Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Technology Making Connections

The blogger as My Dissolute Life, a blog I follow, writes about discovering Tinder, which I know has been around for a while. Tinder sounds like it is great for anyone looking for a hookup or casual sex or perhaps "more," whether they are unattached or in an open relationship.
I have the sense that it was designed by addiction researchers. It’s nearly impossible to put down, it’s incredibly compelling, and it’s brilliant in that it’s constantly stimulating your (my) reward centers and never communicating rejection.

If you’re not familiar with it, this is how it works:

Somehow, it interacts with your Facebook account to generate a never-ending stream of women (or men). It allows you to select up to six photos from your FB account to present on the app, as well as a small number of words (a few more than 140 characters, it seems). And then, the fun begins.

With each photo, you decide if you want to “like” or “reject” the candidate. You can look closely – read the text, if there is any, look at all the photos. Or, you can just decide instantly, on the basis of the “cover” photo. You can either swipe – right to “like,” left to “reject,” or you can tap the “X” or the heart.

That’s it. You do that, over and over, and then, the matchmaking starts.

Women (if you’re me) see your picture(s), and they decide whether to accept or reject you (me). If there’s mutual acceptance, you both get a message, and, 99% of the time (of course), it’s on the boy to initiate contact.

What’s brilliant about this is the way they handle rejection.
Click through to read more.

Whenever I hear a mention of Tinder, I think about what used to be called "Bang With Friends," but is now known as Down. Before I'd ever heard of BWF, and perhaps before it was available, I remember thinking that there had to be some way technology could let people who know each other on some level but have a very good reason to be cautious about making a move see if there is a mutual interest in a "protected" way. Down is one answer to that. For example, when it comes to consanguineous relationships, someone could indicate, secretly, that they want their cousin, among other people. Nobody will ever know, not even the cousin, unless the cousin also uses the app and marks the person as someone they want. And it isn't like the cousin could then say, "Eww! No way! You're a terrible person for having sexual thoughts!!!" Because the cousin will have done the same thing.

If you have experiences with these apps or others, tell us about it. The comments are always open.
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