Think you’ll have a better chance of meeting a new love through friends rather than Tinder? According to a recent survey by website Mic, you’re probably right.
Mic, a news website catering specifically to Millennials, decided to get to the bottom of dating apps and online dating to figure out how people in relationships are actually meeting. As it turns out, for all the buzz of Tinder – (and good news for the online-dating averse) – more couples have met through friends, work and in real-life social situations as opposed to over the Internet.
Mic surveyed more than 2,300 people between 18 and 34 years old, and it turns out, the vast majority of them – almost 39% - met their SOs through mutual friends, despite being part of the Tinder/ dating app generation. The next largest group – 22% of respondents - met through real-life social situations, such as at parties or bars. Eighteen percent met at work. When it comes to online dating, less than 10% of respondents met this way, and less than six percent met through social media. (Although to be fair to social media, this is quite extraordinary, considering it hasn’t been around nearly as long as online dating has.)
The latest Pew study reveals that online dating is gaining acceptance among the masses - 59% of Americans now believe that this is a good way to meet someone. But apparently, the majority of folks still aren’t meeting their next relationships that way.
There is a reason most people still prefer to meet through friends. Having the endorsement of someone you like and trust goes a long way, especially in the dating market where bad behavior is part of the experience. It’s like a little insurance policy against meeting someone – a total stranger - who might end up being hurtful or even dangerous.
This is evident in the dating app world, where meeting strangers online is commonplace. However, the fact that most apps have some type of verification through social media – for instance, requiring users to have a legitimate Facebook profile before being able to use the app – shows that there is a desire for validation before agreeing to a date. Some apps have taken this process a step further, connecting people online only through mutual social media friends (as with Hinge), or being an invitation-only app, such as with The League.
So what does this mean for the next generation of online daters? Dating apps and online dating are definitely here to stay – but it looks like the technology will keep gravitating towards mutual connections, either through social media or in real life.