Are dating apps really that bad?

Photo of a iPhone homescreen, focusing on dating apps
Maddie Fruman/Staff

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For most of my life, dating apps have always been an aspect of the “dating world” that, to be completely honest, scared me to death but at the same time intrigued me more than anything else. We all hear the nightmare scenarios: catfishing, bad breath and the horror stories your guardian tells you to make sure you don’t trust strangers and go on a date with them. 

But nonetheless, going to college, where seemingly everyone is experimenting in the world of relationships, the number of people I knew in my life who used dating apps skyrocketed. Not only was this news to me: It completely shocked me. 

How could anyone go on a date without meeting the other person, strictly off of photos and a few texts? What if the other person wasn’t who you thought they were? Or, even worse, what if you don’t meet their expectations? 

All of these questions ran through my head every time a co-worker or friend told me about another Tinder or Hinge date they went on the other day. Eventually, it became something I was worried about, while simultaneously more and more intrigued by. A few months later, many of my friends were celebrating months with their significant others whom they had originally met online, some even from other cities. 

So, growing up hearing only horror stories — and now hearing only the fairy tales — begs the question in my mind: Are dating apps really that bad? 

If you asked me this question a few months ago, I would’ve said yes. Dating apps have a reputation for hookups, and they put a lot of pressure on a person to paint the ideal picture of themselves and then execute this picture perfectly. However, after hearing the good and the bad — and experimenting a bit with dating apps myself — I’ve realized that they are not as bad as they seem. 

Although the success of a dating app does entirely depend on your location, they can help a person put themselves out there and quit overthinking. Dating apps are simple: It either works, or it doesn’t. There is no overcomplication of anything and no worrying about the consequences of the date because there’s an understood “yes” or “no” rule. To many, this makes it so much easier. You get to open up and meet new people without having to worry about seeing the person you went on a date with the next day at work, which, especially in relationships, many of us need. 

So, granted, dating apps aren’t for everyone. They take time to get used to, and sometimes, they hurt more than they help. However, when it comes to the benefits, they ease up on the stress of dating and amp up the excitement of it: something all of us need every once in a while. 

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].