Scroll, Swipe, Satisfied: Online dating enters the app world


Caitlin Smith and Ronnie Exline met on Twitter in 2013. The couple just celebrated their two-year anniversary. 

Endya Watson

From 2005 to present, the online dating scene has hit an all time high, one that Kent State students are in on themselves. 

The Pew Research Center reported in 2005 that 44 percent of people felt online dating was a good way to meet people. In 2013, that number reached 59 percent.

Following the same trend, those that feel online dating is only for “desperate people,” has decreased by 8 percent since 2005.

Research on online dating has been linked to sites such as Match. com and But, in the ever-changing advances of technology, a few Kent State students have found that social media apps are yet another way to find that special someone.

The Online Meeting 

The popular dating app Tinder, reached one billion “swipes” per day in 2014. Junior integrated lan- guage arts major Garrett Pelz, and sophomore pre-human develop- ment family studies major Courtney Ankrum, agree that the app is often downloaded for entertainment. However for them, choosing not to “swipe” sparked something more. 

“I was just on Tinder for fun. I would wake up in the morning and swipe as many times as I could until it said wait 12 hours,” Pelz said. 

Ankrum said she recognized Pelz on Tinder from his fraternity, so she decided to message him. The two kept up constant conversation for five days before deciding to meet in person. 

Caitlin Smith and Ronnie Exline, both senior marketing majors, had a similarly unexpected meeting on Twitter through the KSUCrushes account in 2013. 

The account allowed users to anonymously tweet their crushes on campus in hopes that the crush would notice. 

“Ron sent out a tweet, just a ‘favorite this,’ kind of thing,” Smith explained. “A few weeks later, I got a KSU crush tweeted directly to me, and we started messaging each other the next day.” 

Both couples admit to not have been look- ing for anything serious through Tinder and Twitter, but decided to meet in-person after messaging for one and two weeks respectively.

The Transition

Pelz said after talking to Ankrum nonstop or days, he initiated their first meeting. 

“At first I just didn’t know what to expect,” Pelz said. “But as soon as she got in the car and we started talking like we were texting, I was like ‘okay, this is cool.’”

Smith and Exline, who recently celebrated their two-year anniversary, supplemented their first meeting with a mutual friend.

“I initiated the meeting, but I had a friend of mine come with me,” Exline explained. “I wanted to have him there just to ease things in.”

The Stigma

Websites like Newsweek, Business Insider and Vanity Fair have weighed in on the idea that apps such as Tinder are wrecking romance. And while, as previously men- tioned, there is a more positive view of online dating overall. However, conversation about this method of finding people remains controversial. 

Exline and Smith stand on opposite ends of the pole when it comes to their openness about telling others they met online. 

“It’s a little taboo to me. It’s just an unorthodox way of meeting peo- ple,” Exline said. “Twitter isn’t really considered a dating app, so I haven’t heard of many relationships blossoming from it.”

Conversely, Smith said she usu- ally gets a positive response when telling people where she and Exline met.

“Every time I’ve told someone, they were surprised but thought it was really cute,” Smith said. “I think people are a lot more accept- ing of finding relationships online these days.” 

Ankrum and Pelz said they also feel online dating doesn’t have as much of a stigma, especially among college students. 

“In a college town, it seems like that’s just how a lot of people meet,” Ankrum said. “There are still plenty of people that are judgmental about it, but in general, people accept it.”

Pelz echoed Ankrum’s thoughts, saying people are starting to look to apps and online dating more seriously. 

“People nowadays think there’s just that one slight chance you might have a good conversation and meet someone,” Pelz said. “You just have to give it a shot. If it works out, great, and if not, it isn’t a big deal.” 

The two couples did agree on one thing: No matter if taking a shot at online dating remains weird or taboo, they both are happy to have put themselves out there. 

Endya Watson is a features correspondent for the Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]