By Desirae Martinez
Those dating app commercials that say “there are hundreds of attractive singles in your area” are not lying. What they are lying about is how dating online is easier than dating in the real world.
For one week I used Tinder, OkCupid, and Zoosk, and they yielded some interesting results. Though all three are supposed to help young singles connect, some had better features than others (see side bar).
From the first day I started using the apps, my phone was flooded with alerts saying this member viewed you, this member messaged you, this member wants to meet you, etc.
In the real world, you might go to a bar with the intention of meeting someone.
Maybe you scope out some people, and they might try to talk to you, or you might try to talk to them. Well with online dating it’s like being in a bar where 30 people are trying to talk to you ,and you have no idea where to start.
Tinder is known for being a shallow hookup site. It has a basic set up: based on a few photos and a short summary, you can swipe right for interested or left for not interested. When two people swipe right on the other’s profile, Tinder declares the two a “match” and then they’re free to message each other.
This is when I got messages such as “Do you like to make out?” and “You swiped right. I swiped right. I guess you could say it’s getting pretty serious.” But I have to say, my favorite one was “Are you from Australia? Because you meet my koalifications.” He must have known I’m a sucker for bad puns.
Unlike Tinder, Zoosk offered users a chance to write more about yourself and your interests. Also, you can go back to profiles without regretting swiping left and losing that person forever.
Given that Zoosk was the one app I had seen most advertised, I was surprised by how little I could actually do with it. I could only see and send messages if I paid money or earned coins. And I could only earn coins by playing “carousel” (their version of Tinder) and liking guys. So by the time I actually earned enough coins to see one message (30 coins) I’ve already sent out the impression to 30 guys that I’m interested in them.
OkCupid was by far my favorite. It’s like Zoosk except there’s more topics to write about yourself, so users can get creative. It’s also free to send and receive messages. There’s even a question portion about your views on politics, religion, and lifestyle, so based on your answers you can see how good a match you and other users are.
My only warning would be screen names because 2Rowdie4U isn’t getting my attention in a positive way. But other than that, OkCupid is a decent app that gives you the tools for finding something more than just a hookup.