Tinder and the dating tech revolution

You’ve got a match! The first ever dating website, Match.com, launched in 1995.

Has technology transformed dating for the better? Apps like Tinder have revolutionised the way people find partners, but some experts are warning this tech boom could be harming teenagers.

A recent episode of Black Mirror imagines a future where who we date, and how long each relationship lasts, is determined by a mysterious, all-knowing computer called the System. After a series of failed relationships, which help the System learn more about you, users are matched with their one true love.

The fantasy could soon become a reality, thanks to advances in augmented reality and machine learning.

Since its launch in 2012, no app has changed the dating game quite like Tinder. Six years later, users in 196 countries swipe 1.4 billion times a day. “Swipe right” even has an entry in the Collins English Dictionary.

But experts warn that technology is driving a rise in abusive behaviour among teenagers.

Roughly a third of teens have had a partner use digital means to put pressure on them to have sex or share sexual images, and 12% have admitted to forwarding a sext without consent.

Has technology transformed dating for the better?

Robo-romance

Absolutely, say some. It used to be that most people married someone who lived within four miles of them. Now, the barriers of distance are broken and we have many more ways to search for a real connection, not just settle for what’s around the corner. Moreover, people with disabilities and people who might otherwise be socially isolated have more ways to reach out to others for connection and understanding.

Sadly not, respond others. We should be concerned that having instant romance at our fingertips is making people scared to commit. We’re always on the lookout for exciting new conquests, rather than facing the realities of building a real relationship with its inevitable ups and downs. Most importantly, we must educate young people about privacy and healthy relationships to combat the dangers of digital dating.

You Decide

  1. Has technology been good for dating?

Activities

  1. Research how to stay safe online and produce a poster featuring rules for internet safety for young people.

Some People Say...

“Technology really increased human ability. But technology cannot produce compassion.”

Dalai Lama

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Studies have shown that Tinder users tend to have lower levels of self-esteem than people who do not use Tinder. This is seen across social media platforms.
What do we not know?
We do not know how technology will continue to shape our relationships in the future. New developments in artificial intelligence could lead to technology influencing our romantic lives in ways we cannot imagine.

Word Watch

Black Mirror
A futuristic TV series written by Charlie Brooker.
Augmented reality
A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world.
Machine learning
A field of artificial intelligence that aims to use data to teach machines to “learn” for themselves.
Swipe right
Tinder users swipe right with their finger if they are interested in someone, or left if they are not.
Sext
Experts stress that once you send an image of yourself, you can never control it again.
Mutual
Balanced, felt by both parties.

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