Match-made in media

Online dating sites and apps are being more widely used and accepted amongst all different age groups.

By Mikayla Foss, Staff Writer

BROMANCE - Alvin Cuadra, undecided major, shares funny video from a social media website with friend Adrian Arenas, business administration major, during their photography class.Maya Kay / Photographer

BROMANCE – Alvin Cuadra, undecided major, shares funny video from a social media website with friend Adrian Arenas, business administration major, during their photography class.

College students have been swiping a little extra lately — not their credit cards.

Tinder, an online dating app that puts a spin on the old “hot or not” game by having users swipe right if they’re interested and left if they’re not, has gained popularity amongst individuals searching for potential partners, friends, or hookups.

After being created by USC alumni and co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen in September 2012, the app now sees more than 850 million swipes and more than 10 million matches every single day according to Tinder’s blog.

The app works by connecting user’s profiles with their Facebook accounts and using a GPS to show the user nearby potential matches. If both users “swipe right” on each other’s pictures, than a match is created and the users may proceed to message each other. This way, a mutual interest is needed for a conversation to begin, and the fear of rejection is avoided.

A study released by the Pew Research Center shows that American’s social stigmas towards online dating are slowly decreasing as the amount of online daters are increasing. The report, based on a telephone survey of 2,252 adults age 18 or older, found that 38% of those who say they are “single and looking” have used dating sites or mobile apps to meet potential partners.

The Pew Research Center also revealed that, “59% of internet users agree with the statement that, ‘online dating is a good way to meet people,’ a 15-point increase from the 44% who said so in 2005.”

“Because generations of younger people are very comfortable using technology and have already put a lot of their own personal information online, it only makes sense that they continue to use technology (to meet people),” Jessica Carbino, a UCLA graduate student in sociology, told the Daily Bruin.

College students aren’t the only ones using online dating tools to meet people. Hillary Duff and Eric Stonestreet have recently announced that they too have Tinder profiles.

“I’ve always met people through work and I have never been on a blind date. What’s the worst that could happen?” Duff said in a video interview with ABC News. She also went on to describe what she looks for in a potential match. “I think the first thing is obviously looks, which sounds super vain, but that is what you first go for: natural chemistry. Also what they say in their profile has to be funny. I don’t want to see a shirtless mirror selfie. That is instantly a left. Someone who looks like they like to do fun things and someone who can make you laugh in their profile.”

Besides Tinder, there are a multitude of other online dating sites that people are using to aid their love lives. The website eHarmony, who’s slogan is “when you’re ready to find the love of your life,” was launched in August 2000, and now provides service to millions of singles. Match.com, OkCupid, Zoosk, and Christian Mingle are just a few of the growing sites.

“I used eHarmony for about a week and I talked to 10 different guys and met two of them in person. One of them was very sweet and we bonded really well…The other was a nightmare,” shared Valley College student Kelley Biggs.

Other’s have had great success off of sites like these, including Valley College Sociology professor Dr. Sally Raskoff’s daughter, who is now married to someone she met on eHarmony.

Despite her daughter’s success, Dr. Raskoff shared that she is “not on one side of the fence or the other” regarding online dating sites and apps due to the potential negative long term affects on human’s social behaviors.

“We’re detaching ourselves from human interaction, to find human interaction… When you meet somebody you either like them or don’t like them, or you like their smell or you don’t like their smell. There’s all sorts of things we don’t understand the depth of that you can’t do through internet means. And the more we detach ourselves from other people, especially in the quest to find someone, it’s causing issues because it’s a mismatch between what we want and what we’re going to get.”

Whether your next date is an online match-up or an in-person meeting, you can count on not being alone in your quest for new relationships. As Duff said, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Your thoughts?