Life & Culture

Has the time come for dating apps to be scrapped?

Challenge yourself to chat to Joe Public in the pub this weekend


I’m mad and you should be too. No shade on the dating app success stories, because let me tell you the apps are responsible for setting up more matches then all the matchmakers in the universe could even attempt to; but they’re broken. And here’s why.

Rewind back to 2012 when Tinder arrived onto the online dating market. It transformed the dating app world from an alternative way to meet someone to becoming the most accessible and simplest way to get yourself out on a date.

I was 18 at the time and I remember the wild news of this dating app spreading through my circle of friends. That excitement doubled a couple of years later when JSwipe launched.

But flashforward to 2023 and the dating app market is oversaturated. And in a bid to stay relevant, the apps themselves have become niche in their USPs. We’ve got Thursday, which, surprisingly, you can only use on a Thursday. Fitafy is for fitness singles and Singles with Food Allergies is exactly that.

The exhilaration of the novelty of dating apps is over. When it was in its prime a couple of years ago quite literally everyone was meeting on them. My friends who’ve got married in the last year or so all met their partners on the apps.

The enthusiasm for the dating apps may have dwindled but there are still single people trying to stay afloat in this chaotic dating pool.

As a single twentysomething, I am most educated to reveal all the dating app sagas. Let me tell you, the algorithm of Hinge’s “most compatible” baffles me every time I open up the app.

Bumble’s match expiration date is shorter than a 25-hour Shabbat. Meanwhile, JSwipe relentlessly tells me that there are no single Jews left in a 50-mile radius of me. And I live in Mill Hill.

My main concern with the dating apps is that despite me declaring that their heyday is well and truly over, they’ve left an antisocial hangover for my generation. They’ve discouraged people from speaking in real life and given singletons the false hope that you will meet someone only through your phone. Your soulmate could literally be sitting opposite you on the Tube but instead, you’re swiping the endless catalogue of men on a dating app  and ignoring Mr Right even though he’s there in the flesh.

How wild would it be if all singletons went on strike and deleted dating apps for the summer? Challenge yourself to chat to Joe Public in the pub this weekend. My love- hate relationship with the dating apps has reached an all-time low and I for one will be entering high summer app free and ever hopeful.

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