Lots of people find it tricky to land a date on OkCupid. Others struggle to get matches on Tinder. So they’re turning to Reddit to get hook-up and relationship advice from other online daters, Tech2 reports.
There’s a new study carried out by Georgia Tech’s (GT) College of Computing on the digital age of dating. It found that after people sign up to dating sites, they often register on Reddit to get tips on improving their chances.
The study shows that today, with so many people taking to dating apps and websites these days to hook-up and find a better half, online dating has become so important that it’s become an area of interest for academic study.
The GT document focuses particularly on websites such as OkCupid and Tinder. While services such as these are ubiquitous in 2015, they’re still quite new. Lots of people started dating long before the internet was invented. The point is, not everyone really knows the best way to navigate the world of right swipes and profile pictures. They need help.
If you search “dating” on Reddit you unearth dozens of subreddits (custom communities) where people discuss their attempts at finding love on the web. They also post tales of their failed attempts at romance; their success stories; their worries for the future.
According to the GT study, these public forums have more than 95,000 members and see 1,400 posts a day about online love. Sections include “dating advice,” “dating,” and “relationships” as well as specific feeds focusing on actual websites and apps.
One humorous anecdote comes from someone called Oedipus, who writes that he accidentally found his mother on OkCupid. “Better than finding her on fetlife (a bondage dating site),” is one of the responses. It emerges later that actually, lots of people find their family on dating sites because it’s so likely that relatives share interests and locations.
Another tale, from Flaming Eagle, documents the users’ Tinder move in which he opens the conversation with a game of Connect4. 447 people commented on the post, offering their own insight on the technique, or suggesting some other way of opening a conversation with a complete stranger.
A lot of the topics covered are a lot more serious.
One woman talked about how she wants to better communicate “clear intentions to my Tinder hook-up”. She describes wild nights of passion that we can’t really detail here, and even posts messages she sent to her match hoping that others will tell her whether what she sends is too “generic” or whether she’s “said too much.”
Another user mentions an upcoming date with an older woman and wants to seem more mature. “I matched with this older woman on Tinder and we’re going to get coffee tomorrow morning,” he writes. “How can I seem more mature?”
Professor Keith Edwards, who led the GT study, told Tech2: “We found that participants used these Reddit forums to share experience and to offer advice, and the forums played a major role in shaping how participants used the dating sites. There are two thriving subreddit groups for OkCupid and Tinder that are vital to helping users understand dating techniques, both on the sites and in general.”
Researchers interviewed some of the online daters. Their biggest concerns include privacy, profile images, and what to write in the “interests” section on websites.