The world of dating and romance has evolved. When analyzing the influence of dating apps, Forbes Health found that 45% of participants in a study said they use dating apps to find dates. However, in recent years, students are believed to be neglecting these apps due to a lack of appeal.
The first dating website, Match.com, was launched in 1995. Dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Grindr and Bumble followed years later, creating relationship standards and expectations different from generations before.
According to Psychology Today, "Hookup culture, characterized by casual, commitment-free sexual encounters, stands on the three-pillar foundation of dating apps, social media and changing attitudes toward intimacy."
The article discussed the impact dating apps have had on people's views of intimacy. Although these apps may be accessible and convenient, they create "superficial connections."
Anna Hinkle, a junior studying marketing, is a Bumble ambassador and discussed her views on dating apps.
"I've always said this when I was single, (but) I would never use a dating app," said Hinkle. "I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like it has this negative connotation around it, like, 'Oh they are just for hooking up.'"
Hinkle's perspective reflects the media's influence on hookup culture and its impact on views surrounding intimacy and relationships.
According to The American Psychological Association, "The media suggest that uncommitted sex, or hookups, can be both physically and emotionally enjoyable and occur without 'strings.'"
The article further discussed the portrayal of hookup culture in TV shows, movies, music and books. According to recent data, "Between 60% and 80% of North American college students have had some sort of hook-up experience."
In more recent years, dating apps have been avoided by students due to the assumption that they are unsafe. In an article by Pew Research Center, a study showed Americans' views on the safety of dating apps, resulting in about 49% saying they are unsafe and no longer a good way to meet people.
X Madorma, a freshman studying pre-law political science, shared their opinions on specific dating apps and their safety.
"Grindr (is) not a safe space," Madorma said. "They do not do enough to verify your age; I have tested the system many times."
Madorma also said they feel safer on other apps, such as Hinge, due to the voice memo feature, which allows users to hear the voices of people they match with.
Despite dating apps losing appeal, students still use them for fun while remaining aware of who they are talking to and staying safe.
"I think they've lost their appeal to find actual dates," said Sarah Dorn, a freshman studying international studies and sociology criminology. "The fun factor has not changed at all. It's gotten more fun because a lot of people are more goofy as they don't expect as much sometimes."
Finn Dickey, a freshman studying English and creative writing, also discussed his views on the safety of dating apps, comparing them to other social media platforms.
"All social media has the potential to be dangerous," said Dickey. "I don't think it's super unsafe, and you shouldn't do it."
Dating apps can also provide ways for students to stay connected on campus. Erin Bishop, a junior studying media and social change, is a Bumble ambassador who talked about how dating apps can be useful for new students.
"I think dating apps are a great way, even if you don't really want to date someone, to see people on your campus," said Bishop. "I feel like it's less of dating and looking for a boyfriend and more of looking to see who's out there and chat with people."