Dating in the Digital Age

If your family is anything like my family, your grandmother (or mother… or both) has turned to you at least once (a week) and asked you, “When are you going to find yourself a nice boy/girl?”, “Would it kill you to have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” or–my personal favorite–”You’re almost 25… When are you going to get married? You won’t be young forever, you know!”

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that our generation is lazy. I mean really lazy. In order to grab our attention and keep us from sitting complacently in front of our TVs, there must either be an easily accessible and user-friendly app… or the promise of pizza.

Well, it’s 2014. Dating? There’s an app for that.

We’ve all heard of the sites that have been around a while:, OKCupid, eHarmony, Zoosk, Christian Mingle, BlackPeopleMeet, JDate… The list goes on and on. But what about the sites that are particularly focused on, centered around and directly targeting twenty-somethings? Well, (single) human being reading this article, like I said above, there’s an app for that.



What it is: A glorified hot-or-not with built-in chat functionality to communicate with one’s “matches” (people to whom you  said “yes” and they said “yes” to you as well). Through Tinder, you can see other users’ pictures, the Facebook friends and likes you two share, and whatever they write in their (usually) short bio. You can filter out possible matches by location, age range and gender.
What it’s best for: Finding somebody within an x mile radius with whom you would like to either meet up–whether it be for an actual date or a hookup–or just communicate with when you’re bored.\You should know: Tinder works through Facebook so you must have a Facebook account to register and there is no website to accompany the app. I’ve been told that Grindr works similarly if you are looking for a member of the same sex. 
Join Tinder by downloading the app on your iPhone or .

Coffee Meets Bagel


What it is: A once-a-day (at noon) yay-or-nay based on other users’ pictures and profiles. You get one person per day and, if you get somebody, then that means that he/she got you that day as well. If you both “like” one another, Coffee Meets Bagel sets up a private phone line through which you and your match can communicate via text so you can coordinate a face-to-face meetup (the phone lines expire after a few days). Like Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel users can filter possible matches by age range and gender, but, on Coffee Meets Bagel, users can also increase the likelihood of getting certain matches by checking certain ethnicity and religion preferences.
What it’s best for: Dating or hooking up with somebody who meets certain baseline criteria.
You should know: In order to register for Coffee Meets Bagel, you must have a Facebook. On the bright side, Coffee Meets Bagel has a fully-functional website (in the event that you prefer that to an app)… but don’t worry, there’s an app too!
Join Coffee Meets Bagel by registering online.



What it is: A group date for two groups of three friends. While Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel are free, Grouper costs about $20 per person per Grouper (aka per date)… but that fee covers your first round of drinks. On Grouper, you can say which gender you prefer, your geographical location, your favorite type of liquor, what you do for work and where you went to school, your height and even your religion and ethnicity and what each means to you (ranging from “it doesn’t matter” to “it matters a lot”). Terrified of going out with two of your friends and three strangers? Grouper anticipated that: just fill out your “Two Truths and a Lie” before your Grouper and prepare to have a giggle while the members of the other group (and maybe even your friends!) rack their brains trying to guess whether or not it is true that a monkey hopped on your lap while you were in safari in Tanzania and stole your bag of mints (yes, that’s one of mine…. feel free to guess away!)  
What it’s best for: Dating, hooking up, making friends, having fun with your own friends, or–at the very minimum–having a great story the next day.
You should know: Currently, Grouper only works through Facebook, so you must have a Facebook account to join. Grouper has a fully functional app and website–the bonus of the app being that it allows for in-app communication with your “concierge” (or matchmaker) who is a real human being.
Join Grouper by registering here.



What it is: A once-a-day (at noon) yay-or-nay, much like Coffee Meets Bagel, in which you receive 10 possible matches per day instead of just one. In order to receive somebody as a possible match (and for them to receive you), you and said human must have (at least) one mutual friend on Facebook. If you and a match both say yes to one another, you are connected via an in-app chat function. Though Hinge is currently only in certain cities, it is rapidly growing and expanding (It’s finally coming to Dallas next week!) 
What it’s best for: Dating, hooking up, making friends, finally figuring out the name of your coworker’s boyfriend’s hot roommate.
You should know: Hinge works through Facebook, so you must have a Facebook account to register. Hinge is not web compatible–it is only available via smartphone application. 
Join Hinge by downloading the app on your iPhone or .

What do you use to date in the digital age? Which is your favorite of Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Grouper and Hinge?


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