But it's a common way to meet people these days. Whatever stigma used to exist is gone. I was reluctant at first too but not being a drinker or partier, it's unlikely I'll be able meeting many women at bars, clubs or parties. And though that's maybe still the more "acceptable" way to meet people, it's not ideal. If you're drunk, you may be more confident but neither you or her are really getting an accurate view of the other person. Having friends set you up can be cool but it can also be awkward if it doesn't work out, depending on your friends' relationship with the person they're setting you up with (especially if something weird happens). I'll still probably try a bit of this when I'm ready to date again but from my experience, male friends suck at setting up their other male friends because they often know dick about compatibility and go off looks alone or other trivial/superficial shit. My homie set me up with a cute but weird girl and when I mentioned that she was weird, he fully acknowledged it and my reaction was "Why did you set us up then?" but I already knew the answer- because I was single and she was hot.
But as far as online dating goes, yeah it can be a minefield but much less of one if you're a dude. Girls have it much worse- my female friends have told me some crazy online dating stories. So if you try it, keep this in mind- most of the girls you're interacting with have been burned by guys who *at best* have misrepresented themselves on dating sites so they're extremely guarded. I found this out quickly- I tend to be very friendly and outgoing when meeting people and this can sometimes make a girl suspicious, so dial it back a bit but don't be boring or robotic either. You're also mostly communicating via messaging at first which as we all know can be a shitty way to communicate in general. Easy to misread tone and sarcasm. Because of this, one of the ways my ex distinguished herself was suggesting that we talk on the phone before meeting up. This was a great idea and made us both more at ease- gonna have to steal that one.
Also, this may be stating the obvious but there are tons of dating sites that are geared to specific things. Never done Tinder but I've heard the same as you- basically just a hookup site (Craigslist is the same but sleazier and who even uses CL for sex anymore besides folks seeking "erotic services"?). OK Cupid is the one I used and that seems geared more towards relationships. There's also a site my sister uses called Bumble which only allows the woman to make first contact. Gives the girls a sense of control and minimizes feelings of rejection among guys I guess. Anyway, I know tons of people who are in healthy, long term relationships w/ folks they met online (some are actually married). And though I ultimately wound up breaking up w/ my gf, we had a good 3 years together after meeting online.