Prince Harry’s loving gaze (and now-iconic lip bite) when he saw Meghan Markle walk down the aisle probably encouraged every single person to fire up their dating apps shortly after the duo exchanged “I dos.” But as it turns out, people aren’t necessarily looking for their redheaded Prince Charming on Tinder. In a recent study, researchers found that most men and women use dating apps because of one thing: boredom.
That’s right. Your “dream” guy or girl is probably swiping simply because they’re looking for a way to pass the time.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) surveyed more than 600 university students between the ages of 19 and 29; 20% were currently using a picture-based mobile dating app (PBMDA). Single men and women were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements about why they opened Tinder or another PBMDA. Both men and women alike agreed most with the statement that they went on dating apps when they were bored.
Men and women didn’t agree quite so readily on other reasons to use a PBMDA. Women were more likely to say they swipe when they want to “feel good;” men reported checking out an app because they “desired sex” more than when they wanted a committed relationship.
But desiring sex and having it are two different things–and just like meeting someone new IRL, swiping doesn’t have a 100% success rate when it comes to hooking up. “Dating app users don’t have more casual sexual partners than others with the same short-term preference,” Mons Bendixen, an associate professor in NTNU’s psychology department, said in a statement.
“Dating apps are thus merely a new, digital arena where the same people who enjoy success in more traditional arenas, such as bar and dance clubs, also will be more likely to pursue hooking ups by using new technology,” the study authors wrote.
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If people are swiping so casually that they aren’t even scheduling time to Netflix and chill, does that make Tinder the new Candy Crush?
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