Here's How Millennials Really Use Dating Apps

by Emma McGowan

Swipe left. Swipe right. Fill out a questionnaire — or three hundred. At this point, there are a few different formats for online dating but regardless of which one you go for, it’s pretty undeniable that using dating apps and sites to hook up and find love is here to stay. While I do still have a few single friends who take pride in the fact that they’ve never used a digital matchmaking service — be it Tinder or eHarmony or FetLife — to get a date or a hookup, that’s really more to do with their stubborn personality traits than it is to do with online dating. I challenge any of you to find a social gathering of more than five people between the ages of 18 and 30 that includes someone who has honestly never even filled out an online dating profile or downloaded an app. Seriously — send me a picture. I’m curious to know how many of your friends are Amish.

All jokes aside, we all know that online dating is rapidly becoming one of the main ways we meet romantic and sexual partners. However, it’s such a newly popular phenomenon that we have relatively little research about what, exactly, people are doing — and new studies tend to be out of date almost as soon as they’re released. That’s why I was excited by a survey (different from a scientific study, which is important to point out) that the online content platform Odyssey conducted. They talked to more than 400 American men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 to find out what’s what when it comes to online dating. They asked about everything from what constitutes a “successful” online date to how safe people feel when meeting someone IRL to what dating sites and apps they’re using.

Some of the data isn’t too surprising — like the fact that 66.5 percent used Tinder — but some of the other things they uncovered were definitely insights that I didn’t have before. Like, for example, the fact that a lot of people feel like online dating is actually pretty safe. Wanna know more about the online dating habits and beliefs of your peers? Check out this great infographic that Odyssey put together.

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Images: Fotolia; Odyssey