They’re actually not bad, they’re amazing in my opinion, but we’ll get to that. It’s the behaviour that’s been developed as a result of dating apps that’s frustrating daters. There’s a litany of bad experiences and dating-app disaster stories that can largely be chalked up to the sheer number of people available to chat at any one time. People have become complacent, and common courtesy has given way to a voracious appetite to match, chat, fade-out, and repeat.
But lets set the scene to make sure we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater on this subject. Some people will remember the days before internet dating, when you had to wait until the weekend to get any attention. You held out hope that the party, bar or club you were going to would be loaded with potential. But every weekend was a gamble, and the chances of meeting someone attractive, available, and interested were infrequent, in comparison to today’s world of internet dating.
Nowadays you can be sitting on the toilet, swiping away and be more likely to meet ‘the one’. There’s an endless feed of existing and new singles waiting to be desired, just like you. So people today have so much more opportunity to meet someone instantly and avoid lengthy periods of loneliness. But, is it this very indulgence that’s giving dating apps a bad name?
Tell me if this is this familiar: You match with someone online, you get excited because they’re really hot. You text them, they respond, you get that hit of serotonin because you feel desired. After a few texts the heat seems to drain out of the exchange as you run out of things to text about, and then it’s over. Or,… one of you remains interested, but the other person just stops responding. Let’s break this down and compare the scenario with an IRL meeting.
If you met that person IRL, before internet dating (and assuming you liked them), you would hear their voice, you would see their mannerisms, you would get their phone number, and you’d probably call them. You would develop some form of respect for them (assuming both people were relatively normal humans), and there’d be a natural ramp up of feelings, or just respect. But in a world where we’re imprisoned behind texting and profile photos, there’s a lower chance of building respect, and there’s a higher chance of upsetting someone with a wayward text, or boring them with “how was you day?”. It’s then much easier to dump that person by clicking ‘un-match’, or to ignore them when a new, hotter face comes along, which WILL happen.
So this smorgasbord of suiters, coupled with the complacency of fickle, agitated users is giving dating apps a bad name. That’s why there’s a new wave of dating apps on the scene that drive respect over installs. Take Concha for example, it has strict software to make sure you upload decent and accurate photos of yourself, then you have to use your voice before you can jerk someone around with texting. It’s a much different proposition to brutally ghost someone after you’ve shared a few voice notes, or had a phone call. I hope this changes behaviours, and then the answer to the question ‘are dating apps bad?’, will just be no….and you won’t have to read this blog.