Have Dating Apps Ruined Modern Dating?

Omar Zahran
8 min readMar 28, 2022

Endless swiping has taken its toll on the way we view each other and relationships as a whole

The dating world has always been somewhat of a minefield. For decades, single men and women have been searching for the best way to find their romantic happiness. From blind dates to speed dating, we have tried a myriad of methods to find love. These methods have continuously changed and adapted with technologies that have been present. The advent of email and the internet in the late 1990s brought about the dawn of online dating. And as the smartphone has become the most used computer in our lives, dating has evolved with it. It is nearly impossible these days to find a single person that doesn’t have a dating app like Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge installed. These apps boast compatibility algorithms with the promise of finding “the one” for everyone. But in a world that is constantly changing and a mobile landscape more and more focused on ad and subscription revenue, have dating apps ruined dating?

The Game Within the Game

Years ago, a friend of mine was single and he was using the dating app Tinder to meet women he commented on his usage of the app which has always stuck with me. One Friday night I asked him what he was doing and he replied: “oh not too much, might watch this movie and play Tinder for a bit”. The term “play Tinder” was an interesting one to me as it insinuated that a dating app was simply a game that you played absentmindedly on your phone, similar to Candy Crush or Angry Birds.

The gaming aspect of dating apps comes from the way that apps like Tinder are based on a hot or not sort of model. Swipe left for no and swipe right for yes. This simple mechanism as opposed to reading descriptive profiles on websites like Match or eHarmony was an easier and more palatable way to experience dating and is what made Tinder so popular when it first hit the mobile app stores. As a result, nearly every dating app has resorted to using this model for their apps and websites. In many ways, it has devalued the way that many view online dating. Instead of looking for the right profile to message it has become…