Move over, Tinder.
And Bumble. And Hinge. And Grindr.
Looks like you’re all the latest victims of Gen Z’s ‘killing spree’, as more young Aussies ‘break up’ with dating apps in favour of finding love on social media.
Overall 1 in 4 Gen Zs told us they’ve gotten into a romantic relationship with someone they’ve met online (to be clear we’re talking about relationships here, not just casual hook ups), with 21% in total saying they’d someone met on social media compared to just 8% who said they’d met someone on dating apps.
So as it turns out teenagers are far more likely to be sliding into DMs than swiping on photos to meet their soulmate.
“I have met a partner and many friends through social media and the connections are truly strong,” a 17-year-old female from NSW told us.
So what does the social media dating game actually look like?
Well, chances are you’ve heard of ‘sliding into the DMs’ from a Gen Z in your life.
This is essentially the backbone of dating on social media, and refers to direct messaging someone privately – a friend, acquaintance or even a stranger – in an attempt to start a conversation.
It often starts with viewing, commenting, reacting or liking a post or story on social media, which grabs a crush’s attention and can serve as fodder for slyly sliding into their DMs.
For example, Olivia’s Instagram might be poppin with stories from her trip to Melbourne on the weekend, which makes for the perfect opportunity to ask her fave place to grab a coffee during your “upcoming trip” (which may or may not even be happening, but don’t let the truth get in the way of a good DM slide).
Or maybe Sophia just shared her fave album which you totally vibe with and is the perfect ice-breaker to get slidin’.
Or Jayden posted a pic of his adorable little Frenchy called Frankie and omg you literally can’t because you love doggos so much and maybe one day you can walk him together just the three of you 🥺👉👈?
But it’s not all sunshine and daisies in social media dating land.
Decoding what a comment, react, like or DM actually means on social media can be tricky – and even stressful.
Like, “She liked my post but didn’t respond to my DM! What does that mean?!”
Boundaries can also get (often inadvertently) crossed if a social media crush isn’t keen on a cheeky chat, which can get you a ‘haha’, ‘k’ or worse, be left on ‘seen’ or ‘read’.
And then there’s the harsh reality of getting catfished, which translates to getting tricked by a fake identity, or ghosted, when someone cuts off communication without explanation or with a slow fade to ease you into despair instead of laying it on thick at once.
Sounds stressful and complicated?
Well, it’s probably not as stressful as having to ring the home phone and speak with mum and dad like in pre internet and mobile phones times.