Millenial Think: The Dangers of Dating Online

Steven Verdile, Design Editor

Swipe left, swipe right, swipe left, swipe left, double tap, swipe left, swipe right, swipe left… it sounds like the cheat code to a 90s video game. In actuality, the repetitive finger gesture might just lead you to your future valentine.

College students across the country have been using mobile dating apps for years to find casual sex, brief flings and sometimes even serious relationships, revolutionizing how dating exists on a university campus.

Apps like Tinder and Bumble turn the complex process of finding a compatible mate into what is essentially a calculator mini-game.

In a matter of minutes, a student can reject or accept hundreds of potential matches. To make it even more convenient, the apps use your GPS location to show you matches that are never more than a short bike ride away.

While there is a lot of appeal to the instantly gratifying and stress-free carnival of mobile dating, there are a few hazards to be aware of.

The repetitive appearance-based “yes and no” decisions can easily distort the users’ personal values, and force them into a relatively superficial mindset.

It’s also often an activity that favors the photogenic, and can leave some users with a substantial blow to their self-esteem. In addition, it can lead to unwanted outcomes, including cyber bullying, sexual health risks and potentially dangerous private encounters.

If students are aware of what they’re getting into, mobile dating may be a great option for them.

If you prefer meeting new people while you’re lying in bed in your pajamas—or in any other stress-free environment—dating apps offer possibilities that the “real world” can’t mimic.

If you’re a numbers person, you’ll also realize that these apps are incredibly time-efficient, and offer a near unlimited count of potential local matches within seconds, and for free.

If the opportunity seems enticing, I encourage you to go for it. There is no shame in trying, and these apps would not be so popular if they didn’t work.

Once you’re mindful of the gambles, go on a swiping spree and decide if the fast-pace-digital dating world is right for you. Love could be right at your fingertips.