Students find love, friendship by swiping right

Ashley Miller and her boyfriend Nicholas Truesdale whom she met on Bumble.

Maria McGinnis

Tinder matches people left and right every day since its launch in 2012 as the first swipe dating app. Tinder has accumulated 57 million active swipers worldwide, according to research conducted by the BBC.

After Tinder’s success, several other apps launched in an attempt to compete with the original “swipe to like” format, the most notable of those competitors being Bumble.

Bumble uses a swipe left or right system, a similar setup to Tinder. The key difference between the two apps is for any interaction to take place on Bumble, it must be initiated by the female.

Freshman journalism major Ashley Miller used Bumble to meet her current boyfriend. She said the app is nicer to use because the female has the say.

“Bumble has three different settings,” Miller said. “There’s a dating setting, a friend setting and a business setting. So, everyone can swipe on whoever they want, but if you do get a match, the male can’t message the female until she says something first.”

Despite the subtle differences among these prominent dating apps, they all have one thing in common — convenience.

Taylor Speigal, a freshman early childhood education major, has experience with Tinder and Bumble, and credits their appeal to being so easy to use.

“Yeah, being in college you have classes and you might meet people on campus, but it’s a lot easier to meet people online,” Speigal said. “Plus, in this day and age, everyone is online anyways so it’s a lot easier.”

Junior digital media production major Kaitlyn Oatridge also met her current boyfriend by swiping right on Tinder.

It’s hard to meet people who go to Kent because no one really talks to each other anymore, Oatridge said. She said the disconnection could be due to Kent State’s large population of students.

“It’s nice to have the connection and see immediately who’s looking and what they’re interested in,” Oatridge said. “I get why people don’t use (dating apps) though. I would’ve liked to meet somebody in person because, ‘I met them on Tinder’ isn’t a great love story.”

The Pew Research Center found that since these apps have become more popular, 59 percent of adults think online dating is a good way to meet people.

“You can meet some bad people on there, but I’m currently with someone I met on Tinder,” Oatridge said. “We live together, and we’ve been together two years.”

Studies say meeting people online may help eliminate awkward encounters and make it easier to connect. People can only talk through Tinder if both parties have swiped right.

“When you’re online, there’s no shyness about introducing yourself. But in person, sometimes it’s hard to go up to someone,” Speigal said. “If dating apps weren’t around, I feel like people wouldn’t have that much of a problem, because there was one time when dating apps weren’t around and people still met.”

Although talking to someone online seems to be easier than talking in person, some conversations need to evolve into in-person conversations to keep a connection.

Oatridge said although she dated through Tinder before, her first date with her current boyfriend was still very awkward.

“I didn’t even know if I wanted a second date after that because I barely knew him. But after the first couple of dates, it was okay,” Oatridge said. “It can be scary at first, and I would make sure you’re not alone (when meeting up for the first time).”

It’s important to keep safety in mind when meeting Tinder or Bumble matches for the first time, according to USA Today.

“You should be yourself and shouldn’t try to be someone else,” Oatridge said. “You should always be safe about it. Tell people where you are and don’t be too trustworthy.”

According to research conducted by Statista, 35 percent of Tinder’s users range from ages 18 to 24, making a big part of its audience college-aged adults.

“When I got on Tinder, I assumed most people just wanted hookups, and that was pretty true, especially for this age group,” Speigal said. “I think they’re just not ready nor want to commit to something. So, since Tinder has gotten this reputation of being a hookup place, that’s where they go.”

Success rates on dating apps vary widely among users. Tinder generates two billion swipes per day and approximately one million dates per week, according to data collected by the company.

“I definitely think if you’re looking for a relationship, you should give dating apps a try,” Speigal said. “It’s not that bad, and even if you don’t get a relationship, you can make friends on there too.”

Maria covers technology. Contact her at [email protected].