From no strings hook ups to marriage proposals; meeting online is quickly becoming a dating norm. Critiques argue itís unsafe and that itís killing traditional romance but in this modern age online dating is an easy way to meet like minded people and filter out the crap.
Iím currently living in Melbourneís northern suburbs with four other people. Last week, was the week of Tinder. Three of us went on dates with people we met through the app. We sat in our terrible excuse for a lounge room and commented on babes we had Ďmatchedí with and funny things we could now write to said babes to impress them.
Feeling a little left out, my not so single housemate downloaded the app so she could cruise the babes also, sighing occasionally she would say ĎI play this like Iím single and itís making me wish I kinda was.í And play you do, itís ridiculously addictive. Every ĎMatchí you get feels like a little personal win bringing you further to finding true love Ė or at least a free dinner.
Tinder has taken online dating by storm. So for those of you who have not heard about this new craze this is a quick rundown: It takes info from your Facebook, and as you scroll through the profiles of other Tinder users, tells you which mutual friends and likes you have. You check out their bio, look at their pics see what you have in common and then swipe left for no and right for yes. When you get a match Ė youíve both swiped each other into the yes box Ė you can start a conversation. Itís generally LGB friendly but only has male and female gender options so could be difficult for trans/Intersex individuals.
Our house isnít an isolated case, as the stigma of online dating falls away more singles are hopping online to search out other singles. Fairfax owned RSVP (a major player in the online scene) recently conducted a study, which suggested 21 to 23 per cent of Australianís have tried online dating. In short: itís a lot, you might even call it a phenomena.
Backtrack through space and time to 1700 AD, the first matrimony service was created, linking single men with possible wives through local papers. And just like every other thing advertised in papers it made the natural progression from print to web. Then new technology happened and instead of trolling dating forums like you would in search of a new bike on eBay, dating online became advanced, reliable and snazzy. It became fun.
I love it. People have said they find it judgmental and a little sad but realistically I donít think itís that different from what we would do in a pub, at church group or knitting club. If you like their vibe you strike up a conversation, potentially leading you to a first date Ė it just happens from the comfort of your living room or during your train ride to work.
And its not just Tinder or OkCupid, there are many niche online dating sites that pair people by race, sexuality and religion. Itís not just for the over 50ís or young hip on the go singles or for old school romantics, itís for everyone. If youíre concerned about safety, take it slow. Skype or call your potential love interest before you met them in the flesh.
Tomorrow night Iím meeting this person for the third time Ė dinner and a movie, which sounds an awful lot like traditional romance to me Ė except if it works out, when people ask how we met I wonít hesitate to answer ĎI swiped yes on Tinder.í