Digital Dating In Your Twenties

Digital dating in your twenties

dating apps for the professional

This year marks 10 years since the final episode of Friends aired on British television. Matt le Blanc has suggested that the reason this show connected to so many across the world was because ‘[it] was about a finite period of time in life, after college and before your relationship and family starts and where your friends are your support system … everyone goes through that and can relate to that.’

It’s fair to say that in the decade since Ross and Rachel finally got together dating has changed. This is primarily due to the birth of the dating app, and the resulting revolution in the way we meet new people. We may still giggle at their jokes but, just 10 years on, the world in which the Friends gang dated seems completely alien to us. Throughout their twenties, not one of them went out with someone they ‘met’ online. If a similar show was airing today, charting the lives of 20-somethings in Soho for example, an absence of sites like Tinder or OKCupid would be notably conspicuous. The ever increasing popularity of internet dating indicates that things will keep moving in this direction and away from the more traditional styles of courting.

Two main reasons are commonly cited as causing the demand for such digital services. The first is quite simply that our so many elements of our lives are increasingly being conducted online: it’s absolutely the norm. Teenagers chat to their friends on Facebook, share photos of their meals on Instagram and rant on Twitter or their blog. People collect new ‘friends’ and record their memories on these sites, from marriage to a particularly colourful dinner. A feeling common to many young adults is that something hasn’t actually happened until they’ve shared it on social media and received a response, a like, validation of their actions. So really it’s only a very small step to then beginning to conduct love life online too. Even if two people meet in real life at a party, it’s over the following weeks that they bond by chatting on Facebook, and it’s only after squeezing their potential date’s profile for every last drop of information about their siblings / partying schedule / artistically arranged healthy breakfast that they may make the decision to meet up for a coffee.

The second reason is time. Between work, sleep, the London commute and Mad Men who has time to go out looking for Mr. Right? Instead of forcing yourself to go to cocktail bars and attend parties, your inbox can be flooded with pictures of eligible bachelors, and with a quick swipe to the left or right you can reject or accept. Apps like Wavve allow you to connect to other singles that are in the same bar as you, helping you avoid wasting time chatting up a man who is soon to return to his wife and three kids. Further, new companies such as iLove stress an emphasis not on an individual’s looks but on their ‘passions’, the things they are ‘burning for’, as they put it.

At the end of one of the first episodes of Friends, after forcing Rachel to cut up her father’s credit cards, Monica declares: ‘Welcome to the real world. It sucks.’ Perhaps with the intention of tapping in to this potential for pessimism, Tinder markets itself as ‘like real life, but better.’ Whether or not you feel that dating apps have indeed filled the sucky gap between school and marriage with something much better, like internet banking, internet shopping and internet media, internet dating is definitely here to stay.

Josefin Johansson

Josefin is the Features Manager at Your Coffee Break. She moved to London after pursuing a BA in Journalism & Public Relations at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles. When not working for the magazine, Josefin can be found at the gym or in the park - reading through various fashion magazines. With coffee running through her veins, Josefin takes on each day with enthusiasm and style!