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My coffee date with Patrick*, a 23-year-old recent University grad who shared few acquaintances, didn’t incite any romantic sparks, but we found a platonic affability from which we could keep in touch as friends.
After Ok Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel, I’d seen many of the same men across the different apps. On day five, I explored Bumble, an app founded by Whitney Wolfe, the sole female co-founder of Tinder, one year after she sued her original company for sexual harassment.
I felt like I’d small-talked all of Ann Arbor to the point where I copied and pasted the same responses to the same stale questions: What was I for Halloween? Inspired by Wolfe’s experiences with sexism, Bumble contests traditional gender conventions by giving females 24 hours to initiate conversation before their match disappears.
Though the men on the app should presumably be comfortable with women making the first move, I received comments calling out my “confidence,” “assertive” nature and “forward” personality.
Our lack of connection wasn’t necessarily due to a deficiency on my or their part.
Rather, it was simply a lack of social and dispositional compatibility that a mobile app couldn’t possibly discern with six photos and a three-line bio. While all the apps paired by proximity, Hinge took similarity-pairing to another level — matching based on mutual Facebook friends — forming connections that could very well be made in person in real life.
However, like many stories go, his unkempt facial hair didn’t quite mirror the carefully vetted photos on his profile — and his bio’s claim that he had studied across Asia didn’t actually materialize itself into a cultured personality.
The intent of this social exercise was to explore firsthand some disparities between dating in real life to dating on new media.
This week, we put three Daily Arts Writers to the test: they picked a subject they could immerse themselves in, then wrote a first-person narrative about their experience.