Kristine Fellizar
February 27, 2018 4:03 pm

In case you haven’t heard, Tinder, along with a notable group of advocates (incuding Serena Williams’ husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian), made the announcement on February 27th that they are petitioning Unicode to add customizable interracial couple emojis to our phones. Although it isn’t farfetched, Tinder might not be the first company you’d peg to back a campaign to #representlove. But according to a recent global survey conducted by Tinder, online dating and interracial relationships may go hand-in-hand.

Tinder conducted a survey of over 4,000 adults ages 25 to 45 years old from the U.S., U.K., Australia, and France. The company wanted to see how online dating has made us more open-minded about who we couple up with. According to the survey’s results, 72% of people say Tinder is the “number one, most racially diverse” dating app. Only 8% said the same for Bumble, while just 3% could say the same for Hinge.

To be fair, Tinder is the most-downloaded app among the three, so that would make sense. However, only 37% of Tinder users say race or ethnicity is a “critical factor” when deciding whether or not to date someone, in comparison to 53% of Bumble users and 63% of Hinge users, which would suggest that Tinder users are more open to interracial relationships.

Overall, a majority of people would agree online dating has helped them become more open-minded. As the survey found, 77% of Tinder users they they’re more open-minded about who they date when they’re using dating apps and sites, which is significantly higher than the 65% of non-Tinder users who say the same. The survey also found that 63% say they’ve felt “more confident” about dating people from different races/ethnicities because of online dating.

Plus, 70% of Tinder users are “very open” to the idea of interracial dating and marriage, versus only 56% of non-Tinder users.

The survey also found that online dating has helped remove stigmas around interracial dating, and has made it much easier to meet partners of a different background.

But this Tinder survey isn’t the the first to reveal these trends. In fact, a study published last year in the MIT Technology Review found that online dating has made people more open to interracial relationships, and that the number of interracial marriages in the United States has increased in recent years. So even if Tinder may not have been solely responsible for the increase, it seems to have played a pivotal role.

Love comes in many forms. But unfortunately, that’s not always represented in the technology we see and use on the daily. In case you haven’t noticed, out of the hundreds of emoji available on our phones, interracial couples don’t have one. According to the Tinder survey, 52% of people say “interracial couples are not well represented or only somewhat represented in today’s tech language culture of emojis, GIFs, and memes.” The fact that an interracial couple emoji isn’t already available is proof enough.

So if you want to see the interracial couple emoji happen, you can sign Tinder’s petition at Change.org. Over 1,500 have already signed to date.

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