Our love languages are changing, and when it comes to online dating, it looks like Gen Z is ready to find love the old fashion way…well, sort of.
New research from youth research firm YPulse shows that many Gen Zers are looking for connections in a more “organic” way, or at least in what they perceive to be a more organic way. The study shows that 2 in 5 (or 40 per cent of) young people met their partners through social media – an impressive 11 per cent more than those who met their partners through dating apps.
Expert and Dating Unsettled podcast host Joy Ofodu tells NBC News that many Gen Zers are turning to Instagram as their (non-dating) dating app of choice. Instead of meeting out at a bar or a party, young people are turning to Instagram to meet mutual followers or find a love interest through shared online communities.
“For me, Instagram wins for dating because of everything I can see,” Gen Zer Ofodu, who met her boyfriend via Instagram DMs, said. “I see your friends. I see what your friends are eating. I see what your mama shot last week. It’s really creepy, but it works. And I just get a fuller picture of who that person is. It breathes off the page a little bit more. You can even see how they interact with their friends a little bit, like through comments and replies.”
Whether you’re tired of Tinder or have had your fair share of dating app horror stories, Instagram can offer a way to make the Gen Z-coined “talking stage” feel more organic, without having to make a move in person.
Plus, many Gen Zers point out that Instagram can offer up a way to get to know someone, without the romantic or sexual pressure that can come hand-in-hand with a dating app conversation.
“Social media doesn’t have that underlying notion of like, something needs to happen between us,” 20-year-old Josh Roque also tells NBC News. “It can just be casual and friendly or we can take it slow.”
Then, if that conversation naturally begins to take on a flirtier shape, Roque says that, “it feels almost organic, like as if we were meeting someone in person.”
There is a downside though: YPulse notes that 44 per cent of young people that found love through social media said that it made dating more difficult. This is likely because it can make it harder to decipher if someone is romantically interested in you, or if they’re already in a monogamous relationship.
But, if you’re looking for a more organic connection and struggle to make a move in person, it may be time to slide into your crush’s DMs instead of turning to your go-to dating app.
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