As its title suggests, an interesting article in The Guardian, “Apps promised a sexual revolution but they have just made dating weird”, explores how the much vaunted sexual revolution dating apps were supposed to usher in by making it easier to find a partner has not worked out so well for many people.
The promise of apps like Tinder and others that reduced the task of finding a partner to a simple swipe to the right or left has now become the norm for many people, but this initially attractive proposition it is not without rules, consequences and side effects that users, in many cases, did not expect.
The Guardian article is written by a woman, and it’s very interesting that while female profiles tend to receive a constant flow of attention, male profiles, in many cases, are desperate for clicks, in a biased ecosystem with markedly different ratios. Obviously, the previous ecosystem also had its imbalances, but with dating apps these have been intensified, and on some platforms to limits that are difficult to describe for non-users.
To these changes must be added those derived from the online nature of relationships: in an environment where everything is just a click away, it is common to find a transfer of activity to other platforms, to searches for information or contact through other social networks, and in some cases, behavior very close to harassment. What seemed to be a trivialization of relationships, or a simpler way of meeting and knowing people based on convenience and without consequences, in many cases turns into problems rooted in online behaviors that are difficult to avoid.
Of course, online dishonesty manifests itself in many ways, such as pyramid scams or cryptocurrency sales, along with different types of prostitution. In practice, what seemed to be a way of simplifying relationships has become, in many cases, a new environment with much more complicated rules, with books and articles on how to make one’s profile more attractive on this or that network, coupled with behaviors that border from scamming to harassment, along with myriad forms of discrimination.
Our online social habits are still evolving, but already suggest a dystopian future if taken to their most extreme. In short, we’re talking about behavior that depending on age or gender is steadily evolving toward something that seem far removed from the initial promises of these types of platform, without forgetting that previous models were often far from ideal, but that had simply been around for longer.
Looking to the future, will we try to return to the way we used to do things, or simply adapt and adjust to new realities?
This post was previously published on Enrique Dans’ blog.
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