There’s no denying it: Technology has transformed our lives. If you want to find out more about something, search engines spout out thousands of relevant websites at the click of a button. Social media, in particular, has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with the world. Connect to wifi and you’re away. The likes of chatting to friends from across the world with instant messaging and keeping up-to-date with your favorite celebrities are so simple.
This is all great, for sure. The issue is when you want to meet that special someone. Your love life is important and what’s the guarantee that the attractive bartender down the street is your type, or that your high school crush who you’ve been dreaming about is still single? Matters of the heart require attention and unfortunately, finding love is not usually the movie moment of walking into the nearest coffee shop and locking eyes with a handsome stranger. So, what is the solution to meeting your soulmate?
In truth, it’s not an easy journey. You may have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince or princess. Well, not kiss, but certainly don’t be surprised if you experience a couple of awkward dates. This may seem horrible at the time, but it helps you realize what qualities you really want in your other half.
At least, this was perhaps the case back when technology was not as prevalent. Enter dating apps. First the traditional dating websites, then with the development of apps, came the more mobile form of social networking. The term “social networking” for many brings to mind the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Are they really suited to dating though and meeting new people? The answer is, no. It’s widely accepted that you might want to follow your favorite celebrities, and send your friend requests, to – yes – your already existing friends. However, following someone who you’ve never met and who barely have any information on their Facebook profile; isn’t that odd and borderline stalker behavior?
The social networking we’re referring to here is more social discovery, or dating, apps. Apps like Badoo, the largest social discovery platform, provide the opportunity for you to upload a profile with your photo and a few details about yourself, such as interests and hobbies. This information can then be used to help you connect with new people based on your preferences, not just maintain contact with existing friends like Facebook.
What’s next after creating your profile? In most cases, if you find another profile which appeals, you can swipe their photo and send likes to that person. Hopefully, they’ll react positively to this and you can start messaging. Not only does this provide an initial impression of that person, but it helps to break the ice before the first date. It helps you to relax more when you meet face-to-face because you feel like you already know the other person a little. An extra note regarding dating apps and sites is that you can filter preferences based on region. You don’t want to experience the agonizing feeling of meeting someone, in college say, only to find out you’re from states on opposite coastlines. Long distance is not easy.
What’s more, using online dating avoids any awkwardness in the love department. If, after a few texts have been exchanged, you decide that particular person is not for you, there’s no pressure. You simply can choose not to meet them. If you started chatting with someone at the bar, for instance, it would seem rude to get up and leave halfway through the conversation, even if you can say with absolute certainty that they are not the one for you. You’d be stuck in an uncomfortable situation, when you could be doing better things with your time. Let’s face it, part of being in a relationship is about honesty, not just in relation to your partner, but also by being true to yourself. Sometimes, you could meet someone online who you get on really well with, but you both know it’s not going to turn into a romantic relationship. Nevertheless, you may well find that using a social discovery could not only lead to dating, but also the development of a friendship. It’s clear to see, in this case, why companies prefer describing some apps as social discovery rather than dating.
Of course, though, like any first date, it’s a good idea to organize a short, informal encounter, such as just grabbing a coffee and having a light lunch break. A big formal dinner can be nerve-wracking in itself, even more so when it’s the first date, and there’s bound to be a few uncomfortable silences as you decide where next to take the conversation. Doing something casual takes the pressure off and is easier to navigate.
It’s safe to say we have now established the dating and social discovery app process, from signing up to getting to the first date. However, what is really the big deal with these apps, especially as traditional websites aimed at dating have been around for a few years? The impressive thing about these online dating apps, which have recently come into the world of finding love, is that they have held their own against what a lot of people would think of as social media. Sure, while the stereotypes of the term “social media” are potentially still the likes of Facebook and Twitter, dating and social discovery apps have taken up their own corner of the technology world and are standing their ground. This is an achievement, not just in terms of providing genuine competition to the big names in social media, but also because the internet only started being widely used in the 1990s.
With all of this in mind, will online dating be your next move in the quest to find that special someone? Having the ability to choose the people you meet and find people with the same interests as you, you never know, you may have just met the love of your life.