April 22, 2019 | 52° F

Modern singles reinvent Valentine's Day with apps like Tinder

Photo by Wikimedia |

Instead of meeting dates in person, apps like Tinder allow users to make split-second decisions on whether to meet a prospective partner. 

The elusive task of finding that special someone for Valentine's Day now has an app. Modern day singles now utilize Tinder and services like it for easily accessible romance. 

Tinder usage in the United States is at its peak on Valentine’s Day, according to an article in Vanity Fair. The company reported in 2015, that beginning Feb. 6, there was a steady increase in usage of the app that resulted in a 15-percent increase on Valentine’s Day.

Helen Fisher, chief scientific adviser to the dating site, Match.com, and a visiting professor in the Department of Anthropology analyzed the history of dating websites and apps in an interview with Rutgers Today

“In the beginning internet dating was regarded as for people who are failures at relationships. That changed into, ‘It’s OK, but not for me.’ These days, so many people do it, the stigma is gone,” she said. 

She said this year 40 percent of respondents to an annual survey she conducts, between 18 and 71, said they met their most recent date on the internet, while 25 percent and 6 percent met through a friend and bar or place of worship, respectively.

Jennifer Theiss, associate professor of Communication, said that modern dating platforms are more about physical attraction than they are about matching people who want to get to know each other. 

“Now we have Tinder, Bumble and Grindr, where it’s swipe left or right on a photograph. The question has changed from, ‘Who is this person?’ to ‘Am I attracted to this person?’” Theiss said.

Swiping through prospective dates on an app is no more superficial than deciding whether to talk to a stranger in person, Theiss said. 

“If you’re out and see someone cute, you might talk to him or if you don’t find someone attractive, you didn’t talk to him,” she said. “Both are snap impressions you make about people without knowing anything about them.”

Mark Brehaut, a Rutgers alumnus, felt that as the popularity of apps like Tinder and Grindr surge through the millennial generation, the depth of actual interest in and communication with a match declines. 

Brehaut plans to surpass this flaw with his new mobile dating app, Icebrkr, launching this spring, along with fellow Rutgers alumnus, Kevin Murray. Brehaut started the app in 2015, and it is projected to feature a digital dating coach equipped with artificial intelligence to guide and improve conversations between matches.

"Technology is tearing down communication. We want to use technology to make it better and more meaningful than a clichéd, ‘Hey, what’s up?'” Brehaut said. 

Erica D'Costa

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