Get Your Swipe On: Online Dating During Quarantine

Written by Rita Thompson

 

You’re cooped, bored, out of weed and searching for something to pass the time. For many, Tinder hookups may seem completely out of the question. For others, swiping has proved to be the perfect source of couch-contained entertainment. 

Usage During Quarantines

According to a survey by OkCupid, as of March 10th, 2020, 66% of users are still dating as usual regardless of the virus. 

Those who are avoiding dates, however, are still taking advantage of their time in quarantine to swipe right. “Even for those who are not dating IRL and are instead staying home binging Netflix, they’re still matching with people online,” OkCupid’s global communications manager Michael Kaye, expressed to CNet.

According to Dating.com, 82% of singles have turned to online dating during the coronavirus outbreak. More than 50% said they are interested in conducting online dates to get to know people they have met online. 

Additionally, 60% of those surveyed said they’ve always preferred online dating over finding a partner in real life. 

Virtual Dates

JWed, a dating site for Jewish singles, is starting an online dating initiative amid the spread of coronavirus. 

JWed’s virtual dating initiative will offer features like video chatting and date scheduling in place of in-person rendezvous.

“We envision a virtual dating experience that mirrors the authenticity of a night out in Central Park—daters will still dress up, have stimulating conversations, and engage in the same witty banter that they’d expect on an in-person date. The only difference will be the screen between them,” Jwed, CEO Ben Rabizadeh, stated in a press release.

Amidst the chaos, two Yale University students also decided to take advantage of the open lane. Their website, OKZoomer, connects college students from more than 200 schools across the country for virtual dates. The site uses an algorithm to match users to independently set up Skype or Zoom dates. The name, OKZoomer, is a clever nod to the app in which students will be using to attend their now-online courses, and their target market, “zoomers.” 

As of March 16th, 2020, OKZoomer has garnered more than 6,000 sign-ups from students from different universities. 

Vice president of Dating.com, Maria Sullivan, says virtual dating is especially helpful in combating the spread of COVID-19. “Online dating, such as text chatting and video calling, is a great way for singles to have that human connection, while not increasing the risk of catching the infectious virus,” she expressed to Yorkshire Evening Post. “Both of these means of communication will also aid in social-distancing to help lower the risk of the coronavirus spreading and hopefully lead to the end of it all together.”

Breaking the ice

Many online daters are using Coronavirus for talking point inspo, and even pick-up lines. 

For some, like frequent Bumble users Radhika Subramanian, the virus has provided for more interesting conversations than usual. “Coronavirus is giving a chance for real conversations to happen and making flow of chats much easier. Otherwise, it is usually “hey what music do you like” or “check this meme,”” Subramanian expressed to Moneycontrol. “I just matched with someone who came back on the last flight from the U.S. and have self-quarantined themselves. Our conversation has a spark and now I am waiting to meet him.”

For others, COVID is more of an opportunity for cheesy jokes and pick up lines—like the ones we’re leaving below for your enjoyment.

Emerald contributor since June 2019

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