Hinge Helps Lonely Gen Z Daters Unplug

Gen Z suffers from epic levels of loneliness and screen fixation, and Hinge wants to help. To encourage people to log off their screens for the Global Day of Unplugging March 1, the dating app is handing out limited-edition "Phonebooks."

Shaped like a generic smartphone, the paper books are loaded with ideas for IRL interactions and fit in all the places people typically carry their phones.

“Being offline can feel uncomfortable for Gen Z,” says Jackie Jantos, Hinge’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We want to be supportive and encourage them to spend just one more hour connecting in person with each other.”

The book’s 100 pages are filled with ideas that come from 19 Gen Z collaborators, including Yu Ling, Sierra, Dylan Troesken and Margot Lee, who are also sharing the content on their social media channels. One page, for instance, teaches people how to live without selfies by drawing a “sketch-ie.” Another comes from a chef offering a recipe for food-waste-based clothing dyes. Another teaches people about talking to plants.



Initially, Hinge printed 2,000 and offered them to members. They “sold out” so fast, a Hinge spokesperson tells Marketing Daily the company is printing 2,000 more. Free downloadable copies are also available.

Ahead of the official day, Hinge will use in-app messaging to give participants more ideas on Feb. 29.

The idea stemmed from Hinge’s research, which finds that 47% of young people wish there was an easier way to switch off social media. One in three say it is challenging for them to disconnect.

Hinge, owned by Match, is promoting the giveaway with out-of-home ads in New York City featuring ideas from the Phonebook.

This is just the latest push from Hinge to help foster real-life relationships. Based on findings that Gen Z spends, on average, 1,000 fewer hours of in-person connection than in previous years, the company launched a One More Hour fund in December, giving grants to groups facilitating moments for people to connect in person.

It also found that 75% of Gen-Zers agree or strongly agree that spending time with others in person makes them feel less lonely.

To promote the Unplugging event, Hinge has donated $100,000 to provide microgrants to hosts who will create 100 or so unplugged events across the U.S., taking place by the end of April. Grantees include pick-up flag football games, book clubs, intimate dinner parties and musical performances. 

Hinge continues to be Match’s best performing brand, with revenues rising 50% to $116 million in the most recent quarter. As Match rolls Hinge out into new markets, the company expects Hinge to become a $1 billion brand over the next few years.

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