BYU students find, strengthen relationships with smartphone apps

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Some BYU students use smartphones both to find dates and stay connected to their significant others.

BYU student Wes Curtin said he turned to Tinder for help with the dating process.

“I started using it because I thought it would help me meet people and make dating less painful,” Curtin said. “It did help me meet people, but didn’t really make dating less painful. It introduced its own problems.”

Curtin met the woman he would eventually marry on the app, despite not being able to avoid the awkwardness of dating.

“By the time I met Tessa, I was using the app out of boredom, not even seriously intending to meet people,” Curtin said. “But we were a perfect fit, and we never would have met without it.”

Wes and Tessa Curtin met on Tinder and were married in the Provo City Center Temple in Jan. 2017. Many BYU students use dating apps to expand their dating options and meet new people. (Wes Curtin)

Other students use iPhone apps to strengthen the relationships they’re already in

BYU junior Kelsie Mercer said she uses Snapchat to stay connected with her significant other throughout the day

“We are always together, so when we are not, there’s no need for long conversations,” Mercer said. “But sometimes we like to show each other things or have something quick to say, and it’s fun to see his face during the day randomly.”

BYU junior Zoe Smock said she has relied on social media in both regular and long-distance relationships. She said it allows her to get to know people in a shorter period of time and strengthen the relationship.

“I loved Snapchat because it was a little more personal than a text (and) because I like seeing their face and seeing what they’re doing,” Smock said. “It helps me feel like I’m involved or a part of their day.”

BYU advertising major Emma Johnson said she loves Snapchatting to capture funny moments when she is not physically with her significant other. However, Johnson said Snapchat can also cause problems.

“On the downside, this could also be used to reveal if someone is ignoring you,” Johnson said. “Having multiple mediums can lead to situations like, ‘He opened my Snapchat but didn’t text me back.'”

Some students use the Find My Friends app to track their significant other’s location or coordinate plans.

“I could meet up with them for lunch or visit at work, or I’d know if they’re busy,” Smock said. “Like, if they’re on a trip I can tell they made it home OK, or if they’re in the temple, I know not to text for a while because they’re busy.”

A positive of these apps may be convenience, but having a significant other being able to know your exact location at all times is a big step and takes a lot of trust, Mercer said.

“We don’t have it because we don’t trust each other, but the opposite. We have nothing to hide,” Mercer said. “(It) is a really big deal for him because he is a very private person, and I’m the only one he shares it with because I want to have it.” 

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