Love them or hate them, dating apps have become an integral part of our daily lives. Since the early 2010s, apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble have become singles’ first stop when trying to find a romantic partner.
And if you’re a user of any of the aforementioned apps or just fascinated by the state of play in this ever-growing industry, keep reading to see how we predict online dating trends today. ‘coming.
Are they effective? What are the challenges?
Although this question is to some extent “unanswered”, it should be mentioned that despite a small research paper who polled adults asking about their experiences on dating apps saying it was “mostly positive,” the very concept of meeting someone via pixels on a screen presents its own unique challenges.
Security is of course a major concern due to the inevitable fact that the person on the other end of the phone could literally be anybody.
This disproportionately affects women more than men in this regard and many horror stories such as the one linked above tell us that this industry has a long way to go to ensure that dating app users are completely safe.
From a more societal perspective, research also shows us the detrimental effect of smartphone use in general on our mental health and our ability to interact with our fellow human beings.
The sad truth is that unless you want your relationship to be purely virtual, at some point you’ll have to hang up the phone and find the best place to meet someone on that very first date.
Finally, despite its convenience and ease of use, online dating has had a detrimental impact on people seeking love for these same reasons.
The abundance of choice and ease of use means we no longer ‘risk’ meeting a potential partner because we are so spoiled for choice that we think something better is coming soon.
Steps should be taken to help users live more in the moment and be more open to dating different people rather than waiting forever for the dream man or woman to show up.
So what does the future hold for us?
There is a lot of literature on this subject, but given the main challenges we just described in the previous paragraph, here is a list of features/additions you may see on dating apps in the near future:
· Voice samples – Grace posits that the sound of voice is the key to whether or not you find them appealing and many apps are already taking this line of thinking and working with it by adding voice elements to their user experience.
· No more virtual “first dates” – the option to “video chat” with a match is a pretty standard feature on most dating apps in 2022, but an article from the list predicts that this will actually be daters’ preferred modus operandi when deciding “where” to go on a first date.
Surely this has been accelerated by the recent covid pandemic and the growing popularity of virtual reality technology can be used to help improve this experience in the future.
· More options for the LGBT community – Again, Grazia in the same article remarks that many mainstream dating apps are primarily aimed at helping heterosexual people find love, and love is ultimately “love,” separate apps for appealing to these sub-demographics can improve the experience for a wider range of users with different needs.
· Increased security features – Apps such as Tinder now have a ’emergency button’ and for very good reason, extra pressure will be put on dating app developers to make sure the user experience is as safe as possible.