titled Nancy Jo Sales’s article on dating apps “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’” and I thought it again this month when Hinge, another dating app, advertised its relaunch with a site called “thedatingapocalypse.com,” borrowing the phrase from Sales’s article, which apparently caused the company shame and was partially responsible for their effort to become, as they put it, a “relationship app.”Despite the difficulties of modern dating, if there is an imminent apocalypse, I believe it will be spurred by something else.
I don’t believe technology has distracted us from real human connection.
“So it’s almost like the only recourse other than just sort of sitting around waiting for luck to strike is dating apps.”But then, if you get tired of the apps, or have a bad experience on them, it creates this ambivalence—should you stop doing this thing that makes you unhappy or keep trying in the hopes it might yield something someday?
This tension may lead to people walking a middle path—lingering on the apps while not actively using them much.
“I kinda use it now just for entertainment when I’m bored or standing in lines. I noticed a huge shift in my intentions.”Lawal remembers the exact moment it switched for him.
At the end of 2014, he took a road trip with his friend from Birmingham, Alabama to St. “On the way down there, I spent a lot of time on Tinder,” he says.
When the apps were new, people were excited, and actively using them.
Swiping “yes” on someone didn’t inspire the same excited queasiness that asking someone out in person does, but there was a fraction of that feeling when a match or a message popped up.
And while no one is denying the existence of fuckboys, I hear far more complaints from people who are trying to find relationships, or looking to casually date, who just find that it’s not working, or that it’s much harder than they expected.“I think the whole selling point with dating apps is ‘Oh, it’s so easy to find someone,’ and now that I’ve tried it, I’ve realized that’s actually not the case at all,” says my friend Ashley Fetters, a 26-year-old straight woman who is an editor at The easiest way to meet people turns out to be a really labor-intensive and uncertain way of getting relationships.
“We have people in for focus groups all the time, and we do surveys, and since probably like 2014, it seemed like there was this sort of declining satisfaction over time in these services,” he says.
“And I think it’s really hit a low point.”Whenever using a technology makes people unhappy, the question is always: Is it the technology’s fault, or is it ours?
“Every city or every stop the entire way, I would just swipe.” He had no intention of meeting up with these people, since he and his friend were literally just passing through.
And he realized, he says, that “the idea of being one swipe away from a potential mate kind of lowers the meaning of potential interaction.”Hinge, originally, was a swiping app very similar to Tinder except that it only offered you people who were connected to you through Facebook friends.