to death. If you do so online, you can mitigate these fears. You can choose to find out a lot about an individual long before you might physically meet. This might help put your mind at ease and make you feel more comfortable about the whole idea of dating on the whole.
Online dating isn’t all rainbows and unicorns; there are some negative considerations to be aware of.
Congratulations, you are signed up for a dating app; say hello to the millions of others battling you to get the dates and hook-ups you are after. You might like the look of a particular person on an app, but maybe they don’t like the look of you and have instead opted to check out the competition.
Just because you have an online dating app, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are deluged by offers, and you might find that you are struggling to get yourself seen above the crowd, even with your pitch-perfect profile pic and bio.
Scammers and Time-Wasters
Online dating apps have a fair amount of issues when it comes to bots and scammers, and then there are the real people who are just wasting everyone’s time. You might find yourself scrolling through profiles and notice a dozen people with the same photo, and don’t be surprised if you get catfished.
Paying for Features and Premium Services
That dating app you use may be working perfectly, and you find yourself knee-deep in interested connections, but then don’t be surprised if a premium service option comes along and greatly narrows the market.
Then there are the paid subscriptions you might have to sign up for in order to meet the real grade-A clients.
All in all, the online dating market isn’t going anywhere, and events like worldwide pandemics, which are thankfully rare, only increase the usage of such services.
Now that the industry has widened its market with new apps being created all the time to help cater to any number of niche groups, the idea of online dating will continue to become second nature to most of us, and the undoubted success of the entire sector shows us that society as a whole approves of the moves that have been made in this direction.