It was a few weeks ago, when the my “single bestie”, told me her big secret.
"I downloaded on my phone an application for online dating. I thought I'd try my luck in the digital world, since in real life I seem to fail“, she said, avoiding to look at me in the eyes.
From that confiding to date, it’s like an entire century. Because she felt, as if she belonged to a minority and maybe it was, but now it is clear, that the love game has changed ... terrain: from bars and parties, it has moved to the web and hundreds of online applications.
In these, they promise, that with just a few clicks on your smartphone, you can find exactly what you are looking for, the next sex buddy, up your future hubby, and which measure more than 91 million, users worldwide, according to the British GlobalWebIndex research firm.
Everything indicates that the online flirting (and which take us) has become mainstream. A taboos free of from the recent past habit, that is gaining ground in the world of singles, constantly .
What to choose (first) ?
This is how the scenery changes and fatally, the original dilemma, gets reformulated. Today more and more people, who are not in a relationship (and some that are) do not hesitate, whether to try their luck or not, in digital dens, but which of all the available applications, they enjoy the most. And the greater the demand grows, the more the choices.
Besides, the industry of online dating is booming (in the US alone the annual turnover is estimated to exceed 2 billion Dollars, (according to IBISWord research firm) and the soil remains fertile, judging from new applications, which are constantly appearing and compete each other, in order to ensure a place in your smartphone.
Their founders, are squeezing their minds, seeking to find that 'something' that will differentiate them, from their competitors.
So they bet on segments specialization. This is how Tastebuds was born, for example: the dating app that brings us into contact with people who listen to the same music with us. By replacing the flirting with our unknown neighbour, with the concert of Tindersticks. Now this may happen on our screen, with just a few clicks. Same, if you have a dog and you want your partner to share the same love for animals, you can log in to Tindog, the app that is exclusively for pet owners. The list of new applications is long, but in the top is Bumble.
What earned it, a place on the online podium?
The feminist character, since it is the only application that gives women a prerogative of being dominant in the game.
How does it work exactly? The initial process is exactly the same with most dating apps for mobiles and tablets. Free download on your device and then connect to it, through your profile on Facebook, in order to secure, that you are a … human and not ... an elephant .
Next step is, the completion of a mini CV and one or more photos uploading. Then mathematical algorithms, start searching to find him-her, suitable according to your interests, the region in which you live, the age etc. After making the necessary calculations, the mobile screen shows you all candidates. If there’s someone you like, tick in the profile, if not, just pass him. Users do not know if they are rejected or not. You will only know if the feelings are mutually positive. Then, you will have the desired match and "unlock" the chat, for direct communication.
So far so good. But the description is like talking about Tinder, the application that was top last year. The difference, in the case of Bumble is that when two users are matched with each other, then the game is, into the hands of the woman.
Why; Because only she can send a message to the partner (or lover). And to do so, this is available 24 hours only.
This app, created a year ago, counts 3 million users. 25,000-30,000 downloads daily. And as you might have already suspected, the owner, is a woman (like the majority in this game). Whitney Golf previously worked on Tinder. In fact, she was co-founder of the popular application.
But she left in 2014, even submitting a lawsuit against her former partner, Justin Matina on charges of sexual harassment.
Why she decided to create Bumble? Surely to get revenge, but, as she says, she hates the fact that a woman is considered "easy“, just because she made that first move. "Society has very specific expectations of the sexes.
So existing dating platforms, follow these stereotypes. A man is taught from a very early age that he should be the hunter.
And everyone expects him to do so. Of course he knows that there is the possibility of rejection. Men have built a defence mechanism, which employs whenever approaching a woman. If she does not respond, often aggressive behaviors, develop.
In Bumble there is not such“ she says.
This is how, with the help of Bumble, girls stopped kept waiting for hours, in front of the smartphone waiting for Mr. X to reply, essentially, by giving their own uncomfortable position, to him. And they stopped blaming themselves for not sending a message first. Now no one will judge that. At least, not in Bumble. But things are not necessarily as easy as they seem.
