Swipe right for love

Illustration by JOSTLIN TURNER | The Ranger

By Katie Sparling 

Student Reporter

Dating apps have changed the way people get to know each other. The key is to find if those connections are successful or not. Some Amarillo College students say they have found this technology is indeed a good way to meet people, while others say the opposite. Most students advise people to just put themselves out there and find out if online connection is right for them.  

“You’ll make better connections with people face – to – face instead of online,” Nick Davis, a computer science engineering major, said.  Davis’ dating endeavors were through Bumble, an app founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd. According to their website, Bumble started in 2014 and is commonly known for letting the female users make the first contact. Davis also said he realized “that there are a lot of fake accounts” and to just be careful through the online dating world.

Cierra Bragg, an interior design major, said, “I think there is potential to meet someone with common interests and values and there are also possibilities of making new friendships, however an overwhelming response right away can be off putting.” Bragg, who admits to browsing Bumble and Hinge, said she didn’t think they were successful overall for her. “Both of the apps also withheld information about other potential matches unless you paid, which I found bothersome,” she said. Bragg added that the connections she’s made in person have been more “fruitful and genuine.” 

Other students say they have had positive experiences with online dating. Selena, a nursing major who did not give her last name, said that using Tinder “is a good way to get to know people.” Tinder is the number one dating app with 55 billion matches to date, according to their site. Selena said using the app helped her with “learning how to talk to people, because I’m pretty shy.”  She admits that you should always be careful and watch out for  red flags. 

Autumn Logan, a wildlife biology major, found an app called Monet through TikTok. It’s an app that lets people make first connections through “doodles and you can draw back and forth to each other.” Logan said that she has met some really good friends through Monet and “there are people from all over the world and from different cultures on there.” 

Some AC professors have a unique perspective on how dating apps affect our interpersonal communication. Beth Rodriguez, a psychology professor, said, “Different apps use different things to make matches. Tinder is based on physical attractiveness and what we call the HALO effect.” 

Rodriguez explained that the HALO effect leads people to think that if a prospective date is attractive then they must have other good qualities about them.

Other apps may use “personality tests to match people through common interests and personality traits.” Rodriguez also said that apps have changed the dating world in the way that “it’s less work trying to find single people who want to date because they’re on the app.” The apps make it easier to contact one another for sure, but it’s the matter of a how truthful and genuine the person wants to be online that is a major concern, she said.

Lesley Ingham, Honors Program Coordinator and  interpersonal communication professor, agreed, saying, “Dating apps have greatly changed the dating process, both good and bad.  One recurring theme that I hear and read about is ‘ghosting,’ where an individual decides to no longer participate in the dating process with someone, and rather than give the person any information on why they’re exiting the process, they stop responding to communication,” Ingham said. 

According to the studies of interpersonal communication this is called “disconfirmation.”  Ingham said that disregarding a persons’ value or existence is “the most hurtful act of communication and is, unfortunately, commonplace.” Ingham  added that people should live by the “golden rule,” which means respect, and, even though some situations might be awkward, they should always explain their dating decisions. 

Now, the question still remains, are dating apps good or bad? Well, maybe that depends on an individual’s outlook and goals. Both students and professors say daters should be themselves and be respectful of others.  Put yourself out there if you’re comfortable with it. You be the one to decide.

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