We’re bored and lonely as we’re all locked away in our respective quarantine hideouts and home offices. Seeing as we all have a phone in our hands or pockets at pretty much all times, it only makes sense that a common cure to this boredom would be downloading dating apps and trying to find people nearby to connect with.
With that in mind, we wanted to see how the pandemic is affecting social lives and dive deeper into whether or not online dating during the pandemic is safer due to the inability to meet up in person.
So, we polled close to 200 online daters to answer the questions: Are virtual dates really a better way to weed out the weirdos? Does the inability to meet in-person change what we share and how we feel?
It turns out that 70% of online daters are worried about their safety while using dating apps, likely because 55% of them said they know someone who has had a scary or unsafe experience while using a dating app.
Here’s what else we found out about online dating safety during the pandemic.
30% of People Started Online Dating During the Pandemic
Of the hundreds of people we polled, close to 30% said that they only recently started using dating apps during the pandemic, with 51% of respondents noting that they turned towards the apps to cure boredom and loneliness. 28% indicated that they started using dating apps because they couldn’t revert to regular dating (you know, back in the day when we could leave our houses and meet up with strangers in person).
What kinds of dating apps are we using while in lockdown? The vast majority of online daters we polled seem to love Tinder, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish, with apps such as Match, Hinge, and OkCupid ranking towards the top of the list as well. However, Tinder was by far the favorite, with 60% of people stating that it was their dating app of choice.
COVID is Changing the Way We Date
While 30% of respondents initially noted that they downloaded a dating app during the pandemic to cure boredom or loneliness, the deeper reasons behind using a dating app during this unique time in history were interesting:
- 61% said that they were looking to meet people outside of their regular network
- 49% said that they wanted to get to know someone before meeting in person
- 39% said that COVID lockdowns had prevented them from dating “in real life”
- 34% simply said that online dating is easier than dating in person
However, what’s perhaps most revealing is that 19% said they use online dating apps for safety concerns. And while talking to a stranger online is a lot safer than meeting up with a stranger in-person, that added safety barrier isn’t enough to qualm any fears about online dating in general.
70% of Online Daters Worry About Their Safety
A total of 70% of online daters are worried about their safety while using dating apps. It’s likely why 50% of people have resorted to virtual dates even though restrictions are being lifted. Of those who have tried both virtual and in-person dates after meeting someone online, 52% said that they felt virtual dates were a lot safer than an in-person first date with an online dating match.
Furthermore, 55% of them said they know someone who has had a scary or unsafe experience while using a dating app.
Common safety issues that people cited were:
- Fake accounts (67%)
- Scammers asking for money (55%)
- Sexual harassment (29%)
- Verbal harassment (27%)
- Stalker-like behavior after giving out their personal information (20%)
Yeah, you read that right. A whopping 20% of online daters have experienced stalker-like behavior from a match after giving out their personal information, which included their phone number or social media accounts.
Despite Concerns, 47% Include Personal Information in Profiles
Do you give out your personal information on dating apps or online in general? Our respondents were split almost 50/50, with 52% of them stating that they don’t include personal information in their online dating profiles and 47% of them saying that they do have some sort of personal information, such as their job, school, location, or social media information.
And, over 40% of them actually link their social media accounts to their profile. GASP!
Nearly Half of People Give Out Their Real Phone Number
The safety issues extend beyond the limits of the app, however. What happens when you feel a connection with someone? The natural next step would be to give them your phone number so that you can move off the app and text, call, or video chat on a more personal level. Really, it only makes sense.
46% of people give out their real number to people they meet on dating apps. But it doesn’t have to be that way (and it shouldn’t; our study also showed that of those who give out their number, 45% had had safety issues because of it)!
There’s literally an app for situations like these, folks! Burner is here for professional users and business purposes and helps protect vulnerable people everywhere looking to protect their privacy. Even though nearly half of online daters give out their real number, it seems as though it’s simply because they don’t know that a second phone number app like Burner exists.
52% of Online Daters Want a Second Phone Number App
52% of people said they’d feel a lot safer using a fake phone number when talking with people they meet on dating apps, and 89% of them said they’d be very or somewhat likely to use an app that allowed them to protect their privacy online.
We’ll repeat it for the people in the back: BURNER’S HERE FOR YOU.
If there’s one thing that we learned from this survey, it’s about more than just dating trends during the pandemic. What we’ve really learned is that people are looking for safer ways to meet and get to know others. For that, there’s Burner.
A fake phone number is a perfect solution.
You can get a Burner number for Tinder (or whichever dating app you’re using). And, if things go well, you can keep the Burner number as a great way to interact with semi-strangers and others in your personal and professional life who don’t need access to your real phone number. Not only will it protect your privacy, but it makes separating your dating life and all other areas of your personal life a lot easier.