The computer first played matchmaker in the late 1950s. Data would have been fed into the system, and after some data crunching, it would spit out a match based on common interests. Today’s dating sites, such as eHarmony.com, PlentyOfFish, and Match.com are reminiscent of the earliest days of online dating - they rely on algorithms to pair potential matches based on shared interests. With the advent of mobile dating apps such as Tinder, of which I will examine in-depth in my paper, the ability for geo-location, which allows users to “see” other users that are nearby their location, has opened new doors. No longer do users have to rely on pre-determined computer algorithms to find potential suitors. Now, if they find another user within their radius all they have to do is swipe right. If the user they are interested in swipes right as well they are matched and can start messaging each other instantly.
Tinder has become a cultural phenomenon with today’s young adults. Although some critics of Tinder slam it as superficial and view it strictly as a hook-up platform, it is much more. In today’s increasingly interconnected society, Tinder caters to young millennials by fulfilling their desires of finding people outside of their social circles for dating. According to the Pew Research Center, there are more singles under the age of 25 than ever before. Online dating apps have transformed the way young adults under 25 seek out relationships with one another, as an estimated one-in-five 18 to 24 year olds (22%) reported using online dating apps versus only 5% 2 in 2013.1 Tinder is packaged in an easy-to-use platform with a shiny bow on top that satisfies instant gratification with the ability to sift through tens upon tens, even hundreds of potential dating prospects.
Kao, Anthony, "Tinder: True Love or a Nightmare?" (2016). Pop Culture Intersections. 16.