Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by Markeyus Franks
Nowadays, many options are available to people when it comes to dating. It’s the digital age where things have become quite convenient for everyone, but something seems to be missing because many people still have a hard time connecting in person. This poses a question; what other options are available for single daters. Today we touch on if online dating worth it and can people use technology to build meaningful relationships.
People who want to date are curious to know whether the online route, as compared to meeting someone in person, is an appropriate way to date or have someone to spend the rest of the life with.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online And Offline Dating
Though all experts may not have the same opinion, it has been observed that traditional match-makers also rely on social media and online options as part of their business model. This indicates that there is no definite approach. There is no one size fits all concept. The reason, perhaps, is every individual has a different relationship objective. After all, while some look for long term relations, some might be looking for just a hook up.
Just like the way it is possible to find a job online through either a message board or a job site, it is possible to find love online through varies apps. The benefit of online meeting is that people don’t have to meet in person initially, they can get to know each other online first which softens up the initial experience. After meeting online, then subsequent dates can be set in person.
According to experts, for best results, its best to do online dating first then transition to meeting in person. If done correctly, online dating can get a person on the ground to meet another person face to face. Many online sites arrange special events for their online daters to meet each other. Those who prefer to stay away from a computer, smart phone, and the Internet might lose a good opportunity to change their relationship status.
Advantages of Online Dating:
According to several studies, more than 40 million American singles have tried out the online dating option at least once. As per another study, one out of every five relationships (on average) happens online. It happens mostly on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or other mobile apps. Even the dating sites have led to a lot of good connections.
People can get in touch with others outside the geographic area and with people within the same social circle or share similar interests. There is also good scope to learn more about what people look for in a date, partner, or relationship. Another big advantage of online dating is the availability. It is quite efficient and is available 24 x 7.
Many dating sites have matching tools and send across email notifications to suggest probable matches. As a result, it becomes easy to keep an eye on potential dates.
Advantages of Offline Dating:
It is possible to find common friends that can help increase the comfort level. There is a lot of scope in offline dating to check whether there can be good chemistry between two people soon. The concept is quite close to pre-dating. There is no pressure or any need to think if the date of the profile is accurate.
It is possible to date in groups easily. There is ample scope to get introduced to new friends as well as with people having similar interests. There are far more choices to get in touch with people face to face without any obligation.
Disadvantages of Online Dating:
The digital platforms are often too crowded. There are often moments when the experience might be an exhausting one. There is a high possibility that the details of the individual may not be fully accurate. People bluff about their details like age, income, marital status, body type, and gender. Post a few bad experiences; there are often situations when users get frustrated with online dating.
For a few, online dating can be an addiction. It is true for those who never want to come face to face and are always looking for a new face to flirt around. Therefore, one has to be careful of the digital pen-pan syndrome. At times, it may feel like full-time work, so people need to be well organized. Many individuals limit their searches and preferences to height, income, region and may let go of a good opportunity to contact a compatible partner.
Several studies point to the fact that the diverse and/or separation rate is way higher among couples who have paired up through the online route
Disadvantages of Offline Dating:
It is difficult to be sure of the relationship status. People are limited to existing social circles. The same holds for most regular activities. Also, the scope is less to get in touch with new people. There is a possibility that people may feel shy and may not speak freely, like asking for a date. People remain confined to a limited geographical area. Also, it becomes difficult to figure out if the other person is romantically involved or not.
Are The Dating Apps Safe
Most people entrust dating apps with confidential information. The question is, how carefully are such innermost secrets handled. Whether it’s for a life-long relationship or a one-night stand, looking for a love destiny online has been common for quite some time now.
To find an ideal partner, the users of such applications are more than eager to share details like their name, address, occupation, area of interests, and many more. It must be noted that most dating apps are privy to personal aspects. It includes occasional nude pictures as well as how carefully the apps handle data.
The main threats that dating app users are prone to happen to be the following:
Who Are You:
Research reveals that dating apps allow criminals to find out who might be hiding behind a nickname based on self-declared information. For example, a few apps allow anyone to know about the other person’s study details or occupational address. Based on this information, it is possible to know more about the person’s virtual footprint and even discover actual names. Therefore, it is possible to find out quite a bit about someone with just a little effort. If someone intercepts traffic using a personal device, it is not a surprise that the email address may be visible to others.
Where Are You:
If someone wants to know where a person is, dating apps can always extend a helping hand. However, there are a few apps that keep such information under lock and key. In the case of a few apps, even the distance between two people interested in each other is indicated. Such data can easily reveal the exact location of an individual. Some apps show such information accurately down to just a few meters, making it easy to track. Even the number of times two people may have crossed each other is revealed.
Unprotected Transfer Of Data:
Most of the dating apps transfer data over SSL encrypted channel. However, there are exceptions. The analytics module of Android does not encrypt data related to the serial number and model of the device. The iOS version connects to the server over HTTP. Hence, the data transfer takes place unprotected or unencrypted, including the messages. Such data can not only be viewed but can also be modified. Therefore, a third party can modify a non-financial request into a request for money.
In the case of iOS, photos are uploaded through HTTP. It allows attackers to know which profiles someone might be searching.
MITM (Man In The Middle) Attack:
Most of the dating app servers use HTTPS protocol. It implies that by checking the authenticity certificate, it is possible to avoid MITM attacks. It has been found that most of the dating apps are prone to MITM attacks since the authenticity of the certificates is not verified. Also, most of the apps allow authorization through Facebook. Therefore, in the absence of certificate verification, there can be theft of the temporary authorization. The period for which tokens are valid allows hackers to access social media account data and full access to profile details on the dating app.
