Written by Janet Wang
In the last few years, the usage of technology and digital media has sky-rocketed—especially among teenagers. The current adolescent generation has been immersed in a technology-driven culture where social networking apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are prevalent forms of communication. Though those apps enable users to connect with friends and peers, teens have found a new interest in dating apps such as Tinder and MyLOL in order to find significant others. These apps have given teens an outlet for positive and beneficial dating experiences because they allow people to connect from different schools and areas, are more convenient and provide users with compatible matches.
Teens are generally surrounded by the same group of people in school every day. However, with dating apps, they are able to connect with people from a diverse range of schools and areas. The variety of people using dating apps presents users with an opportunity to meet people they would have never met in real life. According to YourTango, 7 percent of
Tinder users are between the ages of 13 and 17. These statistics indicate that in a school of 2000 people, 140 are online and ready to meet their match. Tinder, a dating app based on the user’s location, enables teens to see profiles within a certain range of distance
from them. Apps with location features like this are beneficial since some teens cannot drive, and provide an opportunity to find matches closer to them. Older teens who have access to transportation, however, are also able to contact others who live farther away in different cities or counties.
Additionally, online dating makes it easier for teens to meet other teens without having to physically look for a match. According to NetSanity, more than 9 out of every 10 teens in the U.S. use some form of social media. Because of this, teens often lean towards dating apps to initiate relationships and easily communicate with one another. Instead of rushing a conversation to get as much information about the other person in an afternoon, dating apps allow a relaxed approach because of their chat options. For example, MyLOL, a teen dating website and app, allows teens to chat with other members or privately message someone. This developed social network is both accessible and direct. Furthermore, the app Line serves as a mobile hub for texting, video calling and sharing photos and videos. Not only can teens interact through virtual messaging, apps similar to Line allows for a more personal interaction through face-to-face video chats. Because of instant messaging services in dating apps, the process of scheduling dates is easier and requires less effort and commitment. In the busy balance between school, extracurriculars and social life, teens are able to engage in conversations that are limitless.
Dating apps eliminate one of the biggest concerns people have when meeting someone for the first time—compatibility. Without knowing if there is chemistry or any connection with the other person, an in-person date can be awkward or uncomfortable. According to a survey by StaticGuard, 63 percent of people lie on the first date. However, through online dating apps, people who intend on finding a match are less likely to lie or fake an interest. Profiles are built based on personal interests and hobbies, so users are matched with those who genuinely share the same pastimes. Some may say that dating apps focus on physical attributes, but there are many apps that are specifically designed for particular interests. For instance, OkCupid gathers user information through a set of questions. Then, it matches people based on predicted compatibility levels. If two people find themselves to be well-suited to go out on a date, they already know the background of the other person. Therefore, any fake interest is removed from the dating process.
Because of the increasing social networking trend in teens, dating apps prove to be a valuable and advantageous outlet for connection and romance. Their versatile and accessible features provide teens with an outlet to meet new people, find well matched suitors and enjoy a laid-back dating atmosphere. Even though some may be hesitant because of the potential risks these apps pose, it is vital to remember to take chances in finding that special someone. Some people spend their whole lives trying to find true love, but now, it’s as easy as one right swipe.