With more than 40 million Americans currently engaged in online dating, seeking hookups, relationships and love, meeting someone has never been easier. The options are endless — just turn on your phone.
After New York Times bestselling author Nancy Jo Sales wrote the 2015 Vanity Fair piece “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse,” she went deeper into the subject. In Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age, she investigates the online dating industry’s impact on gender issues, examining how it has changed the way people date and mate and think about the apps on their phones, and exploring how the act of swiping affects the ability to find true and lasting connections.
Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age looks across the entire landscape of online dating, offering startling revelations about this billion-dollar industry. The film features interviews with, among others: Jonathan Badeen, co-founder and CSO of Tinder; Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble; Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of Hinge; and Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group, which owns Tinder, OkCupid and other dating sites. Also featured are interviews with experts and academics who provide social and historical context for the rapidly evolving nature of dating today, including: April Alliston, professor of gender and sexuality studies at Princeton; Adam Alter, social psychologist at New York University; David Buss, evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin; Justin Garcia, research scientist at the Kinsey Institute; and Moira Weigel, dating historian at Harvard University.
At the heart of Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age are the twentysomethings and teens who describe in intimate detail their experiences with online dating, the only type of dating many have ever known. Sales follows six young people of diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from 18 to 29, in four cities across America, as they try to find love and sex with the help — or hindrance — of online dating.
Their experiences run the gamut. Some of their stories reveal the complex attitudes and ramifications of a dating world where hooking up is just a picture swipe away. Several young women also discuss the dark side of online dating, including receiving unsolicited nude images, being targets of revenge porn and feeling pressured into having sex.
In industry surveys, 80% of dating app users say they are looking for a serious relationship, yet nearly the same percentage has never found a long-term connection on any swiping app. Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age is a thought-provoking exploration of digital dating and whether it is meeting or thwarting our need to connect.
In addition to Vanity Fair, Nancy Jo Sales has written for Harper’s Bazaar, The Guardian and other national publications. Her novels include American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers,” and The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World.
Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age is written and directed by Nancy Jo Sales; producers, Carly Hugo, Matt Parker and Nancy Jo Sales. For Consolidated Documentaries: executive producers, Graydon Carter and Annabelle Dunne. For HBO: executive producers, Lisa Heller and Jacqueline Glover.