Can Technology Fix Modern Dating?by@alansimon
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Can Technology Fix Modern Dating?

by Alan SimonJuly 3rd, 2023
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Technology broke modern dating: but here's how it can fix it.
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Every day, millions of us swipe in search of connection. But, more often than not, this leaves behind a sense of disillusionment. A quick scroll through social media paints a picture that is hard to ignore: a generation exhausted with online dating.

One video that has captured the zeitgeist is a YouTube exposé titled "The Evil Economics of Tinder," with close to a million views. This video dissects the cognitive hooks and business model of Tinder, revealing an unsettling truth: the app is designed to keep users swiping, not to help them find love.

The frustration doesn’t end here. As we grapple with the hollowness of popular dating apps, some spiral down into darker corners of the internet. The red pill community, notorious for its toxic ideologies on dating and relationships, can often be the landing ground for those disenchanted with online dating. This community, fueled by frustration and disillusionment, perpetuates a cycle of negativity.

In this landscape, where swipes are monetized, and genuine connections are scarce, there is a yearning for something more - something real. The questions that arise are as fundamental as they are pressing: Can authenticity be reclaimed? Is there a way to bring back the serendipity and depth that seem lost in the digital haze?

The Algorithms of Online Dating

What is startling is that this situation is not merely anecdotal. A survey conducted by a prominent dating review website found that a staggering 60% of online daters have encountered scammers or catfish, with 36% having been deceived by users with fake identities. These numbers reflect a prevalent issue in online dating: the lack of authenticity.

Psychological insights reveal that Tinder’s algorithm exploits cognitive mechanisms such as variable rewards, similar to the tactics employed in gambling. Users are enticed to keep swiping in the hope of finding an ideal match, analogous to gamblers who continue gambling in hopes of hitting the jackpot. This has been linked to addictive behavior, with users spending an exorbitant amount of time on the app without forming significant connections.

The algorithmic design of such platforms hinges on engagement metrics like the frequency and duration of app usage, the number of profiles viewed, and interactions initiated. By creating a continuous stream of potential matches, the algorithm reinforces the 'illusion of choice,' nudging users to stay engaged and swipe more.

Plus, the underlying business model of these platforms presents an inherent paradox. If users find successful matches, they are likely to churn out of the platform, thereby affecting the company’s steady stream of revenue generation adversely. This reality points to an unsettling implication: the financial success of the platform depends, paradoxically, on users not finding what they are seeking.

Algorithms like these are a masterpiece of cognitive manipulation, designed to keep users swiping and exploring an endless stream of potential partners. While such mechanisms might enhance user engagement and app profitability, they also contribute to an often superficial and dissatisfying user experience.

Reviving Authenticity With Technology

In the backdrop of the increasingly superficial landscape of online dating, there has been a groundswell of individuals seeking more authentic connections.

While physical gatherings signify one aspect of the movement, technology is not far behind. Emerging dating platforms are beginning to address this. For instance, RAW, a new yet innovative app, subtly integrates elements of authenticity by encouraging users to share unfiltered daily photos in real time using both their phone front and back cameras.

The dual camera feature keeps the swiping experience safe and scam-free and eliminates catfishing altogether. This not only ensures an up-to-date and real user base but also gives users the freedom to dynamically express themselves each day — an unparalleled feature that enhances authenticity and user engagement.

Plus, algorithms can help limit the number of un-replied chats. These seemingly simple changes can profoundly improve the user experience, decreasing the frequency of 'ghosting' by automatically limiting interaction when one party is unresponsive. Such an algorithm would help maintain a healthy and responsive communication environment, which significantly enhances the overall dating experience.

As we tread further into the digital age, it will be interesting to see how the landscape evolves. Will there be a wider embrace of authenticity, or will Tinder continue to dominate? The choices we make as consumers and the values we prioritize will shape the future of online dating.

The pursuit of genuine human connections is a timeless endeavor. With tech that emphasizes authenticity, there is a chance to rekindle the raw emotions that are the essence of human relationships.