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Online dating has become a societal norm. Using different apps such as Hinge, Tinder and Bumble is now common. Through these dating apps, users have been conditioned to view potential partners through limited profiles on digital apps that only present the best version of themselves. Online dating has resulted in relationships for many people, but there is no one correct methodology that can be followed uniformly by all users. Experts believe that society lacks significantly in digital communication skills. According to licensed therapist and dating coach, Kelsey Wonderlin, “there isn’t one place where people can go to learn how to start and maintain a healthy relationship.” There is no standard when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship through an online experience. 

Comparing younger and older generations, there is a stark contrast in dating culture. Due to the fact that this technology was not prevalent in older generations, the use of dating apps was non-existent. The way people dated was different compared with today, creating a barrier between these generations. The learning curve of online dating is something people must figure out for themselves because there isn’t a plethora of previous knowledge on the subject.

The determining factor of whether you get to start a conversation or talk with someone on a dating app requires either swiping or liking the person’s profile. The contents of the profile are mostly filled with pictures of that person meant to encompass only certain aspects of their life. Rarely do people share very personal things on dating apps because it is dangerous to put personal information online. An element of caution is required in online settings. 

Overall, online dating is hard to navigate on our own, and that is why those who participate in this should consider looking to experts. Ms. Wonderlin’s program, called the Texting Communication Cure, is a step towards facilitating a higher standard for healthy communication and the transition from online communication to in-person communication. The program details a five step plan to master text communication as well as how to deal and prevent things like ghosting and how to spot red flags. 

The apps themselves do not make it easy to communicate. Pictures do not always accurately represent a person’s real life and fall short of recreating an in-person meeting. Conversations can end up being forced or leading to dead ends. When people can create an image and present themselves in an inauthentic way,  there is too much confusion. Dating apps are hard to navigate alone or even with expert assistance. Connections have the possibility of becoming genuine, but searching for connection through dating apps sets a shaky foundation and leaves more room for chaos and confusion. No one can know for sure if the person they are talking to is being real.