Anyone who wants to meet people online should ask the college kids for help, right? Well, wrong. You’d be surprised to learn that college students are a lot more old-fashioned than modern technology and media would have us believe. Today, we take a closer look at how college students use dating apps, and how they prefer to find new dates.
According to a study which included 3,500 college students done by Abodo, the apartment hunting app, these kids might be online for the better part of their day, but still prefer to meet new people through traditional means. Of those who participated in the survey, only 4 percent said they liked to meet matches using dating apps. A total of 80 percent of survey participants said they liked to meet through mutual friends or shared interests, while some 15 percent said they preferred to leave things up to chance, and meet people when out and about.
These results look pretty old-fashioned, and certainly not what we expect to see. At the same time, college kids do use dating apps, but they don’t prefer to use them to date. Over 90 percent of respondents say they use Tinder and other apps for purposes other than to hook up with someone over the weekend. In other words, Tinder & Co have not led to a culture of endless hook-ups, as is the popular belief.
Those other purposes include entertainment, which is a response given by 35 percent of Tinder, Bumble and Grindr users. Also, 15 percent of women and 9 percent of men said they used the apps for an ego boost, and the rest of the respondents said they used dating apps to find friends, although the term “friend” wasn’t clearly defined.
In terms of dating apps that surveyed college students used, 85 percent said they preferred Tinder, 17 percent said Bumble was their first choice, and OKCupid came in first for almost 9 percent of the respondents.
In practical terms, these results suggest that college kids live in a structured social environment that seems to present plenty of opportunity to meet people organically, without having to enlist the help of technology. When we take the size of campuses into account, it actually makes sense that they build their romantic lives in the offline world.
At the same time, their habits are likely to change when they graduate and enter the workforce where they won’t have as much time to socialize, and are expected to lean on dating apps much more to find suitable partners.
When it comes to Tinder influencing the dating habits of college students, this survey suggests Tinder is most often used out of boredom, not to cure loneliness or find a date for the upcoming weekend. This is not to say college kids aren’t dating as crazy, but they sure don’t depend on their phones to connect them with potential partners.