The word dating has evolved through generations and has since taken on and adapted new meanings

The word dating has evolved through generations and has since taken on and adapted new meanings

Baym thinks that dating websites and applications offer vast new way to meet others because users can connect with people all around the world

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According to The Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating by Moira Weigel, in the early 18th century, dating was referred to as courting. During courtship, the closest example of a date was a man and a woman talking in the woman’s parlor with the close supervision of her parents (Weigel, 20). The invention of the automobile, in the 20th century made youth more liberated in regards to dating (Weigel, 33). Youth could now be free from the watchful eyes of their parents and venture on dates outside of the parlor.

Courtship in the 18th century and even early dating in the 20th century shared the same purpose- for marriage. Youth went on dates to find out if they liked someone enough to marry them. Dating has evolved today and so has the way we seeked a future partner to infact datemon places to meet someone used to be at work, church or even at a bar. Nowadays, you don’t even have to leave your house to find someone to date. The rise of the digital age has made it more accessible and easy to find someone to date.

The generations of our grandparents and even our parents would have scoffed at the mention of any of these dating apps

Smartphone technology has established an easy way to find people to date, through the creation of dating websites and dating apps. According to the book, The Social Construction of Sexuality, by Steven Seidman, dating websites and dating apps have many advantages. Seidman writes about Nancy Baym’s research about cyber intimacies. Distance and time are no longer barriers to dating, thanks to the online realm. Online dating also provides three major benefits, individuals can choose to be anonymous, individuals can control the content and pace of communication exchange and there is also a stress free exit option at any time (Seidman, 133).

The first dating website was Match and was created in 1995. Match can be considered the pioneer of dating websites. After that a plethora of websites and applications were created such as Zoosk (2007), Omegle (2008), Grindr (2009), Kik (2010), OKCupid (2011), Tinder (2012), Bumble (2014) and that’s just to name a few. Match, Zoosk and OKCupid are generally viewed as relationships seeking apps. Omegle and Kik are apps geared towards sexting and picture sharing. The apps Grindr, Tinder and Bumble are used for hookups more than relationships.

Dating apps used to be taboo and they were considered deviant by mainstream society. These platforms were viewed as extremely dangerous, especially by older demographics. An extreme scenario that fed into the reason dating apps were taboo was because users were turning up dead from connecting with and meeting up with strangers. Besides the fact that they were viewed as extremely dangerous, dating apps were also viewed as last resorts.’ Individuals who used dating apps were seen as failures, they failed at finding a companion in real life so they were forced to seek online intimacy. This online intimacy was also seen as inadequate, how could anyone really fall in love online? Online relationships were purely for sex, not in pursuits of love.

Dating apps have become more normalized in society today, especially for millenials. The taboo of dating apps has decreased significantly, especially in regards to them being dangerous, being used by only individuals rejected in real life and promoting false intimacies. However, this is not to say that these apps do not still pose a threat of danger or fake connections. There are apps for dating, casual hookups, long term relationships and sexting and picture sharing; however, not many people have heard about apps where users get paid to chat.