Social ImpactsThe internet lets us connect with anyone, which has made finding dates much easier. You can message someone without needing their phone number, Google someone, and pick and choose preferred options. However, there are plenty of downsides to online dating. Being online makes people less inhibited and this often leads to harassment. A funny and sad reflection of modern technology is the stream of unsolicited, sexually aggressive photos men seem to get send. Online disinhibition make people feel like they can share their most impulsive (and sometimes never appropriate) opinions. New unspoken rules and phenomena emerge from these dating sites, like ghosting or catfishing (MTV even made a show about this). Proving your love and commitment can mean deleting all your dating apps (because infidelity is still an issue on the internet). And while many platforms may have started out with a heteronormative narrative, there are now apps for gay men, millionaires, shrinking religions, and other sub-groups. There’s even an app that only let’s women make the first move and search for a BFF at the same time. But in the same way the internet finds love for people, it brings together another group of people who harbor dangerous feelings of resentment. Online dating can make people feel worse about themselves than when they started. The kind of ‘lookism’ that’s highlighted by wanting to look better on profile pictures and comparing ourselves to other people has lowered self-esteem. Women’s appearances are usually under scrutiny and judgement, but men’s insecurities have also been targeted in recent years and proving to be profitable market. And it gets worse when you throw intersectionality, discrimination, and consent issues in the mix. Remember, these problems exist online because people are terrible in real life. So the capacity of an amazing dating experiences is balanced by the incidents of heinous ones.
What does the data tell us?There are enough first dates stories to tell us that every interaction we have with a potential partner can be anything between terrible and wonderful. To help with that, online dating creates parameters to help define people and find what they’re looking for. So creators must aggregate data about users to isolate their needs and the best way to . Then the data analysis doesn’t stop. We’ve learned some interesting trends in online dating, some trends less enjoyable than others.
- Both men and women seem to reach out to potential partners slightly more desirable than their selves.
- Women send more positive messages when trying to “upgrade” while men send less positive messages.
- Gross misogynistic trends reveal how women peak at 18 while men peak at 50
- And women with postgrad education are less desirable by men