Hyperconnectivity on Online Dating Apps: When faced with an Ocean of Choices
February 23, 2022 5:27 pm ||
Author: Firya Qurratu’ain Abisono
Editor: Amelinda Pandu Kusumaningtyas
Since its arrival, online dating apps have brought a revolution in the world of dating. This application no longer seems to be an application that is foreign to the ears of the public, especially urbanites. However, unwittingly online dating apps lead to the phenomenon of hyperconnectivity that has two sides of the coin’s eye. On the one hand, the presence of online dating apps makes it easier for users to get a partner according to their wishes. However, as an application that can connect a person with many choices, triggering questions; Can a user really maintain his or her relationship with everyone he or she meets in an online dating app?
Hyperconnectivity on Online Dating Apps
Hyperconnectivity is a relatively new word coined to describe the rapid availability we are experiencing today and the vast and global assimilation of new ways of communicating over digital networks.[i][ii] Unfortunately, the worst part of hyperconnectivity is that many go from face-to-face conversations with family members, friends, or colleagues to digital communication on the assumption that they are more effective and save time.
What about the quality of this relationship? Is the relationship becoming deeper and closer?
In today’s highly connected world, everyone has access to information, data, and all services with just a tap of the screen wherever and whenever they are. One can instantly connect with friends, family, schools, civic institutions, and even strangers from other parts of the world. This is where online dating applications become one of the mediums that play a role in bringing users to potential partners based on location without having to meet in person first.
Online dating apps are described as a form of CMC (Computer-Mediated Communication) activity created intentionally to meet new people with internet mediating sites specifically designed for the purpose of getting a partner.[iii] If adjusted to the purpose of creating an online dating application, of course, this application is expected to help its users to get a partner. However, what often escapes its users is that this application actually leads them to the phenomenon of hyperconnectivity.
Today, almost all online dating sites such as Match, JDate, eHarmony, OkCupid, and SoSoCupid have apps that can be downloaded on their users’ smartphones. This certainly makes users have increasingly fast and easy access to the sea of choice of couples. However, this convenience also leads users to constantly check their phones neurotically to see who they will choose and who chooses them. In his book, Syrtash & Wilser[iv] states that a person too attached to an online dating app can neglect work in order to spend more time looking at and selecting the profiles of other users on dating apps. Even at a more acute stage, a person can continue to check his online dating application when on an offline date.
The implication of hyperconnectivity on online dating applications is that online dating offers its users many choices and the ease of connecting with those choices. If examined further, the negative side caused by hyperconnectivity on online dating applications makes users addicted. When users are in the throes of online dating, they will continue to drift away in the pleasant feeling of checking the app continuously and abandoning the real world. Not only does ignoring what’s going on in the real world, hyperconnectivity in online dating apps also raises questions over the depth of relationships formed within the app.
An Ocean of Pseudo-Choices and Relationships
Hyperconnectivity is any form of communication in any way, from one to one, from one to many, and many to one.[v] Online dating apps are a form of hyperconnectivity from one to many because it provides space for someone to enter into a sea of choices of potential partners. This kind of approach will help some people find a suitable partner, while some might feel hopeless with this approach. A survey conducted by Anderson et al.,[vi] showed that 45% of dating app users currently feel frustrated when using the app because of confusion with the many choices they have. In keeping with that, Homnack[vii]considers that online dating apps form relentless search behavior through various profiles.
It is undeniable that the hyperconnectivity offered by online dating apps meets the needs of its users for instant gratification in finding a partner. When viewed from the relationship side, the never-ending emergence of profiles causes users to continue looking for the “next best thing” that might have an impact on the relationship’s indiscity. Thus, what is the future of the love life of users of this app? Will they know people based solely on their profile picture?
Bauman[viii] believes online dating is a symptom of the love liquid present in the era of individualism, where this phenomenon weakens human bonds due to rapid social and technological changes. It is also considered that the existence of online dating apps leads individuals to think more about relationships that are temporary than a lifetime commitment. Research conducted by Hobbs, et al.,[ix] also suggested that sexual networks can be expanded through the use of digital technology, leading to an increase in the number of sexual partners and casual encounters. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by kapersky.com[x] found that people turn to online dating for various reasons, 48% do it for fun, while some are looking for a more meaningful relationship, and one in ten are just looking for casual sex.
Online dating apps are revolutionizing dating relationships as well as the sexual activity of modern society. The ease and thrill of choosing from this sea of options allow users to use the app for fun, so dating is considered a recreational activity where couples are easily replaced by new people found in the app. This is where the hyperconnectivity phenomenon in online dating applications is worth worrying about. Suppose the purpose of creating this application is to find a lifelong partner; why does this application give rise to the formation of pseudo-relationships due to the many diverse options?
Hyperconnection is very helpful in building a network and makes it easier for its users to connect with many people. However, when hyperconnectivity in online dating applications can actually make users continuously search and get caught up in the search. Online dating apps that should be able to help users find a partner can actually lead users to fall asleep in online dating games. Of course, this not only affects how users perceive and adjust in the application, but has an impact on how users do not appreciate people around and judge people only from the appearance of the opposite sex profile. Not only that, this application also has an impact on the meaning of relationships and how to live a romantic relationship itself.
[i] Dutta, S., & Bilbao-Osorio, B. (2012). Global information technology report 2012: living in a hyperconnected world Geneva: World Economic Forum and INSEAD.
[ii] Cheok, A. D. (2016). Hyperconnectivity. London: Springer.
[iii] Sari, W.P., & Kusuma, R. S. (2018). Presentasi diri dalam kencan online pada situs dan aplikasi setipe dan tinder. MediaTor ,
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[iv] Syrtash, A., & Wilser, J. (2013). It’s okay to sleep with him on the first date: And every other rule of dating, debunked. Don
Mills, Ont.: Harlequin.
[v] Cheok, A. D. (2016). Hyperconnectivity. London: Springer.
[vi] Anderson, M., Vogels, E., & Turner, E. (2020, October 02). Users of online dating platforms experience both positive – and
negative – aspects of courtship on the web. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from
[vii] Homnack, A. (2015). Online dating technology effects on interpersonal relationships. Advanced Writing: Pop Culture
Intersections, Paper 4.
[viii] Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Cambridge: Polity
[ix] Hobbs, M., Owen, S., & Gerber, L. (2017). Liquid love? Dating apps, sex, relationships and the digital transformation of intimacy. Journal of Sociology, 53(2), 271-284.
[x] Dangerous liaisons: Is everyone doing it online? Daily English Global blogkasperskycom. (2017). Retrieved, from https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/online-dating-report/