So, I was mindlessly trolling through Instagram when I stopped on a post by one of the Insta-famous girls I follow. I don’t actually know this person, but I follow her because she has a fabulous life that’s fun to look at. The post was of her with a few friends casually drinking Veuve Clicquot champagne on a rooftop Tuesday afternoon. The main reason I stopped was because I had to see why in the world these 20-something-year-old girls were sipping on $50-a-bottle of bubbly. Turns out they were promoting Bumble. Apparently it’s the latest and greatest dating app. Naturally curious, I investigated.
Bumble is like Tinder but less creepy. It employs the same basic structure as Tinder: First, you see someone’s picture, then you can swipe left or right depending on whether or not you are attracted to said person. However, Bumble attempts to provide a safer environment for those interested in online dating. It gives women complete control of the interaction in an attempt to avoid sexual harassment concerns and limit the number of sleazy/creepy messages. Bumble is perfect for girls who are bombarded with unwanted messages and cheesy pick up lines on Tinder. If a Bumble user decides to swipe right in approval, she must initiate a conversation with her potential suitor within 24 hours otherwise the match disappears. If you’re into online dating, this seems like a step up from Tinder.
While social media is a great tool for staying connected to and connecting with people, it should not be a tool for finding relationships. When the first part of your screening process is based solely on looks, how can you create anything of substance? We are setting ourselves up for failure. Has the dating pool gotten so shallow that apps and alarmingly specific online dating sites like Farmers Only and Gluten Free Singles have become the norm? Looks can be deceiving, especially when you use the right filter. What happens when you and your match meet in person and he or she doesn’t look like you expected? Or worse, what if he or she doesn’t turn out to be who you expected?
Aside from the fear that a potential suitor could turn out to be the next Craig’s List Killer, there is also the concern that you will forget how to interact with people in real life. You could meet the greatest person ever at the grocery store, but without having the app to screen them first, would the opportunity pass you by? People’s people skills are already dwindling with the presence of social media, but to know that the simple act of meeting someone has become so difficult that an app had to be created is almost embarrassing.