Taking the game in your hands, has its peculiarities and difficulties. Writer Kelly Diamond, explains it, in feminist website xojane.com.
She first “tasted” and then wrote: "The best thing about Bumble is that I had to make the first move. That freed from something horrible messages that I received in the Tinder. Of course, the fact that I was obliged to send the first message was also the worst. I realized how it is, when men have to find a cue to approch. And because of the pressure, their brain is likely to “jam" and say, disgusting things. This does not excuse their behavior, but I understand to a certain point“ she says.
She realized something else, equally useful. Once, done to send the first message or even an emoticon, immediately the ball is passed to the male’s court: There was candidates that made “passes” immediately, others took too long to reply, giving her doubts on what she did wrong and someone who pitched 20 minutes later in their first face to face date.
The author concludes, therefore, that Bumble can actually help a woman to boost her confidence and to work with herself, in order to externalize her most dynamic side. On the other hand, the best dating apps, according to her, are the ones that treat men and women equally, giving them the same opportunities.
With a closer look, Bumble may vary in ... Some areas from other dating apps, but the core remains the same.
This is therefore one more cool digital matchmaker, which helps you find your other half or just someone for sex.
And its done extremely quickly and relatively painlessly. It's like ... an attorney. By giving all your data and he undertakes to find for you the suitable one for your requirements.
All you have to do, is skim the proposed menu and choose the best dish, the one that you will "click".
Behind this whole process, which may actually prove to be fun and efficient, there are some risks.
The American Psychological Association, for example, argues that the freedom we have to wander in dozens candidate lovers or future companion profiles, may make us more critical and strict than what we would be in a face to face interaction.
We conclude, therefore, to pass it and delete people without actually give them a second chance, keeping only the first impression, which is the external appearance.
According to the findings of research conducted by the University of Michigan (USA), this is the reason, why married couples who met through the Internet, are three times more likely to divorce than those who came into contact in the real world. Eventually they realize that in fact, they do not match.
On the other hand, what means that two people are matching?
Certainly not to be identical, says Sarah Napton, journalist in Telegraph:
«The algorithms will search and find you, the one who has said that his favorite movie is the same as your own, reading the same newspaper with you, who loves dogs just like you ... that is, looking for a clone! “.
What can we do?
Experts urge us to use Internet opportunities in moderation. How to keep the balance between digital and real world?
By making ... detoxification, erasing from our mobile all-matchmakers applications for a month! This is the advice by Michel Toglia, columnist on bustle.com website, which is welcomed by many experts.
"I use dating apps for three years. I will not deny the benefits that I had on the specific applications. Besides, some of my best dates were with people I met through them. At first it was, a “supplement" of acquaintances, that I made in the real world. Now I realize that they have begun to monopolize my interest. And not for good, because they are also a source of frustration and boredom. Then I caught myself to utter the cliché "better look online”. Out there (the real world) things are wild. “
But is it really so? ". She noticed that she had to explore the outside world ... for a long time. So, did her friends. And that's how she decided to take distances, to enjoy the month without online distractions, making detoxification from online flirting for a month! The same is recommended to all singles around the world, through the hashtag #ApplessApril created at Twitter.
The solution proposed is the same, i.e. to abstain from time to time by the digital world and chasing our dreams in the real matches, says psychologist Erika Martinez, from Florida. The expert notes: "What I advise my clients, is to abstain regularly from online flirting.
Exaggeration, even if it is something good, is always harmful.
“Digital detox is a good opportunity, for one to work with own self,
to get to know and understand what are essentials for a relationship. “
The challenge, then, is not to remove once and for all our digital footprint, but to use the possibilities that Internet gives us, to our advantage, but in moderation. As a supplement that allows us to increase the chances to find our other half.
It comes to change the traditional erotic game rules,
procuring the hunter role to women.
Worth a try or should you follow the digital ... detox?