For many of us undergraduate students, our time at college is an era of intellectual, spiritual and, for a lucky few, sexual exploration. It is a time to grow, to learn and to find ourselves.
Though soul searching can come in many forms, some of us find ourselves seeking companionship on this road to self-discovery. Hookups and dating are nothing new to the college experience, but what is new is the rise of an online romantic culture.
According to a survey conducted by Time in 2017, 72 percent of college students claim to have used Tinder at some point in their college career, and this trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
From Tinder to Bumble to Her to Grindr, the possibilities for meeting people seem to be endless. What some would say is the most revolutionary element of online dating platforms is the level of selectivity they provide users. Unlike meeting someone at a bar, in class or in an unlikely round of speed-dating, online dating sites typically provide information, photos and a profile on the person before you even agree to heart, right swipe or super like.
The increased ability to be selective means more than just being able to check for bots and serial killers, or avoid that weird dude from your chemistry class. Now, we have the ability to swipe through hundreds of possible romantic or sexual encounters to find someone we may actually be compatible with, or can at least tolerate. Not that a 200 character bio can really sum up anybody’s true personality, but the sentiment is nice.
Selectivity and the creation of separate dating platforms for different purposes also means marginalized populations like the queer community can have separate dating spaces catered specifically to LGBTQ+ folks, making it safer and easier to find a future boo — in theory, of course.
Some may wonder, however, what affect this has on college-aged romantic culture as a whole.
In honor of that universal trope of collegiate romantic and sexual liberation, we here at The Tulane Hullabaloo have curated an issue filled with content tackling all sides of the online dating phenomenon at Tulane.
Are apps like Tinder and Grindr helping or hurting us? Is finding a sugar daddy or mama a viable way to make some extra money? Can online dating be a racist environment?
All of these questions and more will be answered in this week’s print and online edition of The Tulane Hullabaloo.
Happy reading and, perhaps more importantly, happy swiping.
(They, Them, Theirs)