Are Online Dating Apps Worth the Journey - Are They Selling Hope or Forgiveness?

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, May 19, 2024

Are Online Dating Apps Worth the Journey - Are They Selling Hope or Forgiveness?

If you are just getting out in the world the dating scene has changed a lot over the past 20 years as dating apps have become the quick and easy way to either “hook up” or make a love connection. While giants like Tinder and Plenty of Fish, and rule the roost as far as volume and size of memberships, smaller niche-specific sites like Bumble and Hinge have carved out a loyal following by trying to fix some of the most common complaints in current dating apps.

For example, Bumble, started by dating app expert Whitney Wolfe Herd, saw that women were being hit up at a much higher rate then men, to the point it was overwhelming and frustrating for women. Being inundated with “eggplant pics” from men became a problem for many female members. Bumble was created for women to control the conversation from the beginning. When men join and “swipe right” on a female, she will see their profile and decide to swipe right if there is any interest. Also, the female must start the conversation or text thread with the interested man, men cannot initiate a conversation without first being texted by the female user.

How much has dating changed thanks to the internet and dating apps? Bumble and other dating apps have such features as “no eggplant pic” promises, are you a fan or not a fan of alcohol, cannabis, cigarettes, and even what type of music you listen to. Members can even select how often they like to enjoy such things as alcohol by selecting such options as never, sometimes, socially on weekends, or always.

With the evolution of dating app technology, one question remains mysterious. Are users getting and paying membership fees in order to buy hope or forgiveness.

Most people would assume that users are buying in the hope of finding the next love of their life or happiness. Even if a user is on a “hook-up” site like Tinder, the goal is to find a short-term partner and the hope is to find a partner for an intimate physical meeting. Users are certainly in the hope lottery on dating apps, hoping to find the next one, hoping to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, hoping to find happiness or have their pain go away in some way by meeting the next person.

A deeper dive into some of the questions on dating apps brings up a larger question that may not be so obvious. Many female users list “empathy” as the number one quality they find important. Empathy is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy, or the ability to share and understand the other person’s reason for being on the app and their current situation in life that brought them to the apps, seems to be a big piece of the online dating puzzle. Femail users are most interested in being understood and perhaps even forgiven for past that lead them to the app.

What does that mean for dating apps and the future of online dating?

If empathy is the most important trait female users are looking for on sites like Bumble, does that imply a sense of understanding and forgiveness is the number one need of the users, before even hope for a a better or happier life? Men should take notice that a big part of winning a women’s heart may not have as much to do with good looks and “eggplant pics”, but being able to understand how and why a female user got to the point where they said yes to signing up for a dating app. Forgiveness and acceptance seem to much more important to female users than shirtless shots and what kind of car you drive.

Ironically, after listing empathy as the number one desired trait on the app, many female users then list a plethora of “non-negotiable” trait they require in a man in order to agree to swipe on them. Some may list smoking as a non-starter no matter what, others may list marijuana use as another non-negotiable if they would like to start a conversation.

So does empathy go both ways? How can female users require and request empathy for their backstory on why they are on the app, yet then turn around and have a grocery list of requirements for the man to do or agree to in order to start a conversation? True empathy is a two-way street, asking for empathy for yourself, yet listing a laundry list the other person must do or have is not a true empathetic agreement.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander as they say.
Time will tell if dating evolves with new technologies such as AI and blockchain to correct some of the gaps users are seeing in their wants and desires in a dating app and what real people on the other side of the profiles are able to actually agree to before meeting up.

Stay tuned!

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