Stigmas of Online Dating Debunked

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - We turn to the Internet for the widest variety of options for pretty much anything we’re looking for; and finding a mate is no exception.

“It’s a really interesting complex process that was interesting and complex before the Internet got introduced to the situation,” PhD Candidate in the Department of Communications at Cornell University Samuel Hardman Taylor said. “And now there’s some new interesting parts of it, but it is a similar process.”

Despite the growth in popularity in recent years, there are some still some stigmas associated with these increasingly prevalent apps.

“Although there is this persistent narrative that Tinder and Grinder are hook-up apps, I certainly know couples that are married that have met on those sites as well,” Taylor said.

Of course, there are some users who perpetuate these stigmas:

“Randomly you get messages from other users with sexually explicit content,” one Elmira Area (EA) Grinder user said. “They’ll send you pictures of themselves, you get text messages with stats about themselves basically.”

However, motivations for using the app can be as unique as the users themselves.

“On the other side of that coin you get people who message you who are genuinely interested in maybe going out for a coffee, or going and checking out a movie or a drive-in or whatever,” EA Grinder user said. “So both sides of the extreme really exist.”

EA Grinder user said he wasn’t looking for a relationship when he began using the app.

“I’d been using Grinder for probably about a year or year and a half before I met Adam,” EA Grinder user said. “And it was completely coincidental that —because I wasn’t really looking for anything serious, I was just kind of like coasting along.”

Conversely, many people assume that more traditional online dating site users, (i.e. eHarmony, OKCupid, Match) are looking for a long-term relationship; but that wasn’t the case for Ruth Irons.

“I was bored one day and I had some time so I decided to go on to OkCupid,” Irons said.

Irons began chatting with her now-husband Rob on the service for a few weeks before meeting in person.

“Then it moved to instant messages, and then it moved to texts on our cell phones and then we begin talking on the cell phone” Irons said. “It was about a month later that we met face-to-face for the first time.”

In fact it was seven years ago exactly that they met for the first time.

“We got together on Nov. 20 was the first time and by January we knew that it was something serious,” Irons said. “Then we’re like okay well maybe marriage is in the mix for us when we didn’t expect it. Neither one of us wanted it, but you know never say never.”

And for those who think online messaging isn’t as sincere or meaningful as face-to face interaction.

“The extent to which were able to communicate emotions and feelings in all of the intimacy and you know some of those touchy-feely sort of topics,” Taylor said. “People often assume that we can’t really do that via text messaging, via instant messaging or on a Facebook status because it’s void of vocal inflection or it’s void of touch and those sorts of things, but that is absolutely not the case.”

In fact research shows partners in relationships that use more diverse methods of communication, (i.e. face-to-face interactions in combination with text messaging, Facebook messaging, Snapchat), found their relationships to be stronger.

“So there is definitely evidence to suggest that there is – that it does build cohesion among individuals in those close bonds,” Taylor said. “The combination of all these things seems to actually promote closeness in relationships rather then detract from it.”

For tips on how to stay safe online and when meeting a match in person follow this link.


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