Online Dating: Who's Behind the Screen?

Ryan Juntti
Updated: February 13, 2018 10:36 PM

Some people still prefer to meet the old fashioned way.

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"I feel like you get a sense of who someone is better in person," said Molly Carson, a UMD sophomore.

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater told the Star Tribune he met his girlfriend in high school. He asked her out by writing a note asking if she would go out with him, according to the Star Tribune.

It's no secret dating today has changed though. More and more people are meeting online through sites such as eharmony and

"If you're more serious, you go to those," said Isaac Winter, a senior at UMD. 

More serious than say, dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.

Tinder and Bumble are two of over a dozen popular apps that are literally available at the touch of a button. Tinder has 46 million users, according to DatingSitesReviews while Bumble has 20 million, according to DatingSitesReviews

So how do they work?

First you create a profile for yourself with some pictures, and a short biography. Then you swipe "right" if you're interested in someone, and "left" if you're not.

If both people swipe "right" on each other, you match and are then able to message each other. Tinder and Bumble work pretty much the same way with this except that the girl has to message the guy first on Bumble where on Tinder either person can message first.

UMD Junior Megan Sheppard says dating apps help ease the nerves of meeting someone in person for the first time because you can get to know information about the person through the app.

"It takes away that initial fear because now you're between screens," said Sheppard.

While the apps may be convenient, there are some concerns.

"You don't really know who is behind the screen," said UMD sophomore Morgan Martin.

Sheppard says, "There's always that underlying fear of meeting someone that isn't who they say they're going to be."

She has used two dating apps before, but says she has never actually gone out on a date with someone she met on them.

"That would be another step of getting to know the person first, getting to know who they are, what they do, how they act through this communication prior to setting up a place," said Sheppard.

Martin says she can't feel the love for dating apps.

"It's very rare that you find people that are actually wanting to talk to you, and want to be in a relationship," said Martin.

Martin says the apps are more used for hooking up than dating.

"Most people you meet on them are just looking for quick one night stands," said Martin.

UMD senior Dwight Hebert has had luck with dating apps as he actually met his girlfriend on Tinder.

"It was just one of those things where I wanted to meet someone, and it just happened to work out for me," said Hebert.

He and his girlfriend had already messaged each other for a couple days on the app when they agreed to meet each other in person at the Miller Hill Mall.

"You are still meeting a stranger, but at least you kind of know something about them, so you know you have some compatibility there," said Hebert.

A lot of people fear for their loved ones' safety when hearing they are going to be meeting someone for the first time in person after only messaging online.

"You're going out and meeting someone new, and so you don't know much about them," said Hebert.

Hebert says his girlfriend's mom wasn't completely sold on that first meeting to put it lightly, so his girlfriend gave her mom Dwight's number.

"Her mom was terrified that she was going to be meeting this stranger," said Hebert.

Things have worked out for Dwight and his girlfriend, who will be celebrating a year and a half together this month.


Ryan Juntti

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