Parkland students share reasons they shy away from dating apps

Photo provided by Prospectus News | The dating application Tinder is opened on a user’s phone. People aged 18–34 make up 79 percent of Tinder’s 50 million users, data from 2015 shows.

Photo provided by Prospectus News | The dating application Tinder is opened on a user’s phone. People aged 18–34 make up 79 percent of Tinder’s 50 million users, data from 2015 shows.

Anna Watson

Staff Writer

Several Parkland students were asked whether they use online dating applications to meet potential suitors and a number of students responded “no” for various reasons.

One student, Patrick Connelly, says he has never used a dating app before because he doesn’t think they’re necessary. 

“I’ve never had a reason to,” Connelly said. “I meet people at school. I find someone who has the same interests as me and I talk to them…I think it is weird to put everything out there.”

Another student, Perri Griffith, says she doesn’t use online dating apps either for similar reasons.

“I never thought about it because of the all the catfishing that goes on out there,” Griffith said.

Catfishing is a term used to describe a situation when a user has created a fictitious persona online to lure someone into a relationship.

Griffith says she has dated men she met through mutual friends or “friends of friends.”

Though Griffith hasn’t personally used dating apps, she says people have reached out to her on social media wanting to date.

“It hasn’t led to anything,” said Griffith about her dating through social media.

There are a variety of online spaces for users to go on, each with differing features. Apps like Hinge connect you with friends of friends. Apps like Tinder allow you to view someone’s profile, consisting of up to six photos and a short “biography” of 500 characters or less, before deciding whether to swipe left or right.

Swiping right on Tinder means you would agree to match with the person, and if they swipe right on your profile then you match with each other. This allows you to message one another in a separate inbox on Tinder. Swiping left means you will not match.

Another app called Bumble works almost identically, though it must be the woman who initiates the messaging.

Tinder and Bumble are both free-to-use services, though they both have bonuses users have to pay for. For instance, Tinder’s paid service Tinder Plus gives users the ability to swipe right on an unlimited number of profiles per day—normally users are limited to 100 every 12 hours, according to Bustle—and “rewind” their most recent swipe.

A subscription costs $42 a month, which for a student like Alex Dani can be problematic.

“I have had zero success on the online dating apps I use, because requires you to pay,” Dani says.

Dani says, though swiping on Tinder is free, he hasn’t had the best luck getting matches. Dani, a music major, says if he were to message a girl online, he would ask them what music they listen to or what hobbies they have.

Another student, Nate Finn, mentioned music is one way he meets people. Finn doesn’t use online dating apps, or social media in general. To meet people, he attends shows of live music bands playing in the area.

“I put myself into social situations to provoke socializing,” Finn said.

His casual way of dating involves going to bars with friends or getting drinks at a restaurant.

Juliana Graham, another Parkland student, has never had to deal with dating online or finding ways to meet suitors because she is engaged. She says she has known her fiancé since they were kids.

Madelyn Peters is another student who says she has been out of the dating game for some time. She is in in a long-term, committed relationship and has never needed online dating apps.

However, Peters says her cousin met her husband on the online dating service Christian Mingle.

“They dated for a year before getting married, but they found they had the same morals and values,” Peters said.

Not all students stay away from online and mobile dating services, though; a CNBC report from 2015 estimates the number of Tinder users as about 50 million, and data from comScore’s Mobile Metrix from the same year shows 79 percent of Tinder’s users are millennials, defined by the report as those aged 18–34.