If it was still the early 2000’s, dating apps and meeting people online would be seen as nothing but dangerous and unnatural. However, the past few years have shown a major change in people finding friendship, relationships and even love online. Yes, catfishing and online predators exist, and no one’s trying to say people shouldn’t be careful when it comes to meeting people online, especially young adults. But it’s 2021, the world is digital, and many great things come out of online dating and friendships!
Let’s talk about the many advantages of online connections and the TV, movies, and books that have shown those positives!
Of course, there’s old classics like A Cinderella Story where Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray were secret pen pal lovers. There’s also been quite a few shows that have mentioned dating sites in their episodes. There’s an entire episode of New Girl where Jess tries out “Dice,” a fictional dating app and Jane the Virgin’s fake dating app called “Cynder.” There are also many reality TV shows that are incorporating dating sites nowadays. Some like Love is Blind, and a newer one called Love Made Live where singles are set up on virtual speed dates. People can watch, interact, and influence the show in real time. There’s also a new show coming where Netflix has collaborated with Tinder for an Indian dating reality show called IRL: In Real Love! You can even join the show by swiping right on Tinder!
Love, Simon and Love, Victor are great examples of the positives that can come out of online dating apps! In both we see positive relationships form from online chatting, like Simon meeting Bram through the online confession of the gay kid in their school named “Blue”. Similarly, Victor chats online with yes, Simon who helps him find his own story. These shows are especially important in showing how friendships and love can be found online and in the LGBTQ+ community. It can be safer for queer individuals to find others online if they aren’t out or comfortable with their identity.
There are also some great YA books that represent online dating!
- This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
- Famous by Jilly Gagnon
- Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
- The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno
- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
It doesn’t all have to be dating sites though. Many relationships are forming more and more on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Oh, you have a fanpage account that’s not connected to your personal one, too? So do half the young adults around you. If you don’t have a separate account, you’re probably at least following people who have the same taste in TV shows, bands, books etc. right? These can be great platforms for people of all backgrounds to meet people they never would otherwise. While shows/movies are still figuring out how to best represent queer relationships, this is a great platform for those individuals to meet and connect. Ever heard of Earpers, the fandom of Syfy show Wynonna Earp? They have one of the biggest queer communities out there and people, queer or not, meet through it all the time.
Fandoms are online and so are relationships. It’s the world we live in now, and it’s fun!