From Farmersonly.com to Match.com, the sphere of online dating has grown exponentially. Now, in our age of always advancing technology, matchmaking has taken society by storm through mobile apps and has redefined the ways we seek out love.
Popular apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play include Bang with Friends, Tinder and OkCupid, which match individuals based on their current location, their social media profiles or through a database of common interests. While the idea behind these apps is harmless, as they mirror the format of other dating platforms, their execution is flawed.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much one can put on an online profile. Because individuals are in charge of developing their own profiles, users tend to highlight their best features and leave out the truth behind their flaws. Because of this, hopeful singles are paired with matches that are not properly suited for them, because they are not putting forward an accurate picture.
Matchmaking apps provide even less information on individuals, putting a large emphasis on looks. For example, Tinder provides users with a list of individuals within the immediate area with a series of pictures from their Facebook profile. Like what you see? Swipe left. Not satisfied? Swipe right and you won’t see them again. This method encourages users to make a snap judgment on those around them completely determined by shallow principles such as physical appearance.
Apps like this have changed the standards of finding a match. Online sites use a series of algorithms to pair individuals based on common morals and values, while mobile applications encourage quick decisions on a potential match through superficial expectations.
A prime example of this can be seen in a newly developed app called Carrot Dating, which has users bribe their potential date with materialistic incentives such as gifts and free meals. Primarily targeted at men, the app portrays gaining women’s attention as nothing more than a game to be won through flashing cash.
“Any beautiful girl can be convinced to give you a chance, all she needs is a little incentive,” said Brandon Wade, developer of the Carrot Dating app. He attributes his program’s success to the “fact” that “women love presents like dogs love treats.”
This brings up another important change in the dating world: intentions. There are an abundance of reasons why individuals might get involved in online dating, but there are really only two main motivations: love or sex. Some surf the Internet looking for “the one,” while others merely seek a one-night stand.
However specific apps are being developed to combat this confusion. For example, Bang with Friends matches individuals with their Facebook friends, allowing users to turn down or show interest in secret.
According to Bang with Friends’ website, “Once we know you’re both down, we’ll send you both an email — when and where is up to you! Bang Safely.”
Apps such as “How About We…” and OkCupid provide a list of unique dates for matches to try, ditching the cliché dinner and movie routine.
While mobile dating has begun its crusade in the application market, it misses the mark in relationship development. Users tend to create a twisted perception of their hopeful match because of trivial standards in the matchmaking process.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at @BeccaSmouse