In our grandparents’ day, courting was a finely-tuned, romantic endeavour: long walks in the moonlight, a casual “Would you like to dance?”, even love letters. Well, suck it up, because those days are dead. Now, we fill an hour slot every hangover Sunday with a clinical left or right swipe in the pursuit of a dream date (or lay, depending on how brazen you are).
New research, however, may make you wish for a simpler time. The phenomenon of the dating app is reported to be depressingly unfruitful, with as many as 39 per cent of all communications consisting of a single, lonely, ignored message.
Researchers Taha Yasseri and Jennie Zhang at the Oxford Internet Institute studied over 19 million messages between 400,000 heterosexual singletons, and the results were pretty barren. Of the few conversations that actually got off the ground, a mere 19 per cent actually resulted in the sharing of a phone number.
“But I’ve got a mate who met his missus on Tinder,” we hear you cry. Which is fair enough. But the study uncovered some very telling evidence on how men behave on dating apps, with most treating it as a numbers game: swipe right on everyone, then sift through the net for the catch of the day. Yasseri and Zhang found that women are a lot more particular, and put thought into who gets a match – which is, ladies and gentleman, the whole point of dating apps.
This Sunday, put your phone down, throw your housemate in the shower and get down to the pub. Who knows, you may even meet someone in person.