I am one of the biggest advocates of online dating. If not for the dating app Tinder, I would not have met my wife. Tinder has gained a reputation of introducing individuals out for sex but not all users download the app for “hooking up.”
While there is no definitive study yet on online dating and dating app usage, there was one group which conducted an online survey on the subject. YouGov.com published an article in 2017 which showed that 71 percent of Filipinos know at least one couple who has met online.
“New YouGov research reveals the scale of the phenomenon in the Philippines. Indeed, half of all Filipinos have used the internet and online dating apps. This rises to 56 percent among millennials,” according to the YouGov.
The top two destinations that have the highest popularity are Tinder and the website Filipino Cupid. Skout is at third, followed by Match.com and OkCupid.
“Tinder and Filipino Cupid are the clear favorites in the Philippines, both scoring among the highest for both fame and respectability. Overall, more than six in 10 respondents have heard of these services. Tinder has the best reputation among those who have ever used online dating services, with 53 percent saying that it is considered respectable. Just 15 percent consider it not respectable, giving it a net score of +38 — the highest among all apps featured in the survey,” it said.
Dating online is especially helpful for people who want to meet potential partners but simply do not have the time due to work or personal reasons. They are also helpful for members of the LGBTQ community who are experiencing extreme public discrimination in the Philippines for when it comes to relationships. One popular dating app among gay men is Grindr.
Facebook also has entered the dating game with a “secret crush” feature where two friends can reveal how they feel about one another only if both users say they have a crush on each other.
There is a risk in online dating, however, especially when it comes to contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV. In a 2015 article by The Guardian, it quoted a United Nations official who linked mobile dating apps to the increase in HIV infections among teenagers in Asia.
“We need to work better with mobile app providers to share information about HIV and protect the health of adolescents,” said Wing-Sie Cheng, HIV/AIDS adviser for UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific, in an interview with The Guardian.
I believe all dating apps should have a subsequent educational information about HIV and AIDS for all their users. It is, after all, an epidemic and we must introduce measures to restrain from spreading the disease.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology should mandate online dating service providers to have one prior to logging in a website or registering in an app.