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COLUMN: Dating apps are a necessary evil


Growing up I always wanted a fairytale, from the meet-cute to the happily ever after. 

I took pieces from every romance novel I read, romcom I watched and story I heard to make my dream fairytale. 

I imagined meeting a guy at a bookstore or library. We would both grab for the same book on the bookshelf and our hands would touch.

In reality, I'll be lucky if a guy and myself swipe the same way on one another.

Nowadays the only way to meet a significant other is by already knowing one another someway and swiping through Bumble or Tinder. 

During my freshman year, I got so lonely that I downloaded Tinder. In the back of my head the memories of the cautionary tales from "Catfish: The TV Show" haunted me and caused me to delete it two days later. Eventually, my loneliness overpowered my fears and I redownloaded Tinder and got Bumble as well.

Societal norms have made any sort of flirting or showing interest to strangers creepy because it is creepy. 

There is no flirting with the stranger in the grocery store or the cute boy from math class. There is no real way to know who is in a relationship, who wants a relationship, who wants something casual or what someones sexual orientation is just by seeing them.

Dating apps make so many of these issues nonexistent. Some have features where one can specify what type of relationship they want and can even put on filters for the features of a potential partner.

There are definitely still creeps on dating apps but it's one of the only ways to meet someone in this day and age. Dating apps are a necessary evil when trying to meet someone in the current dating world.

In a Pew Research study on dating apps released on Feb. 6, 48% of adults aged 18-29 have ever used a dating app.

I don't want to use dating apps. Actually, I don't know of anyone who wants to, but it's the way of the current dating culture.

A study by ABODO surveyed 3,500 college students who use dating apps. According to the survey, only 4% of the students prefer using dating apps to meet potential dates and 79% prefer to meet in the old fashioned ways, such as mutual interests and friends.

Niche dating apps and sites have been created for people who want to meet people with similar interests and lifestyles, such as FarmersOnly, Christian Mingle and Trump Singles. 

I, and evidently a lot of others, prefer to rely on the biography section of profiles to look for similar interests than using niche dating services.

I find that I don't take dating services seriously enough to use niche sites. 

Although finding a significant other through dating apps is essentially the end goal, I use them for the entertainment aspect more than anything.

The ABODO study shows that a majority of the Tinder and Bumble users use the apps for entertainment.

With so many people using dating apps, regardless of the reasoning, it's practically a necessary course of action for single college students who want a relationship.

Maybe one day my prince charming and I will both swipe right, but until then I'll be swiping through a copious amount of emotionally unavailable guys.