Whether you’re an online dating guru or sceptic searching for your meet-cute, it’s becoming clear that dating apps can change the world (for better or worse).
But how you might ask while swiping away a candidate casually because of an undesirable topless selfie. Well, dating apps can forge the path for more diverse relationships and even out inequalities in society. However, unfortunately, it can do just the opposite…
Elite or Conceited?
Exclusive private school dating app, Toffee has been making headlines recently as it sets to launch in Australia. This app appeals to seasoned online daters, tired of Tinder and Bumble, but is it a good thing?
EliteSingles and The League are already covering the A-List online dating circuit – do we really need another app touting exclusivity?
We need to dishonourably mention dating apps that spawn and aggravate class and wealth divide. The Inner Circle, for example, only allows people to access the app after being invited by a current member. And if you’re a celebrity, you can give Raya a try. Luxy is only accessible by wealthy individuals and Mensa Match is exclusive to those with an impressive IQ.
These apps could prove problematic over time as they work to deepen class differences and keep the power and wealth of the world in the hands of the few. Online dating should be about creating a more inclusive society, not about helping the rich get richer.
However, Trailblazing Apps that reverse exclusivity deserve praise as much as elite apps merit our mockery.
Empowering the Disempowered
We should celebrate and harness the potential that dating apps have to break down walls to equal dating access by marginalised members of our community.
An example of this is apps that focus on gender minorities. Apps targeted at homosexual and transgender individuals can help this underrepresented segment of society find romance easier. They can help minorities find difficult to locate potential mates from among the gender-normative crowd.
Grindr, another exemplary app, now allows users to better gender-identify themselves, through personal pronouns and terms, such as “non-binary”, “queer” and “transwoman”. Dating app, Her, also builds community among lesbian women, serving the dish on local queer events and news.
Bumble is another progressive app, changing the dating landscape and flipping traditional power structures. Bumble only allows women to approach their online crushes whereas, in days gone by, it was men who held the power to get things going.
So, if you want to get on the bandwagon with the elite chasers, by all means, download Toffee and Luxy. If, however, you prefer a melting pot society that values difference and champions the powerless, then make sure you’re dating app is ethically up-to-scratch.
Let us know what you think about dating app exclusivity in the comments below!