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It’s great to just talk to people and meet up with people.”“I have a boyfriend right now whom I met on Tinder,” says Frannie Steinlage, a 34-year-old straight woman who is a health-care consultant in Denver.

But “it really is sifting through a lot of crap to be able to find somebody.”Sales’s article focused heavily on the negative effects of easy, on-demand sex that hookup culture prizes and dating apps readily provide.

Are dating apps exhausting because of some fundamental problem with the apps, or just because dating is always frustrating and disappointing?

“The process of dating inherently sucks,” says Holly Wood, a Ph D candidate at Harvard University who’s doing her dissertation on modern dating.

Larry Lawal, a 27-year-old straight male software developer in Atlanta, says he used to meet up with women from the apps for dinner or drinks several times a month, but now, “I don’t know, something happened [since] the earlier days,” he says.

“I kinda use it now just for entertainment when I’m bored or standing in lines. I noticed a huge shift in my intentions.”Lawal remembers the exact moment it switched for him.

If you just sit on your butt and wait to see if life delivers you love, then you have no right to complain.“Other than trying to go to a ton of community events, or hanging out at bars—I’m not really big on bars—I don’t feel like there’s other stuff to necessarily do to meet people,” Hyde says.

Hyde has been using dating apps and sites on and off for six years.

But in the past year or so, I’ve felt the gears slowly winding down, like a toy on the dregs of its batteries.

I feel less motivated to message people, I get fewer messages from others than I used to, and the exchanges I do have tend to fizzle out before they become dates. “I’m going to project a really bleak theory on you,” Fetters says.

In 2016, dating apps are old news, just an increasingly normal way to look for love and sex. Of course, results can vary depending on what it is people want—to hook up or have casual sex, to date casually, or to date as a way of actively looking for a relationship.

The question is not if they work, because they obviously can, but how well do they work? “I have had lots of luck hooking up, so if that’s the criteria I would say it’s certainly served its purpose,” says Brian, a 44-year-old gay man who works in fashion retail in New York City.

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