Contributed by: kellyseal Thursday, September 13 2018 @ 10:17 am
Online dating has become the most popular way for people to meet, but according to a recent article in Forbes[*1] , this doesn’t mean they’re are satisfied with the experience. Many are skeptical that technology will help them find love – and in fact, might make it harder.
The Forbes article focused on ghosting, a practice that has become ubiquitous among online daters. Ghosting happens when one person stops communicating with another with no explanation.
The problem with ghosting according to the Forbes article, is not the act itself, which has been around for a while, it’s how prevalent it has become. It has become such a problem among online daters that Plenty of Fish did a study, and reported that 78% of its users admitted to being ghosted at least once.
With the rise of dating apps, people aren’t as invested in forming relationships and really getting to know their matches. Instead, swiping and matching has become an addictive game-like practice – with people opening their dating apps while they are sitting in traffic, waiting in line, or on a break at work. There’s a bit of a high in swiping and matching in the moment, a “dopamine hit” as Forbes points out, so there’s little incentive to stop.
Interestingly, studies have found that despite the instant gratification of swiping, online daters are more unhappy than ever. In one study of 200,000 iPhone users, 77% of Grindr users felt unhappy when they used the app. The larger question is – if people are becoming increasingly more unhappy with the experience of online dating regardless of the app – what can the online dating industry do differently?
Facebook has entered the equation at an interesting and perhaps pivotal time. While many new dating apps are copying the success of Tinder and offering swiping technology and other efficient ways of sifting through potential matches, Facebook appears to be taking a different approach.
Facebook recently announced they will be assigning users a reputation score that relates to their trustworthiness, based on whether they circulate fake news articles and how often. With the ratings system, Facebook can better identify malicious actors, and this translates to people being held accountable for their behavior if they use Facebook’s new dating platform.
This rating system also comes with challenges. While it will be a positive for people to be held accountable when they date online, instead of hiding behind an online persona, it also creates a platform where people will feel policed for their behaviors, and might drive customers away. Facebook hasn’t yet launched its dating feature.
Regardless, ghosting has become a problem, and no online dating service has yet offered an effective solution, but they appear to be working on it.