In the case of Android-based applications, it is possible to access information using super-user rights.
Top Dating Apps like Tinder
Being a meeting app, data is revealed every time people cross paths on Happen. The moment there is a match, it is possible to start a conversation. It is possible to get in touch with who might be direct surrounding.
Since it allows to create a profile using the phone number or Facebook, all Facebook information gets linked automatically. If the profile is created using the phone number, comparatively less information is shared. Else, a fake Facebook profile can be created using which a Happen profile can be created. Happn automatically captures the Facebook profile picture, and then a reverse image search can be easily done to know more about a person. The way to restrict this is quite hard since this is how Happn has been programmed.
Most of the matched extended are from people who are in the same location. The core features of the app are free to use. The application shows matches wherever one goes. The process of match making continues till the program runs out. Only those matches are displayed that have common criteria. The liking has to be mutual before initiating any conversation. Essential information is extracted from the Facebook profile.
Those belonging to low population areas will find fewer matches. Profile information is less, and there is no search function. Matches and likes are free, whereas the chat facility is a paid one.
Plenty Of Fish
Till date, Plenty Of Fish has accumulated more than 150 million users worldwide. This dating app is available in 11 different languages. Almost 2.5 million conversations are happening every day. Therefore, there is a possibility that a few things may slip through.
In 2020, Plenty Of Fish had added several safety features. Among these was a panic button for users and the provision to report inappropriate features. There is a provision to visually verify the person at the other end and engage through chat before sharing numbers or meeting in person.
The user pool is huge, having an enormous variety of females. Therefore, it hardly matters whether a person is from a rural or urban area. A variety of daters are available, ranging from long term seekers to hook-ups. For unlimited messaging, there is no need for degradation. Also, no upgradation to check who has viewed the profile. The advanced search filter comes with numerous filtering options.
Since it is a free site, considerable curating is needed. Anyone can create a profile and waste the other person’s time. As there are a lot of ladies, there’s fierce competition for beautiful women. The biggest drawback is that the match quality is inconsistent.
Match is safe in several ways. It runs background checks to filter out people who may not be appropriate for the platform. It has been around since 1993. Therefore, it is one of the oldest and established online dating service and more than a million review indicates that the app is comparatively safe. The best thing about this app is, it is designed for serious people. The paid version ensures that many of the risks are eliminated that are otherwise associated with the free dating apps.
It offers a compatibility rating. It helps a lot to narrow down the field. The rating is influenced by the details provided at the time of signing up that mainly relates to external looks and personality traits as well as partner preferences. There is a provision of incognito mode. Events are organized like cocktail evenings and bowling games. Option of video data is available.
The messaging system is not so good and is a paid one. The average age of the users is on the higher side. Also, users are not happy with the profile building system as a lot of things are pre-determined.
The Bumble app is especially concerned about the female users so that they feel safe and are in control while using the application. A survey of all the female users revealed that almost 80 percent believe that Bumble has the most courteous users than any other app. The female users felt that they were more in control during the dating process. The safety tips extended by the platform to its users are testimony to that.
The biggest advantage is, the female users are not overwhelmed with useless messages. It is up to the female users to decide whether they want to contact someone or not. Overall, it is pretty easy to operate the app. The gender demographics are more or less equal. The bio description has to be sweet and short since details cannot be longer than 300 characters.
Men are not allowed to initiate any chat. This facility has been reserved only for females. So, those having good ice-breaking skills will be unable to make use of those. After swiping right, there would be a window of just 24 hours to initiate contact by the female users. If no action is taken within that period, the match becomes invalid.
Since its rebranding in 2015, Hinge has transformed into an app that focuses more on finding relationships. The site proposes that users deactivate their profiles once they have found a match. Moreover, the platform does not want users to spend too much time on the app.
The signup process is simple. Membership is free, and the app features are unique. The standout feeds focuses on prompts and questions. There is no need to swipe photos, swiping through popular prompt answers is enough to initiate conversation.
Any unmatching or skipping action is permanent. There is no background check. The application is only in the form of a mobile app. Any accidental unmatch action cannot be reversed.
The focus is on personal settings and how diligently users can follow the precautions while dealing with people who use the platform. Even the option to upgrade the account is optional.
For sending and receiving messages, no subscription is needed. It has two levels of paid membership. The sexual orientation options are 20+, and the gender identity options are almost 12. It is a dating site for almost everyone.
Since the site is for everyone, non-serious users can’t be restricted. It has a more casual vibe compared to other similar sites.
The focus is on understanding the intention of the users. The matches are allowed based on whether people are looking for a life partner or looking for just a casual relation. The app stresses on its users to go for a genuine interaction post sign up.
The on-demand date function makes it relatively easy to confirm requests and dates. It displays the percentage of compatibility and has a swipe function. Even if an account is not matched, it is possible to contact through premium membership.
Search filters are paid functions. The compatibility percentage depends on answers to 20 questions. Hence, the match is not a perfect one. Constant ads to buy coins for free users.
Based on the understanding of the advantages, disadvantages of online and offline dating, along with a review of the various dating apps, it can be concluded that online dating is worth it , but the ultimately decision to date must be based on offline interaction. Online dating apps could be a way to meet with someone initially, but that should gradually proceed towards meeting in person. While signing up for any dating app, it is better to avoid using existing social media profiles. Also, it is better to avoid apps that ask for information not explicitly related to dating preferences. Also, review of the seven dating apps reveal that Happn would not be a good choice as compared to the rest.