Tinder dominates the dating world, but how does it compare to traditional dating?

For millennials, it is a normal to find significant others on popular dating apps like Tinder. Photo illustration by Kirsten Jackson l The Signal

Online dating services began to pop up with the growing popularity of the Internet, following 1995-created Match.com, which inspired the rapid boom of meet-n-chat websites for couples-to-be.

A 2016 study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 15 percent of Americans use an online service or app to aid in their search for a partner, and 59 percent of adults continue to feel that meeting someone online was “a good way to meet people.” The 18 to 24-year-old age group saw a nearly tripled increase of dating app users from 2013 to 2016.

Karla Moore, an Atlanta-based dating and relationships expert, explained that the reason for this influx is the growing amount of people that remain single into adulthood.

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“According to the 2014 Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 50.2 percent of the population is single. With this many singles, it should not surprise us that technologies have been created to support our biological need to find love.”

Regarding apps like Tinder and Bumble, Moore said the key to avoid disappointment when meeting with another person is making sure to be on the same wavelength.

“An app like Tinder has a reputation of being a hook-up [app],” she said. “This is not an ideal environment for someone that has a serious point of view about being in a committed relationship. In the same breath, a person can meet very suitable singles on Tinder.”

Moore said that, even if someone seems “amazing upon meeting,” when it comes to Tinder, it’s important to remember the reputation of the app and set expectations accordingly.

But for Georgia State student Kathleen Yund, Tinder turned out to serve more than a night of fun. She has been with her boyfriend, whom she met through the app, for over a year.

“I expected nothing out of the app except for a few hours of entertainment. I had no intentions of meeting up with anyone, up until my now boyfriend asked me to hang out,” she said.

Yund said she was hesitant at first about the date, but she ended up having a great time and soon went on more dates with the same person, eventually leading to a great relationship.

“Before the first date, I would have been shocked to think that a Tinder date could lead to all this,” she said.

Yund said that, even though there’s still a stigma about meeting your partner online, she has come to feel less embarrassed about her experience and relationship.

“At first I was embarrassed to admit how we met,” she told The Signal. “I was ready to make up a story about meeting at a party. Over time though, I’ve found that most people don’t think it’s that weird.”

As for those who want to pursue a relationship on such an app, Yund advises to have fun, but to always use caution.

“I would tell people [to] go for it if they really want to,” she said. ”Be careful, because there are a lot of weird people out there, but it can be fun.”

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