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Dealing With Post-Dating App Awkwardness on Campus

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Living in a world consumed by social media, it’s only natural that our dating lives are on there as well. Dating apps have changed the love scene drastically, even on college campuses. A trip to the Campus Center can often include a handful of awkward run-ins with former matches. As you walk on by, everyone seems to have a dating profile floating over their head. It’s truly undeniable: dating apps have become a part of college culture.

Michelle Gelda, a junior, joked, “The dining hall is a dangerous place when you’re hooking up with people on your quad. And I would also see people I was talking to but hadn’t met up with yet. Later they would creepily text ‘I saw you earlier today.’”

But it’s not all jokes, explains Gelda. Dating apps remove a good deal of privacy. Many people who don’t actually know you suddenly feel like they do, just from the short description and picture from your profile. She attributes the success of her current relationship to living on a different quad than her boyfriend. When discussing how she would structure dates, Gelda added, “Whenever I would hang out with someone, I would always do it at my place so it would be on my terms. I didn’t want to feel pressured.”

Michael Calderone, a sophomore, was also weary about the boundaries crossed by dating apps. He recalled a time when a date had made him uncomfortable. With requests he did not wish to fulfill, he had difficulty coming up with an excuse to leave the girls room. Calderone resorted to texting a friend and asking him to call and pretend Calderone was late for an event.

But the need to take safety precautions does not directly reflect the nature of dating apps. Meeting people in real life comes with its risks as well. Some students have had incredibly enriching dating app experiences. Lauren Hospedales, a junior, said, “You can meet a lot of people on campus and in the community. I’ve heard a lot of success stories. That’s not really me, but it’s great for making friends.”

Good or bad, dating apps do expose students to far more people than one would naturally run into. If you’re regularly swiping right, make sure that your safety is always ensured and that you’re completely comfortable with whatever situation you are in. And if you happen to walk past a previous match on your way to class, duck your head and walk the other way.

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Katie Gibson is the lifestyle editor for the Albany Student Press. She is also a DJ for WCDB.

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