The Tulane Hullabaloo

Love at first swipe: the stigma surrounding online dating

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Nurah Lambert | Staff Artist
Contributing reporter Sari Axelrod investigates the stigma surrounding dating apps on Tulane’s campus.

These days, you would be hard pressed to find something your cell phone can’t do. We rely on our phones for everything — to wake up in the morning, to submit school assignments and to communicate with our families back home. When tasked with something new, we ask ourselves “Is there an app for that?” And nine times out of ten, the answer is yes. In this day and age, there is quite literally an app for almost anything. It only makes sense that we can use our phones to find true love too.

Back in the early 2000s, companies like eHarmony and Match.com revolutionized the dating world. These sites eventually paved the way for Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and many others. We all know these apps exist, and if you don’t use them yourself, you know someone who does. Despite the immense popularity of digital dating over the past decade, there seems still to be a stigma surrounding couples who meet that way. Does this stigma exist on Tulane’s campus?

Let’s start by examining the dating experience here at Tulane. We can look to our fellow students to help us better understand where the stigma comes from and how it is perpetuated. Senior Margot Hera met her current partner on a dating app.

“I feel like it’s just a part of the culture of our age group so it makes it part of the culture on campus,” Hera said

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, dating app participation by those aged 18 to 24 has nearly tripled since 2013. Millenials make up an astonishing 80% of Tinder users. There is no denying how popular these apps have gotten. Dating apps are gradually becoming the primary way that college students meet. For some users, however, dating apps are not used exclusively for dating.

“I do think it’s big for the hookup life, not for the dating life,” Senior Angela Bui said. “I think for this campus, there is a stigma.”

Many students agree that some apps actually play a larger role in Tulane’s hookup culture than its dating culture.

“I mean, Tinder and Bumble never goes anywhere. Especially at Tulane, it never goes anywhere,” Bui said.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Love at first swipe: the stigma surrounding online dating