Lockdown Love: How People Found Intimacy in Online Dating Apps
Lockdown entered our lives with a gift of loneliness. Experiencing the lack of intimate conversations, many people chose different means to combat the feeling. While some found comfort in binging content, others found themselves resorting to binge eating. However, nothing can beat human comfort be it through touch or just intimate conversations. Since the pandemic nullified the possibility of human touch, people were left with online conversations. And this tendency boosted the trend of lockdown love and use of online dating apps in the last year and so. Tinder said its users had 11 percent more swipes and 42 percent more matches last year, making 2020 their busiest year. Another dating app Quack Quack crossed 11 million users in December 2020.
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The shift in trends in online dating
With lockdown, dating apps also saw certain shifts in trends in the demographics of users. According to a report by Money9, women users largely increased during the lockdown period breaking all the stereotypes attached to dating apps and women. Another trend noticed was that people were using Covid-related bios for their profiles. “Let’s get vaccinated together,” “Will you hold my hand when I get vaccinated?”, “Because online dating is the thing” and similar bio lines were observed in dating apps. This was also because, during the Covid-19 times, dating apps promoted Covid-appropriate behavior by sending notifications and alerts to the users every now and then.
Lockdown and online dating
Coming to why people resorted to dating apps—the reason was obvious. People were “bored”. Confined in the four walls, they were even tired of binge-watching shows, reading, working, eating, and just being inside. Meanwhile, they were missing holding hands, opening up about their feelings, having intimate conversations, pecks on cheeks, and just being with someone. This led more and more people to download dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, Quack Quack, Bumble, and others. While holding hands was still not possible, dating apps evolved during the lockdown period and made virtual dates much more fun for people. Besides, people also feel more comfortable meeting on virtual dates as there is no need to get all anxious about their looks and style while going on a virtual date.
According to a recent survey by Metrolife, singles see online dating as a low-pressure way to get a sense of someone. 68 percent find it easier to make connections online, 67 percent find it more liberating to meet new people online and 60 percent feel less judged.
A Bumble user was quoted in The Quint report as saying, “I’ve been using Bumble for months now and one of the changes I’ve noticed since the COVID-19 lockdown is that the number of matches has gone up. Also, I’ve often come across accounts mentioning in their bio that they are here only because of the coronavirus lockdown.”
Meanwhile, a Tinder user said, “Daily conversations have been up an average of 20 percent around the world, and the average length of the conversations is 25 percent longer. In India, conversations have been up an average of 39 percent and the average length of conversations is 28 percent longer.”
New features, trends, and more
Several dating apps unlocked features that attracted people to them. For example, Bumble, Match, Hinge, offered free video services. Other apps like HER and OkCupid recommended their users connect via Zoom. Some also make use of other videoconferencing software, text messages, and telephone calls. Tinder made its passport feature free, which allowed users to geo-locate themselves anywhere in the world. This encouraged people to connect globally. The social media accounts and blogs of dating companies also provided virtual dating ideas. Some provide virtual museum tours to ordering food for each other and sharing a meal over FaceTime.
About dating apps adding new features, a Bumble user from Delhi said, “They are just kinda preaching the users to stay at home and about social distancing and they are spreading these instructions by obviously marketing basic features such as video calls and voice calls.”
The future of dating
With lockdown bringing shifts in trends in the use of dating apps, the future of dating seems online. As lockdown brought the problem of loneliness, online dating apps came up with solutions to fill the gaps. With the new features and maintaining them with the promotion of Covid-appropriate behavior. Online dating apps have managed to multifold their profit last year and so. And the good thing is that users love new-age dating. They are finding a solution to their loneliness in the most comforting ways through online dating. Now, keeping everything in mind, we can predict that the future of dating can be online. Dating apps might come up with new features every now and then to add spice to the life of the users. And love will not be in the air but in the internet. What say? Comment down your favorite dating app in this lockdown.