When the term, “dating app” is brought up during a conversation, people usually dismiss the idea with an eye roll or wave of a hand.  The thought of becoming romantically involved with a stranger via a phone screen can sound intimidating and even awkward.

However, before people reject downloading Tinder and Bumble, they should know that online dating has its benefits. In addition to helping people find dates, apps can also teach people lessons how to build better self-confidence and communication skills.

By creating a profile on a dating app, people can learn how to market themselves to others. All apps require, or at least highly recommend, users to add photos or videos of themselves. People can answer light-hearted or thought-provoking ice-breaker questions. The limited word count can encourage people to think about creative or interesting ways to express themselves and their personality to others. Creating a profile can also give people the chance to think twice about what they are and are not comfortable posting online. 

Messaging potential suitors can teach people the importance of quick and clear communication.  Texting makes it hard for two people to see each other’s visual cues like facial expressions and body language. A word or sentence can easily be interpreted in many different ways through text. People can learn how to clarify a miscommunication and practice expressing their thoughts in a coherent way. Unanimous among all dating apps, are users with various commitment levels. Some people respond to messages right away, some hours or days later. If people find it frustrating to wait hours for a response, they can be upfront about the issue. 

Dating apps are even a place where people can learn how to not take themselves seriously. Oftentimes matches and conversations don’t work out. The here-today-gone-tomorrow mindset of dating apps can assure people that there is no need to get hung up on rejection. Not only does it normalise rejection,the apps also encourage people to get up and try again. In an interesting way, that cycle can empower people. It can make them feel more incontrol of pursuing their romantic interests, wherever it leads them. 

Ever since lockdown and shelter-in-place orders were issued, the amount of dating apps users has risen immensely. Whether it’s out of boredom or desperation, people on the fence about using apps should give platforms like Bumble or Tinder a try. They might not get a perfect match, but at least they will be able to sharpen important life skills.

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