Websites such as Match.com and eHarmony.com were pioneers, revolutionizing dating, allowing people to hone in on what they wanted in a partner. It allowed them to find someone with the same interests and type of courtship, whether it is a fling, a relationship, or a lifelong marriage.
As technology continued to grow, the aforementioned matchmaking websites and many others opened the door to a new market – dating apps.
“For me, a new opportunity [for my career] became clear when smart phones came out and it allowed for a whole new way for people to date and meet new people on location based. GPS and location devices in the smart phones opened up a whole new market,” Christopher Klotz, founder of the dating app, Singles Around Me (SAM), said.
SAM was the first dating app to hit the market five years ago. He was inspired to create it because he had so many friends tell him that it was difficult to find single people, specifically single men. SAM works off location. A person can find someone between 1-120 miles that is single and have similar interests.
These dating apps are definitely changing the dating world, not just by weeding out the single people, but also making it more convenient and empowering for women.
Ana in Toronto, Canada, raved about SAM. “I’ve had complete success using this phone app. I met someone the day after I downloaded the app. Thanks to the unique feature of this program [the local aspect] and a little bit of luck, I found my soul mate, dare I use that term. We have been dating for six months and are in endless love. We had been put on this earth for one another. I will never forget how big an impact SAM had on my life. I will forever advocate and encourage others to experience this wonderfully smart app,” she said.
Western New England University – located in Springfield, Massachusetts – student, Stefani Feole, who has been using dating apps for the past three years, agreed that such apps are a wonderful way to explore love in modern times. “I think dating apps change the dating world for both genders. Both men and women are given the opportunity to come out of their shell and talk to people without actually having to talk. This, I believe, makes dating much more convenient for anybody,” she said.
For Feole, a dating app makes it easier to talk to men. The men using the app are there for the same reason that she is – they are looking for someone. The apps allow users to show a first interest by liking the profile or sending a wink, depending on the app.
Feole has used a few different dating apps. Her most recent one has been Tinder, where she has had some great experiences.
“I’ve been on this app for about two years – had one amazing, successful relationship [while it lasted]. Many people use this app for a more ‘no strings attached’ relationship but not me. I’ve met about six people off of Tinder and haven’t really had any horrible experiences. Some of these people I’m still really good friends with,” Feole said.
In her case, the people she met did not necessarily lead to relationships every time, but it allowed her to be in control.
“As far as women who are willing to make that first move but don’t know how, yeah it’s very empowering. You feel as though you’re taking your love life by the reins and really taking control of who you want to be with,” Feole added.
SAM allows men and women to make the first move. It is up to them to do it, but they are able to see people with similar interests, not just a picture of a person. From there, the app makes it easy to show someone that you are interested and then, if both parties are willing a conversation can be started on the app. Dating through an app allows females to move away from dating traditions, to take control of their dating lives, rather than waiting around for prince charming to arrive.
“I’d say that dating apps provide females with a confidence boost – not from the male attention but for simply putting yourself out there without being entirely sure of the outcome,” Feole said.
Dating apps, especially SAM, have a zero tolerance policy for harassment and obscene gestures, photos and information.
“There is a report option on every single profile and if there is someone who refuses to follow the app’s guidelines, their profile is immediately deleted,” Klotz explained.
Feole said, “I’d say every woman should be comfortable in who they are and with what they want out of this life. Put yourself out there in every way you can while being safe and doing what’s best for you. Be proud of that beautiful skin you’re wearing and let these men know what a catch you are. Don’t be afraid to be bold and flirty, we’re only young once. Live it up but be safe while doing so.”
Kaylene Hersey is an intern at Lioness and is currently a senior creative writing major at Western New England University. She is from Colchester, Conn. Besides writing, she has a passion for baking and dancing, and she hopes one day to work in the Editing and Publishing world. If that fails, she plans to open up her own bakery.