By Eva Weber
Sitting down to breakfast after a long practice, the Simmons College crew team was abuzz with the news: sophomore Jillayne Adamyk was going on yet another date. With comments like “Where do you keep finding all these people?” and “That’s like the third date this week!” the team was curious to find out Jillayne’s secret to success.
“I’m going on a Tinder date,” said Adamyk.
In a society that is becoming more and more influenced by technology, many young people are shifting toward online dating. “We use our smart phones for everything else, why not use it to find a date?” Boston College junior Sean Fanning said.
According to Statistics Brain, a website designed to pull statistical information from reliable sources such as the Washington Post, and Herald News, the number of people who are currently in committed relationships who met online is 20 percent.
And that number is rising.
Dating sites and apps are cropping up across the country making it easier for people to hop on the on-line dating bandwagon. Where there were once only a few sites, like Match.com or Eharmony, websites are becoming more specific and apps are becoming more user friendly.
Have a gluten allergy? Try glutenfreesingles.com. “Love long & prosper” is the tagline at Trek Passions, a personals site for those who love Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science fiction. Farmersonly.com writes “Fans of blue skies, wide open spaces [and] raising animals are welcome. If you prefer four dollar cups of coffee, taxi cabs, and getting ahead at all costs in the corporate world, the site is not for you.” The list goes on and on.
So why is online dating becoming more popular?
“I think it’s becoming a lot less taboo,” said Jean-Yves, a 23-year-old Tinder user. “I find that it is helpful for people who may not be as outgoing or doesn’t meet people in their regular life. And as you grow older, it does become harder to meet people unless you are very outgoing. I use Tinder because I’m not very outgoing, and I’m new to the area.”
“In my dorm, three out of four of my roommates have had boyfriends through online dating…you can meet some cool people and have it work out,” said Adamyk.
Part of the reason it’s spreading so quickly may be due to online dating success rate. All of the people interviewed for this piece said they decided to try online dating because they knew someone else who had success in finding a partner.
Through the use of smart phone apps, online dating has also become much easier for users. Many of the men interviewed on Tinder said their main reason for using the app was the ease with which it can be used. Alvero, a student at Suffolk law school wrote “I chose Tinder over the other dating sights because it’s so simple and easy for me as a person who is constantly busy.”
Adamyk had a somewhat different take. “I use it because I want to meet guys in my area in a casual fun way,” she said. “I haven’t tried other sites, but from my impression, anyone can message you and the profiles are more thorough so it’s less private.”
Abby Sullivan, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, said “I think more people use online dating because it’s an easy way to connect with people. On okcupid, you don’t have to work up the nerve to approach someone like you would have to in real life.”
Although the use of online dating is becoming more prevalent, there are still those who are unsure of this new trend. Take Rachel Chenard, for example, a sophomore at Simmons.
“I have mixed emotions,” said Chenard. “On one hand it’s great that people can meet one another so easily. But honestly, I feel like the challenge and spontaneity of finding someone in the real world is so much more genuine and rewarding. Call me a romantic, but it seems unnatural. I can’t imagine that someone who I met online, that I never would have met otherwise is actually the person that I’m meant to be with.”
Christian, a 21-year-old Tinder user said. “The only reason I’m not a 100 percent advocate [for on-line dating] is that it instills a shopping mentality for a lot of people and they tend to keep looking and looking even when they’re entertaining perfectly worthwhile options already, it almost fosters this nagging notion in the back of your head that you’re always one click away from someone who’ll be absolutely perfect.”
“I don’t really think it’s becoming less taboo,” said Sullivan. “People think it’s weird I met Michael [her boyfriend of almost a year now] on okcupid. A lot of people thought it was really dangerous for me to use that site.”
For some, putting yourself out there will always be the only way to meet a significant other. With the way things are going, it seems that this is becoming less and less likely.
“Most people still want to find someone the traditional way, but what’s traditional these days?” said Nafeesa Connolly.