The Efficiency of Hooking Up via an App

Mobile Love

How times have changed. Just a few short years ago, people were hesitant to admit that they’d met their mates online. Fast-forward to 2013, and now they’re boasting about finding love on their cell phones!

Businesses of all stripes, spots, and avenues are rapidly seeing their online traffic migrate to mobile devices, and the industry of hooking up is no different. Online dating, a business that is projected to make upwards of $1.2 billion in 2013, is wisely following the trend and working to satisfy clients with a full range of apps designed to make finding your next playmate–or soulmate–easier than ever.

Ready to mobilize/revolutionize your love life? Whether you’re looking for your future spouse or your future swinging partner, here are some advantages to the platform you’ll want to be aware of.


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Time management

As you probably know quite well, our society is increasingly moving toward 24-7 connectivity and availability–largely due to the mobile phenomenon. This is undoubtedly the greatest advantage to taking your love life mobile. Waiting for the dentist? Squeezing in a workout on the elliptical? Browse thousands of potential partners as you do so, and you can have a date waiting as soon as your crown is repaired or your gym bag packed up.

Instant gratification

The brisk nature of mobile lends itself admirably to casual dating, attracting a userbase that’s not afraid to play at a moment’s notice. If you’re looking for “no strings attached,” this is definitely your platform.

Ease of hookup

Mobile allows you to find partners and dates that are in your immediate vicinity, in real time, making traditional online dating drop-down menus (“looking for a woman within 100 miles of this zip code”…)  seem downright archaic.

31 Flavors (Well, more like 31,000)

Niche apps abound for those who have very specific preferences, from physical characteristics to occupations. Sexual orientation, of course, is no issue whatsoever–there’s a plethora of variety for the LBGT community as well as the straight one. Larger and more well-known dating services have built sophisticated layers within their structure to make it easier for beginners to find exactly what they want.

Ratings

Much like local hotspot review sites such as Yelp!, many dating apps offer user-generated ratings of fellow users, which can further help narrow your search down to the absolute cream of the crop. (Of course, you’ll want to take some reviews with a grain of salt!)

Photos and video

Photos on cell phones have the disadvantage of being smaller than a traditional online format; however, once you’ve found someone who looks interesting, you can swing right in with a video or text chat, further saving yourself time.

Privacy

Some may have concerns that such quick access to dating profiles, combined with GPS tracking and social media, may lead to unsafe situations–false personas, stalking, etc. Believe it or not, there’s actually a whole annual convention devoted to the business of online dating, and they’ve been working on these issues as they relate specifically to mobile. Popular apps such as Fling have built-in measures to help protect your security and assure the integrity of potential partners and playmates so everyone can have a safe and fun experience.

Cost

Time is not only precious these days, good old-fashioned cash is also running in shorter supply for many of us. The fast-paced, serendipitous nature of mobile dating apps makes it much simpler to suggest a cheap meeting. Rather than an online date, which still relies largely on formal approaches such as the  tried and true dinner or movie invite, you can find someone who is right in your vicinity, right this very second–and then, track a convenient local Starbucks. You’re then on the hook for just a $3 coffee vs. a $30 entrée; easy to swallow even if your new friend turns out to be not quite the right match.

No need to be so serious

Finally, mobile removes a lot of the gravity out of the dating process, making it more fun for everyone. When you realize the full reach of the rapidly moving, incredibly spontaneous, deeply layered, and highly diverse mobile dating community, it becomes much easier to accept or dole out rejection without feeling it on a personal basis or experiencing residual guilt. After all, love is supposed to be fun, right?

Samantha Lopez

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