Maria Paradinas discusses the ins and outs of dating apps.
The World Wide Web has weaved its threads into all aspects of modern life, and dating is no exception. Tailored perfectly for a generation hooked on instant gratification, social validation and a healthy supply of notification induced-dopamine, dating apps are the best and worst thing to happen to us.
The best because they very successfully fulfil their function – hooking users up with thousands of people in their area who are all looking for someone new to meet. This is increasingly necessary for our fast-paced lifestyles, in which productivity and work output are highly prioritised. The truth is that many, especially those who work full-time, don’t always have the spare hours to go out and meet new people. Dating apps perfectly solve this problem. They literally serve you thousands of people, conveniently essentialised and packaged into two-dimensional digital bundles to be judged ‘hot’ or ‘not’. They can also connect you with people that you would never otherwise meet, and meeting somebody completely distinct from the circle within which you move can be exciting and refreshing.
They’re also the worst – what makes people attractive can range from the way they talk, the sound of their voice, their mannerisms, their walk – all of this is lost when a living, breathing human being is represented on a digital profile.
With already so much pressure on men and women to look perfect from the media, dating apps feed off this, relying heavily on our judgment of appearance.
Also meeting someone who you’d otherwise never set eyes on isn’t always a good thing – if you’re not moving in the same spaces because you have nothing in common, conversation can run dry when you meet irl.
Dating apps have their positives and negatives, and like all things should be used responsibly (if you’re swiping mindlessly and compulsively for hours you may need to check yourself). Used by the socially timid to the extroverted, they offer a simple and direct way of chirpsing at home or on-the-go.
Bumble seems to have righted all of the wrongs of previous dating apps. Matches expire if messages aren’t sent within twenty-four hours of each other, which keeps the conversation going and eliminates those who you weren’t interested in enough to speak to. Also, within heterosexual matches, the woman must message the man first, toppling the normative man-pursues-woman stereotype and empowering women to reclaim sexual agency.
Bumble not only empowers women when dating, but it also gives them the power when networking and making friendships through Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF. Connecting digitally is the future, and Bumble ‘s progressive attitude situates it firmly at the forefront.
Download Bumble here:
Illustration by Eve Burke-Edwards.