By The Editorial Board
How many times have you heard someone say they’d be willing to try dating apps but don’t want anyone they know to see them on there? There’s an incredible stigma around apps like Bumble, Hinge and (especially) Tinder that drives people away from using them — or worse, hiding it. Dating apps are and should be an acceptable form of building relationships.
In today’s modern world, dating has adapted to allow faster communication and more connections. It’s not embarrassing to want to meet new people, so why not utilize the technology to do so? This isn’t a new trend either, as the rise in popularity of social media has encouraged the use of meeting people online since the days of Myspace. Now, your experience may not be a reiteration of “You’ve Got Mail,” but you shouldn’t be scared or ashamed of how you’re meeting people.
There is some hesitation to the stigma, however. Dating apps can be misleading. Without caution, meeting up with strangers from the internet can be dangerous. Be smart and ask a few questions, or even have a few conversations, before deciding to meet up in person. Even though many apps now have a photo verification process and safety resources, your brain decided to download the app, so let it choose the appropriate safety measures to take too.
In addition, dating apps, similar to social media, have an addictive nature and can quickly become impersonal and lead to hookup culture. This choice, however, is ultimately up to the user. This is the kind of situation where you find what you look for — if you’re looking for genuine relationships, you will find them. Although you may just be browsing on the app, don’t add to the hysteria of dating app mishaps.
So what if someone you know sees you on the app? All that means is they are on there too. We connect on Instagram and Twitter, so why not connect on another app where it’s clear that there’s potential for romantic interest? There’s no difference between meeting a stranger on an app and randomly being at the same party as them the next weekend.
The internet is now a legitimate way of meeting new people and starting relationships, and it should be treated as such. There’s no shame in the dating game, and at the end of the day, if there’s a chance you could meet the love of your life there, wouldn’t you want to try it?