Hook-up Culture

Love or Toxic? Graphic
Graphic by Amanda Bollig.

The Toxic Tales of Tinder and Bumble.

Online dating is an open-ended phrase that can mean anything from dating apps like Tinder and Bumble or websites like Match or eHarmony. Young adults are becoming more and more active on services like these. 

“Online, everyone is looking for a relationship, whereas in a natural setting a lot of people are in a relationship,” said Mason Gee, a first-year engineering major at Kirkwood Community College. According to Pew Research, young adults ages 18 to 24 have doubled their activity on dating apps from 10 percent to 27 percent since 2013. 

“I think younger people use online dating sites more for hook-ups and older people use it more for relationships, but both are not exclusive,” said Gee. 

Online dating can result in a long term relationship, though. “I know people who have used apps and are in successful, long-term relationships. Certain apps are more for long-term [relationships], others for short-term,” said Gee. 

Still, some prefer to meet in a more traditional way. “People should try actually dating instead of insisting on getting Snapchats for nudes or using dating apps to hook-up. Relationships that have substance are good for mental health,” said Alexia Stevens, a first-year physics major at Kirkwood. 

Despite the popularity, there are drawbacks. One of the biggest may be the idea of hook-up culture. Stevens touched on it, stating that those who are active on dating apps aren’t in the market for a real relationship but rather sex.  

Gee echoes the concept of hook-up culture.  “I have had friends who were more than just friends without ‘dating’ per se,” said Gee.  

Each app has a different manner of operation. Tinder uses swipes or ‘super likes’ to indicate interest while Bumble allows the woman to message first. These differences are meant to encourage better interactions among the users. 

“I like Bumble because its setup is female-centered,” said Stevens. She said her worst experience “was with how, on Tinder, every guy I matched with asked for nudes.”

Stevens said she sees the benefits of online dating but not necessarily for herself. “Apps allow you to kind of see if you have anything in common,” said Stevens.

Image courtesy of Amanda Bollig

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