The concept of contemporary dating is deeply unethical.
Currently Tinder holds approximately 75% of the online dating market (according to the US statistics). The rest followed suit and started to use the photo-based approach. Hence, current dating looks something like this: a person looks at the photo and then decides ‘yes’ or ‘no’ right away.
Meanwhile, the psychologists state that given certain circumstances, an average male can have a happy relationship with approximately 2 out of 3 women of his age category. However, the possibility of simple human happiness is hindered by socially-determined canons of beauty: images from magazine covers and billboards ingrain into people’s minds what they like and what they don’t like.
Show that photo: how social pressure forces people to use deception
It is obvious that social pressure by way of certain standards of appearance forces people to adjust and deceive during online-dating in order to be liked by a larger number of individuals.
About 81% of people misrepresent their height, weight or age in their dating profiles, according to a study led by Catalina L. Toma, an assistant professor in the department of communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
People also use their old photos in which they think they look better. According to several studies, which are cited by Professor Toma – women’s profile photographs were on average a year and a half old. Men’s were on average six months old. In general, one way or another most profiles on dating services have some level of untruth or at least of “stretched truth”.
Professor Ellison’s research shows that lying is partly a result of tension between the desire to be truthful and the desire to put one’s best face forward. So profiles often describe an idealized self.
The reason people themselves cite is the desire to look and seem their best. The key word here is “seem”, since no one tells them there is a price, i.e. the feeling of being deceived, sometimes unknowingly, which can also be mixed with a feeling of guilt. This then lowers the self-esteem of many.
The farther people are from the ideals of beauty created in their own mind, the more it becomes necessary to lie in order to get attention, the more their personal self-awareness and emotional state get deformed; how does it feel when one has to lie about who you are?
Photos vs. the soul: Date souls, not photos
The contemporary visual world demands more from the body, from the face, but from the content. Many years ago, Instagram became filled with a huge amount of add-ons for tuning and improving photographs.
As a result, people look less and less like their photographs in this chase for beauty. There even exists the so-called tinder effect: when people meet for the first time, they discover that the other person looks nothing like his or her photo. The gap between photo-reality and the actual reality widens.
Meanwhile, an important thing is missed – what hides behind the filter of appearance. According to a 2014 PEW research study, 21% of mobile phone owners, said they feel closer to their spouse or partner because of conversations they had via text.
Unfortunately, there are still no dating services that uses such idea. 2014 saw the appearance of the dating service Willow (https://www.bustle.com/articles/35282-willow-dating-app-has-a-talk-first-reveal-photos-later-philosophy), the philosophy of which is talking before exchanging photos. However, the startup had not received widespread attention and was shut down.
Photographs are still very important in dating, it is impossible to swim against this tide, which shows that the dating business is still based on photographs. Even the character of photos radically draws people’s attention away. For instance, those who prefer Zoosk dating service took part in statistics study, which showed that people, who posted full-size photo of themselves received on average thrice as many private messages.
Maggie Hsu, Founder at GetSetDate, говорит, что It’s not even worth having an online dating profile if you don’t have any photos. The whole dating industry is built around photos.
Sex games as the most honest kind of dating
However, successful alternatives also exist. On the web one can find a whole genre of dating games, which do not necessary require to show one’s face or photos of one’s body. Gaming projects, especially those connected with online sex, do not ask of people to reveal their personality in any way. Gaming projects give a chance to play out or live out the desired “version” of self without feelings of guilt and have fun (unlike in case of classical dating).
Yareel.com is a popular 3D sex game and service for Android smartphones. More than 25 thousand users search daily for kinky like-minded people and fans of sexting, who can write to each other and get anything they want, even online sex..
Yareel and analogous multi-user sex games do not center dating around various parameters and appearance, allowing to get to know and fall in love equally for everyone.
Is there an alternative to such an approach?
Perhaps it will come from gaming projects with elements of dating such as Yareel, where people are able to post real or any other photos and choose any avatar they like.
Here here is what the users of Yareel answer when asked: “Why do you not choose real photos for you avatars?”
Because I prefer to keep my identity a secret. Besides, the game allows me to be what I can not in real life.
They can hide their identity and personal details.
Many people of this world thought that sex is a complicated thing. As yareel is a sex type game people are not comfortable with showing themselves. Thats why many people use cartoon etc.
They try to imitate as a person who they really want to be via cartoon pics or porn star pics or other illustrative
Shy to show their body to public in a fear of criticism.
I was not wearing it at the beginning I was ashamed to have someone recognize me and call me a pervert but now the shame has passed.
Dating industry is changing together with society. We hope that in this changing and diversifying world, approaches to dating will be less hung up on conformity of photographs to the accepted norms of “fuckability”.