My opinion of dating apps is well-documented. Like much 21st century technology, it's incredible progress that creates and easy frictionless environment to meet strangers. The problem, of course, is that it's too frictionless. There's nothing at stake. There's little profile information. There's no time or emotional investment. And then we're surprised that dating apps are so frustrating. Again, it's like the shallowest version of online dating (which is already impossibly shallow).
Thankfully, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Justin McLeod, the CEO behind the dating app Hinge also gets that their technology isn't often used as a force of good.
In fact, most people really do want to find real connections - even when they use dating apps for their convenience.
"Essentially, swiping is an addictive game designed to keep you single. This is perhaps fine if you’re just looking to have fun, although there is growing research that indicates even in this case it’s neither fine nor fun, instead leading over time to anxiety and depression. Regardless, to call swiping apps ‘dating apps’ is a very unfunny joke at the expense of those looking for relationships — of which there are many. Currently when we ask Hinge users privately, 87% are open to a relationship, with 45% looking exclusively for a long-term relationship."
Just goes to show that, in fact, most people really do want to find real connections - even when they use dating apps for their convenience.
McLeod continues: "Though most are not willing to join the baby boomer generation on expensive, old-fashioned websites like Match and eHarmony. We believe technology has incredible potential to help people find compatible partners with which they can form successful relationships. Given the current state of our culture, it’s now more critical than ever that there exist a service that helps those bold enough to seek real relationships find meaningful connections, while still being accessible to the millennial generation. What became clear through our research was that swiping would never achieve that mission. This new service would have to break the mold."
After nine months of work, McLeod relaunched Hinge this fall. Since I'm a married guy, can you go on there and tell me if it's a better user experience than, say, Tinder? I'd love to have a dating app I can wholeheartedly endorse.
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.