Dating apps make dating culture too casual

Due to the widespread use of social media, college students now have an unreasonably permissive and casual dating culture

College students have grown used to dating applications such as Tinder and Bumble. In today’s environment, it can be difficult to tell whether someone likes you for who you are in real life, or if they are only interested in your online persona.

Most likely you have experienced the circumstance where you meet someone in person or online and you immediately click. You swap numbers over the phone or, more frequently, add each other on Snapchat. You gradually work up to social rewards such as having a Snapchat streak, where the app will keep track of how many days in a row the two of you send a picture or a snap to each other. They may even have a pink heart next to their name, which signals that this is the person you talk to most often and you have been each other’s best friend for more than a few weeks. Things appear to be going well.

You spend time in person, but you spend most of your time communicating through messaging on various social networking platforms. Over time, you begin to communicate less and less with the person online. They may respond slower than usual or open your message without responding. Seeing the friend respond slower, or seeing that “streak” disappear may make you feel a bit uneasy. You start to reflect on your entire relationship and ask, “Where did I go wrong?”

Many students on campus relate to the above scenario.

Is this a healthy way to begin a new relationship? Is basing your self worth on your significant other liking your most recent Instagram photo good for your emotional health? Is it heathy to believe that they don’t care about you because they didn’t mention you online on Valentine’s Day? I believe the answer is a resounding no. If you live your life craving the validation of someone you just met on the internet, I do not believe this is a healthy way for you and the other person to live.

Anyone can set aside a few minutes to text, send a Snapchat reply or post something on social media. There is no connection between how much my partner values and loves me and how much she enjoys my selfies or amusing tweets. If you believe relationships can be rated on that scale, you may want to reconsider your perspective.

Does this make you feel content? When your crush or significant other loves your photos, or the cute Tinder match you’ve been talking with for a while invites you out on a date, there will undoubtedly be feelings of immediate fulfillment, but does that really fill you with happiness?

In my personal experience, any kind of friendship I’ve forged online has not endured until I really interacted with people in person. Now, this isn’t always the case, and many individuals have found their true love online. Additionally, many college students are only seeking a brief fling, but for those who are out to find something more serious, these apps and the new normality of dating might be harder for them.

Everyone’s dating preferences are different. But for me, emotionless hookups, casual discussions and Snapchat messages don’t make me feel fulfilled. While the world of internet dating can introduce you to people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, there is really nothing that compares to making strong, platonic or romantic connections with people you meet in person.

I have had my share of experiences on different apps, but I can say that all of my past relationships grew into something more when we met in person.