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Help us improve your experience by providing feedback on this. With more emerging adults having casual sex, researchers are exploring psychological consequences of such encounters. By Justin R. Massey, and Ann M.

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Despite the wind and chill of a brutal winter day, Trujano radiates an easygoing warmth, with her wavy, highlighted hair perfectly coiffed, cheeks bright pink from the cold. Trujano is one of an increasing of college students who use online dating tools to enhance their sexual and romantic relationships. From tothe percentage of couples who met online surged from And the phenomenon is no longer limited to older adults: Over the past few years, websites such as DateMySchool and IvyDate emerged as online dating sites specifically for college students.

Wallner, who has surveyed hundreds of students from both universities. Although the students who participate in online dating on campus maintain a low profile, according to Wallner, one in five students across Harvard University uses DateMySchool. The rise of college-oriented online dating sites, some students say, is symptomatic of a student population that is frustrated with the social options on campus. Currently, many Harvard students are disappointed with the existing dating scene on campus, which they often categorize as a polarized landscape of committed relationships and casual one-night hookups.

Whether in response to a limited dating scene or simply as a means of meeting people outside the Harvard bubble, Harvard students are increasingly turning to online dating as an alternative—a way to supplement their sexual and romantic lives. Online dating provides students with the opportunity to look beyond the physical Harvard campus for everything from a one-night stand to a long, dreamy courtship.

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Whether dating across campuses or meeting young professionals, students find that these tools have proved invaluable in enlarging their social networks. Love online is still far from perfect, but there seems to be a trend towards a social lifestyle that involves both online and offline dating.

Although the use of online dating tools is on the rise, there is still a ificant social stigma attached to its use that prevents a meaningful dialogue on campus. The stereotype of online daters as social recluses eating fast food as they hunch over a computer monitor and talk to strangers thousands of miles away still lingers in the public eye. The history of online dating plays a large role in the development of this negative perception of the practice. And yet, meeting new people can often become more difficult as one progresses through college.

Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin who studies the psychology of romantic relationships and online dating. In addition to this stasis that Eastwick mentions, some posit that Harvard students especially tend not to prioritize dating. Jake was granted anonymity by The Crimson because he wanted to keep his sexual orientation private. The lack of dating at Harvard may not only be a function of time constraints, but also one of space constraints. Blair, a sophomore concentrating in Social Studies and a Tinder user, was granted anonymity by The Crimson because she did not want others to know that she goes online for dating.

Most people are here to sort of find out what the market is like. Harvard also falls below the national average among other colleges in terms of its hookup count: The average of hookups for a graduating college senior nationally is seven. Around 25 percent of college students do not hook up at all, according to a study conducted by Paula England, a sociology professor at Stanford University.

Trujano decided to make her DateMySchool after one of her friends went on several dates from the site. Online dating sites can set up dates across campuses as well as help forge connections here at Harvard. As students begin to go on dates obtained through these sites, they find the stigma associated with online dating to be unfounded. Even so, online dating is not something participants typically discuss on campus.

Sites such as OkCupid highlight the diversity and nuances of the word. Additionally, in a world that seems to shrink as technology expands, meeting someone completely new has become a novelty in and of itself.

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And for students who find themselves in totally new environments—either during the summer, or after graduation—the geocentric function of the sites allow these students to make new connections. While sites like Match. Harvard students have taken advantage of this technology as a quick and convenient way to find sexual satisfaction, bypassing dating, flirting, and other time-consuming interactions. Joel Simkhai, a graduate of Tufts University, founded Grindr in as a geosocial app to connect gay males in real time.

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They come from every country in the world, except for two small island nations in the South Pacific. Grindr is used primarily for casual sex, and Simkhai is unapologetic about its function.

While Simkhai has no qualms about the popularity of his product, the unprecedented accessibility the app allows for has elicited ificant criticism for enabling promiscuity. I was abroad this winter and just in one day I literally got like 40 [messages]. Grindr allows for meetings to occur beyond the typical going-out nights of the weekend.

Bryan argues that hooking up through Grindr may even be preferable to what occurs on campus. For all the criticism directed at Grindr, the application has proved increasingly popular in the gay male community—it was only a matter of time before another geosocial phone application emerged that enables both heterosexual and homosexual users to contact each other. Blair, a sophomore, giggles as she swipes her thumb up and down her iPhone.

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Pictures of men come and go across the screen. She recognizes some of them, like the boy from her tutorial. Others are strangers.

This app, Tinder, was launched in October and has captivated Blair, along with the rest of the Harvard community. Tinder members can only adjust two settings: sexual preference and geographic range. Unlike the way students typically use Grindr—for casual sexual encounters—most users have adopted a more playful relationship with Tinder, counting how many matches they have rather than following up with these contacts. Hasty Pudding Club president Thomas J. Hanson '13 originally declined to comment on the party, then later wrote in an that it was not a Hasty Pudding Club party.

However, one other Club member and two attendees confirmed that the Tinder party happened. For Patrick and his friends, the gesture was light-hearted, rooted in novelty and convenience as opposed to a serious desire to meet new people. However, such an easygoing attitude means that current Tinder users may not stick around for long. Blair, who originally created her as a joke, laughs it off. Bryan theorizes that while a hookup app works for gay men, it may not achieve the same level of popularity in the heterosexual community.

Online dating, like many other forms of social interaction, retains its own set of inherent limitations.

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College Fellow in Statistics Cassandra W. Eastwick, the professor who has studied the differences between traditional and online dating, has another hesitation about online dating: user generated profiles. Eastwick is also unsure of the validity of the algorithms used by dating sites. Science does suggest that there is very little you can learn about how a relationship will go before two people meet.

Kendall L. The success of online dating may not be solely dependent on the success of lines of code or mathematical algorithms though. College-age users may simply benefit from meeting people beyond their houses or clubs and find something worthwhile in the opportunity to meet someone new, to take a risk.

Created inthe program uses a computer-generated matching algorithm to produce a list of 10 possible soulmates on campus. However, last year the program attracted over a third of Harvard College students, according to HCS, alling that while online dating may carry a social stigma, people are indeed reaching out through digital platforms.

And for all its seemingly random questions, Datamatch has successfully programmed romance at Harvard. Blinkinsop and Horton decided to go on a first date: ice-cream at JP Licks, followed by a walk along the river. Second-semester juniors at the time, they had many mutual friends and had even been in the same Expos class.

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About a month after their first date, the two began a relationship and are currently approaching their one-year anniversary. Be bold and take risks. Users of OkCupid, DateMySchool, Grindr, and other online dating or hookup applications have also found that, at the end of the day, online dating just makes sense. You should just date. Love Online The rise of college-oriented online dating sites, some students say, is symptomatic of a student population that is frustrated with the social options on campus. By Andrew P. Gelfand and Lynn Miao.

A Stigmatized Practice Although the use of online dating tools is on the rise, there is still a ificant social stigma attached to its use that prevents a meaningful dialogue on campus.

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