The key difference between online dating apps and sites is that most apps allow for only a few seconds of decision-making process in order to swipe right or left on a photograph and maybe a very short profile description. Once you swipe a profile on a Tinder app, that is the end of the game. However, on Match.com, you can reconsider and email someone at another time if you are not sure.
With an app, the person might be appropriate for you, but in one second you canceled them out based on a split-second decision about their photo. If you swipe no to someone just out of instinct, you didn’t give them a fair chance of what might occur in a real-time meeting. I would caution at this speed of swiping without really giving consideration to each person as a whole.
On online dating sites, you do not eliminate potential dates forever in a single swipe. You get to review their profile and not eliminate them fully because you can return to their profile at a later time. The speed of the dating apps that have the game-like feature definitely adds a sense of urgent decision making and does not allow for contemplative thought.
I wondered if people could make good decisions in split seconds. Christopher Bergland examines that question in “The Secret to Better Decision Making.” He writes, “Neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have discovered that postponing the making of a decision by a fraction of a second can dramatically improve outcomes. The researchers found that a 50 to 100 millisecond delay enables the brain to make better decisions in the heat of the moment.”
What does this mean for every serious dater and relationship seeker out there? In my opinion, if you are on a dating app, it would seem to be beneficial to take extra time to look over someone’s photo and short profile before swiping quickly. Like the research showed in Bergland’s article, giving more time to a decision helps the outcome.
Dating is quite the challenge, and now technology is interfering with relationship development. At the click of a finger or the swipe of a hand, endless potential suitors fill your screen in new game-like apps, while sites find a type of person for you with all kinds of specific dating sites geared toward a certain demographic, culture or religion.
Technology changed the age-old dating and matchmaking process forever, but it didn’t change the age-old ideas about love. Beginning a journey to find actual love and relationships in the modern age of digital dating might just mean taking a few extra moments to make a decision instead of swiping quickly.