In a technology-crazed society, there seems to be an app for everything, including ones to help people find every type of relationship they might desire.
From apps like Tinder and Grindr that feed into the growing “hook-up” culture, to websites like Match.com and Christian Mingle that aim to set up marriages, there is no shortage of online dating options.
There are even sites dedicated to finding farmers and surfers their dream match.
Almost any interest a person has can be matched through a dating app, and yes, that includes trying to find a man taller than 6 feet through Tall Friends.
There are an estimated 2,500 online dating sites in use today, and 40 percent of the U.S. population participates in online matchmaking.
On the surface, apps such as Tinder can just look like a platform where one too many mirror pics results in an endless cycle of first dates that lead nowhere, but for some it is where they find love.
With technology slowly consuming every aspect of a person’s life, meeting someone online may be the best option for a busy college student.
A study conducted in May of 2017 by Statistic Brain shows that 20 percent of committed relationships began online and 17 percent of marriages last year were between couples who met online.
20 percent may seem like a low statistic seeing as there are over 24 million Match.com users and over 25 million Tinder users, but for Natalie Chambers, a freshman majoring in psychology at the University of New Mexico, Tinder introduced her to her current partner.
Chambers said she did not go looking for a relationship on Tinder but nevertheless ended up finding happiness through the popular app.
“I think it’s a bit unorthodox, but the modern world is changing, and the internet is giving us more opportunities to find happiness,” she said.
With happy endings like Chambers’, what gives finding a significant other through an app such a negative reputation?
The shocked reactions couples receive when telling others they met online are often accompanied with hints of, “Oh that’s nice, but I would never meet someone that way.”
Perhaps those reactions can be considered a by-product of the idea that meeting someone online is a cheap way out of the despised “old-fashioned” dating scene that is commonly associated with harsh rejection that older generations could not escape.
Looks are usually the first thing a person notices when deciding if approaching someone is worth the risk of rejection; Tinder just makes that rejection online instead of in person.
If you really think about it, are apps like Tinder doing anything differently than what people do every day, except adding a screen as a degree of separation and a seemingly endless abundance of eligible partners?
The anxiety that comes with deciding how to approach that cute girl or boy that you have had your eye on since the first day of class can now be avoided with a simple swipe.
Having access to a database containing hundreds of eligible, and hopefully single, people in your area is just a new way to judge someone’s dating potential.
Of course there are pros and cons to online dating, just like anything, but Chambers said keeping an open mind and not being afraid to be picky is the key to finding a partner through dating sites.
So before dismissing the idea of finding “the one” online, remember that in a world where people are consumed by work and technology, it could be where your future partner is hiding.
Madison Spratto is a news reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Madi_Spratto. The views presented in this column are her own.