The World Wide Web of Dating

Ashley Caldwell

If you’re single and looking, you’re not limited to finding love (or lust) at a local bookstore, grocery, or bar. Thanks to the mass popularity of social media, it’s getting easier to meet a match online… and not just through a traditional dating website, either.


Today, 1 in 5 couples meets online, with the stat jumping to 3 in 5 for gay couples. And that’s just counting the self-proclaimed “online daters."


Online dating doesn't have to be a search for your soul mate. Plenty of sites and apps target just "hooking up." If that's your thing, you're in luck. Social media offers singles many opportunities to meet "the one" (or "the one for tonight").


Here are some apps for those of you looking for more party and less commitment:

Tingle: Check-in when you want to meet new people. Flirt via text and make phone calls to another user without exchanging your real world contact info

LocalSin: Facebook app for your wild side—their slogan is “Find a person or party available for a fling!”

Grindr: An app that locates gay men in your area. Grindr beat out Foursquare as from The Crunchies AwardsBest Location App of 2011!

Blendr: The straight version of Grindr, in which users can search by interests, photos, location


One-night stand or not, it’s crucial to be safe when you’re meeting an internet paramour for the first time—remember, you're interacting with people you don't know in real life.


Use these applications to keep your friends on guard or to alert the authorities in case of an emergency: This site allows a user to create a group of six friends, who they can notify by two clicks if they need help or are in a potentially dangerous or violent situation Geared toward college students, this app uses GPS to alert local authorities where the user is in just two taps


Think because you’re coupled up, you can’t partake in some online dating fun? Think again. Developers are changing the game to include options for couples to use to stay in touch or to liven up their relationship. And making long distance relationships (LDRs) work—which,  according to USA Today and are on the rise because of the economy and job market—is easier than ever. Thanks to the internet and social media, couples can always be connected and in tune. Stuck on your sweetie?


Use these apps to put some digital disruption in your relationship:

Pair: This app allows couples to share photos, videos, thumb kisses, live drawings, and location sharing (My FAVORITE—I use this with my boyfriend!)

Avocado: Similar to Pair, but can sync with social networks so couples can jointly use social profiles

Cupple: Share to-dos, dream vacation spots, and intimate moments

TheIceBreak: Brings fun into your relationship with get-to-know-you quizzes and games

HeyTell: Voice walkie talkie that allows users to record and save conversations


Convinced you should try knocking boots online? Break out your laptop or smart phone and see who’s out there!