“Dating apps promised a quick fix to the messiness of love,” says Carolina Bandinelli, a professor at the University of Warwick whose research focuses on the digital culture of love. “Their promotional stories were about reducing love to a simple procedure. Dating apps promised love that “works.” But they don’t “work” the way they’re supposed to, and yet they create the expectation of love as an efficient business. Users are frustrated by this.
The fact that young students are choosing to forgo digital connection isn’t as shocking as the study suggests, says Paul Eastwick, a psychologist at UC Davis who specializes in the nature of attraction. “Students are fortunate to be surrounded by many peers of the same age, and their social networks are constantly evolving. Online dating sites and apps will generally be especially useful for people whose networks seem frozen and who don’t have as many opportunities to meet new people through friends of friends,” says- he. “So it makes sense.”
Online dating culture is going continue to evolve, as has been the case over the past decade. Although many young people are opting for a more traditional alternative to apps, while also relying on options such as Documents Meet with me– that hasn’t stopped Gen Z from speaking out about the culture surrounding modern relationships.
Since publication from his 2008 book, Dating: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, Kathleen Bogle, a sociologist at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, says the biggest shift in dating culture has come from women, who have brought more transparency to the dating process. “Platforms like TikTok have created a space for women to upload videos talking about their issues with hookup culture, like not getting what they want relationally, feeling used, double standard and, in some cases, lack of sexual pleasure for women. “, says Bogle. “In previous decades, women might feel this way, but only talked about it with their own circle of friends, not online with thousands of followers.”
Online dating is now a multi-billion dollar industry. From 2016 to 2021, global app subscription prices increased by 81%. Analysts predict that despite market saturation and the current decline in user growth, companies will turn to monetization any way they can, a move that could further spoil what people see as an already poor user experience.
Today’s techlash is a byproduct of the environment that dating apps have contributed to over the past decade. We are gradually moving towards what Bandinelli calls a period of post-romantic love in our digital society, where conveniences such as dating apps help to rewrite “the ethical codes of love with the aim of constructing a notion of love devoid of pain, loss and negative emotions” . In this new notion of love, if it should even be called that, the human experience that characterizes courtship, its ups and downs, is flattened through engineered exchanges.
In our quest to rationalize romantic relationships, we seem to lose everything that makes them worth pursuing. “With new technologies, there is always a period in which it seems to take over what was there before,” Bandinelli says of then and now. “Then there is a counterforce, and people want to recover what seems to have been lost. »