Dating is, perhaps, the only activity you get a reputation for being good at by being bad at it.
Users add their most flattering pictures, fill out profiles they hope fall in the sweet spot between “creative” and “boring,” and then answer questionnaires to find people who are similar.Stereotypes remain: OKCupid is for grad students, e Harmony is for people who want to get married, Farmers Only is for, well, you get it.Instead, women rate the guys they know on a scale of 1-10, and then assign them labels from a word bank of hashtags, both positive (#Respects Women) and negative (#Cant Take AHint).The value for women is obvious, if a little creepy. In its year or so of existence, there’s been one pleasant surprise: Most reviewers spend more time recommending date-worthy dudes than anonymously excoriating their exes.Another school of thought, backed up by OKCupid research, says that you really DON’T want magazine’s interviews with the most-messaged New Yorkers would seem to bear this out: Better to have half the population think you’re a 1 and half think you’re a 10 than for everyone to agree you’re a 6.
Now, what if you don’t want to spend hours painstakingly customizing a profile? Inspired by the tech industry’s continued failure to invent “the straight Grindr,” in 2011 the writer Anne Friedman came up with a list of suggestions for making a hookup app that would be popular with women. Allow only ladies to search, which would supposedly eliminate the flood of messages that awaits any woman who signals she’s interested in casual sex.Whether on purpose or not, Hinge has eliminated one of the downsides of online dating, that sense that, in a bottomless ocean, there is always a better, prettier fish to be found. Your only pictures are your Facebook profile pictures.Still, this reporter has not yet met anyone who has ever gone on a Hinge date. The first has to do with the social minefield that comes from a dating pool only made up of one’s friends-of-friends. Your only interests are the Facebook pages you Like.When people say “online dating,” this is what they mean.The setup of traditional dating sites remains fairly similar across all platforms.It means there isn’t a lot to distract you from your mission of swiping through as many suitors as possible, but it also means when you do get a match, attempts at conversation can prove unfruitful.