With a pool of over 91 million people using dating apps, barely a day passes when a new one isn’t launched promoting itself as the best way to get yourself a date – and, whilst there is no denying that dating apps are an effective, if somewhat lazy, way to hook up with other singles, I can’t help but feel that things are getting a bit complicated.
Off the back of Tinder – the original and the best (1.5 billion swipes every day, if you don’t mind) people are determined to find the next big thing. As a consequence, there are apps that hook up friends of friends, who match you to people you pass on the street, who take away the profile pictures and leave you to your instincts or who use video records to match those looking for love.
It’s with interest then, that I’ve read a fair bit in the press recently about a relatively new app called Bumble.
Bumble is an app set up by Whitney Wolfe, an ex-employee of Tinder who recognised that women were get tired of the sexual-heavy, male-dominated nature of existing apps and wanted something that puts them more in the driving seat.
It feels like Tinder – swipe right, swipe left etc, with the fundamental difference being, once the match is made, only the women can strike up a conversation and if contact isn’t made within 24 hours, the guy disappears.
According to its founder - “Bumble gives the men the chance not to feel like the aggressor and gives women a chance to take a little more control than society says is ok – this is about women reclaiming an online dating space.”
What is wrong with daters these days - he’s just called me love! I’m being harassed! A compliment, he’s given me a compliment, the bastard!”
I, for one, am not convinced.
Because, the mistake is, it isn’t society dictating the initial dating power balance between men and women, it’s men and women themselves – it’s human nature.
As admirable and on-feminist-trend as it is to try to level the dating playing field, the fault in this concept is that, by giving power to one group of people, ie. women, and taking it away from another, ie. men, you aren’t levelling the playing field, you are creating an unnatural environment which will only attract a certain type of person – in this case, victimised women and well, I can only imagine, subservient men.
Called me old-fashioned, but when it comes to dating, I like being approached, be it virtually or in ‘real’ life. That’s not to say I’d welcome the ‘constant’ sexual innuendoes and harassment that some women claim to receive online (I don’t believe a word of it – delete the app if it’s that bad) but that I recognise that the reason Tinder works is because it’s as near to a real life chance meeting as you can get, cheesy chat up lines and all – and, just as relying on voice recordings or fuzzy photos alone, distorts this, so does giving women complete control.
Bumble might work for the ranty feminists among us, those that feel victimized by a cheeky chat up line or don’t know how to take a dick pic on the chin, metaphorically speaking of course.
But for those of us, with a sense of humour, an understanding that, for ever ten decent blokes there’s going to be the odd tool online, and that getting a date in such a time-short, tech-savvy world is complicated enough, we’ll stick to Tinder thanks.
A dating app that empowers women or yet another way of highlighting all men as perpetrators and all woman as victims – I’ll let you decide.