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July 01, 2013

Not Your Average Dating Apps


When it comes to dating, there’s an app for that. Smartphone app creators have put their own spin on traditional dating websites such as eHarmony and match.com. Introducing… dating on-the-go! It seems to be a concept more popular than the idea of dating itself. Users can simply enter the dating world with the touch of their iPhone or Android screen.

While simple, these apps may actually be doing more harm than good. I decided to explore three dating apps that are far from the usual in order to investigate whether they really are worth the download.

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Tinder

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Tinder

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Lulu

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Lulu

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FlikDate

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FlikDate

Tinder

If you believe in love at first sight (or just feel like you need a quick confidence boost), this dating app may just be the one for you. Or is it? Launched in October, Tinder was intended to “match” users with similar interests within a 30-mile radius. This extremely specific app pulls information from a user’s Facebook profile to help make virtual dating interesting to say the least.

Here’s how it works. It shows you a picture of another user, provides some basic information and asks you to “like” or “pass” based on what you see. If you “like” someone and he or she happens to see your picture and “like” you back, it’s a match! You can either send that person a message or “keep playing.” If you happen to give someone a green “thumbs up” and it turns out not to be a match, that person will never find out.

While a mysterious and a cool, new way to “date,” there are some risks. You can imagine with all the information made available through Facebook, it has the potential to cause a lot of heartbreak. Just imagine scrolling through different users and stumbling upon a picture of your significant other. You might find out that someone you’ve been seeing isn’t being so faithful after all. I’m not saying that this app is all bad news. It’s possible that you could meet the one you’ve been looking for -- literally. You should keep in mind that the app is designed like a game for those with a one-track mind. 

Lulu

Writing and reading reviews is the best way to keep people informed. Most of us like to read a review about the new product we intend to buy before we buy it. We question whether it’s worth the price or whether it’ll last more than six months and hope that someone’s opinion will give us the answers we’re looking for. Well, Lulu, a girls-only app, does just that, allowing females to rate and review guys, then sharing that info with other females.

This app also pulls information from your Facebook profile and vows to “NEVER post to Facebook.” Any female has access to review males that they know in categories including appearance, humor, manners, ambition, commitment and more. Lulu even adds hashtags to a male’s profile, such as “#cleansupgood” for example, so people viewing a profile can see what’s good and bad about the guy. The concept makes sense but sounds almost demeaning.

While the app can be a cool way for females to learn more about someone they’re interested in, it almost takes the fun away from actually getting to know someone. In other words, it can be a relationship killer, as some people will consider the app as a way of “stalking” a love interest. Although the app is private and posts anonymously, I’d still hesitate before posting a negative comment.

Flikdate

Unusual dating apps have met their match with Flikdate, an app that allows you to video chat potential dates live -- in 90 seconds or less. It sounds like Chat Roulette and Snapchat have merged into one. The idea was so get rid of that awkward first date feeling by meeting someone in under two minutes face-to-face ahead of time. Video chatting someone for the first time still sounds like an awkward concept to me, though.

Users of Flikdate can browse the app for people they might be interested in and video chat with them instantly. Of course, this app allows you to sign in with Facebook, meaning information is pulled from your profile. While it also places an emphasis on privacy, Flikdate could easily lead to more “creepers.” Do you really know who you’re video chatting? Getting to know someone in 90 seconds doesn’t sound too promising to me.

Another problem with Flikdate is rejection. The app is programmed so that if your video chat session isn’t a good one, you “flik” and move on. Doesn’t that offend the person on the other side of the screen? No one likes rejection, so shouldn’t there be an anonymous way to let someone down easy? Tinder wins in this category.

Dating apps are not so traditional anymore. These three unusual yet interesting dating apps are only more of what is to come in the future -- more and more unusual ways to date on your smartphone. While they seem like cool ways to meet new people, they could be harmful to your dating routine. So, take caution and proceed to the new realm of mobile dating.




Edited by Rich Steeves


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