By Treva Flores
Q: Everyone’s talking about joining Tinder, but I’m a little hesitant. What are the pros and cons of online dating?
1,829 miles. A 30-day walk. A two-day drive. A 3 ½ hour plane ride. That’s how far apart Alexia Ballard is from her boyfriend. They met on an app called Tagged and stayed friends for five months before sealing the deal and getting into a relationship. Nearly two years later and Ballard wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I appreciate the relationship more because I’m now able to see that I’m not dependent on him actually physically being there,” said Ballard. “I feel like it made our communication a lot stronger.”
According to the Pew Research Center, 27 percent of adults 18-24 used a dating app in 2015 and that number is increasing.
Personally, I used Tinder when I was trying to go on nonchalant dates. I wasn’t really looking for anything serious because I find first dates kind of fun, even the awkward ones.
I once met a hitchhiker who was using Tinder as a means of couch surfing. I couldn’t offer him a place to stay, but we added each other on Facebook and I got to watch him travel the world.
That being said, you never know who you’re going to meet on these dating sites. So here’s a condensed list of the pros and cons of online dating:
- It’s a good way to meet people.
- Many of the apps are free like Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble.
- Some sites have algorithms to find your perfect match; such as eHarmony and OkCupid.
- You can find someone serious about entering a relationship while still being able to find a fun hookup.
- There are telltale signs to spot fake accounts, i.e., anyone asking for money, giving a sob story, or robots with profile pictures of half-naked men or women are probably trying to scam you.
- There are tons of niche dating sites. (For all my farmers: farmersonly.com!)
- You might meet so many people that dating becomes overwhelming.
- Some websites make you pay for a monthly subscription such as Match, eHarmony, and JDate.
- The algorithms aren’t perfect so you still have to weed through the good and the bad.
- You’ll have to dig through a lot of people that are just trying to hook up if you’re more interested in a serious relationship.
- Catfishing is a real thing! You never really know if who you’re talking to is the real face behind the photo until you meet them in person.
But like any new experience, you should try it out for yourself to figure out if it’s right for you.