Social media has impacted dating for millennials in countless ways, from the advent of Instagram direct messages to Tinder.
This new plethora of partner-finding tools has led to millions of millennials taking their dating online. According to the Pew Research Center, up to 59 percent of all internet users surveyed in 2013 considered online dating a good way to meet new people.
Today, 27 percent of young adults from age 18 to 24 reported using online dating sites, which is up 10 percent from 2013, likely due to the influx of dating apps, according to the Pew Research Center.
Even though the most common way to find love is offline, 23 percent of online daters say that they have entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through a dating site or app, up from 17 percent in 2005, according to the Pew Research Center.
Social media, and dating apps in particular, offer direct and easy access to anyone seeking a connection. If an individual is having trouble finding love, or whatever else they are looking for, they have plenty of options at their fingertips.
However, finding love online can also present certain problems. According to a study conducted by Cornell University and Michigan State University, 86 percent of online daters felt others misrepresented their physical appearance on dating profiles. The most common lies referred to age, height and weight.
On top of that, 28 percent of online daters have felt harassed or received uncomfortable requests on social media, according to data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Social media has also created problems for millennials in romantic relationships. Apps like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger promote a sense of anonymity among users.
When you send a picture or message through Snapchat it disappears after it is opened, leaving behind little evidence. Similarly, Facebook has also created a secret conversation setting where you can chat with a friend privately with no visible record.
Features meant to keep communication secret on apps can also promote feelings of distrust. According to a 2013 UK study by the Telegraph, 34 percent of women and 62 percent of men admitted to snooping through their partner’s text and other private messages.
Regardless of the negative or positive connotations and consequences that social media brings for dating, there is no denying its influence.
According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of millennials said that social media has had a “major impact” on their relationships, so whether it’s good or bad, social media is here to stay.