SAN ANTONIO - C'mon, you can't really unlock love from an app? This has to be one of those trendy things? It is not! In fact, if Al Green choose to remake one of his hits this could be called 'Love and Appiness.'
Research shows more people are willing to give dating apps a try.
"They're fast and they're convenient. You don't have to leave your house," Scot McKay said. "You don't really have to do anything else than put a picture of yourself up there or two say a little blurb, and then you're off to the races."
McKay knows firsthand. He met his wife Emily online. They took their experience to a higher level and started teaching others about 21st-century dating. The two are sought out internationally for their dating advice.
"Whatever you're looking for in your dating life - whether you want to date socially right now or you're looking for your one and only," McKay said. "When you meet the right people in real life, and you finally connect with them, that's where you'll find the happiness."
Millions are willing to take that chance. A Pew Research Center study shows 15% of American have tried mobile dating apps or online dating. Their data also indicate 18-24 usage has nearly tripled since 2013. 55-64 year-olds are swiping right too.
According to the statisticbrain.com, there are 54,350,000 singles in the United States. More than 49 million have used some form of online dating like dating apps.
In a KENS 5 Facebook post, Rick Barrera said he met his wife of nine years on eHarmony. Mark Gordon had the same luck with his wife who he met nine years ago on Match. Stephanie Taylor-Bailey said she met her husband after traversing through some horror stories on dating. She connected on the app Plenty of Fish Dating app.
"People are spoiled by choice," McKay said. "They have so many people rapid fire. They don't know who to actually talk to or meet in real life."
All those choices can lead to problems like breadcrumbing McKay said. That's where someone gets strung along on social media. In the world of dating, it's a tease.
Ghosting is another issue McKay said. In the world of social media, it's where there's a break-up and never hear back from your romantic interest again.
The biggest problem with dating apps is those who misrepresent who they really are. Catfishing - pretending to be someone you're not - or posting pictures from 19 years ago as the actual you is simply a lie.
Libby from the University of San Antonio said she's had cool and creepy encounters on dating apps.
"It's already kinda like a horror story," Libby said. "Are you even real? Do you even look like that?"
Rhonda, another UTSA, student said a man she met on a dating came from Dallas to San Antonio to meet her. He looked nothing like his picture. To be cordial, she went on the date anyway. Wrong move - he started to text her relentlessly.
George from UTSA said he thought he was going to meet a girl in the parking lot of movie theater. The only car at the agreed time for the rendezvous had a man in it. George said he's not into guys so he left.
Emily who attends UTSA said she signed up for a popular dating app her peers use. She deactivated her account in two hours.
"You just hook up on there," she said.
McKay said that's another issue with dating apps.
"Because of the superficial nature of those dating apps they got branded as being strictly for hookups," McKay said. "Not for finding someone to have a real relationship with."
McKay said in a game that's about making decisions at the speed of a swipe, dating app users could benefit from taking more time to make a choice.
Ronda Kent of San Antonio told KENS 5's sister KVUE her credit took a huge hit after a man she met on-line racked up nearly $1500 on her credit. Curtis Coats III calls the claims insulting, but the allegations on his public record speak to theft and fraud.
"All of the online dating in the world, all of the apps in the world," McKay said. "The purpose is to meet in real life."
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