Be Good Online
You may have heard on the news late last year that one of the big online dating apps was investigated and as a result they have had to update their safety policy. The investigation found that the app had become rife with sexual predators and they were getting away with it by unlatching themselves and so it could not be followed up.
These are terrible stories, as dating apps have become quite standard for most people to find love. A study from Swinburne University in December 2019 showed that dating apps have become the new norm and that users were engaging more out of boredom and a chat rather than looking for a long-term relationship. Then we have a year of lockdowns and isolations because of COVID-19 and alongside other social media, dating apps become one of the only ways people can connect with new people.
A study by DreamWalk showed that the things people were not satisfied with on the apps were boring conversation, fake or misleading profiles, being ghosted, swipe fatigue and no success in matching with people. Boring conversation can happen even if you meet a potential date in person but some of the other factors are quite unique to online dating. Behind the safety of the phone, people act in ways they wouldn’t normally act face to face. To ignore, to cancel a date at the last minute or to even not show up has unfortunately become a regular thing in modern dating.
Anecdotally I hear from my clients about their on again off again approach to online dating. They get fed up with their experiences online and delete the apps but then when they find they are not meeting new people in real life they decide to go back on and endure the negative experiences to find a diamond in the rough. The real life meeting of people has changed due to COVID-19 but even before we experienced this pandemic people began reporting that there had been a change in behaviour as less individuals were taking the risk of approaching someone out at a bar, in a nightclub or in the cereal aisle at the supermarket. Making moves online became the new normal and approaching someone in real life started to feel unusual for some people, especially younger people who do most of their socialising online.
Using dating apps is a great way to meet people and even find a relationship but there is a need for some changes. The only way change is going to happen is if all the app users reflect on their conduct.
Here are some ways we can do our bit:
Be up front with what you are looking for- let the people you are chatting to know that you are just wanting to chat, you’re just interested in a casual hook up or maybe looking for a more long term relationship
Instead of ghosting, be polite and write a message before you excuse yourself. Here are some ideas- “It has been nice chatting but I’m a little busy at the moment. Take care” “I’ve enjoyed our conversation, good luck with your swiping.”
Don’t be a scumbag and not show up to a date. Just don’t! If you need to cancel give as much notice as possible and send a nice message. Or if you are unsure if you want to go on a date with someone don’t set one up.
Try and keep the conversation interesting from your end. Ask questions, reply to questions, have a few good topics up your sleeve to bring up.
Don't lie- this might not always be intentional or even something you realise you are doing because sometimes in our attempts to get someone to like us we might tell them what we think they want to hear. Even if this gets you through a few dates it isn’t going find you a healthy relationship.
Don’t spend too much time messaging on the app. Once you have established that this is someone you want to get to know better, then organise to meet.
Let’s all look out for each other a bit more. Better together.