Taking the Fear and Desperation Out of Online Dating – via The Atlantic
(Link): Taking the Fear and Desperation Out of Online Dating by J. Beck
“In the last decade, [dating sites] marketed to the desperate, to people who were lonely and hopeless,” she [Whitney Wolfe, the founder of the dating app Bumble] said on Wednesday at the Washington Ideas Forum, an event produced by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. “Therefore when someone used it they felt this sense of shame or embarrassment.”
… Wolfe said she hoped her app could erase some of those fears for heterosexual women who are online dating; the gimmick of Bumble that separates it from Tinder, Hinge, and the scads of others is that the woman has to send the first message.
Unfortunately, men (Link): regularly send women harassing messages on dating platforms like Tinder and OKCupid, and the culture around online dating can seem toxically misogynist at times. (Wolfe herself is a former Tinder employee, and settled a sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit against her former bosses in 2014.)
…When the woman has to message first, Wolfe says, “the women feel empowered and confident,” and the men feel “relieved.” The traditional gender roles of the man as pursuer and the woman as the pursued still often play out online, though certainly not all of the time. Wolfe thinks some of the harassment comes from men who are afraid of being rejected.
…More generally, Wolfe thinks dating apps can, contrary to the old stereotype, make people’s searches for love less desperate. When the opportunity to meet new people is always available, there’s less need to scan every bar and party for prospects, panning for gold in a river of bros.