The problem is simple answers to difficult questions?

Swipe left or swipe right… why not?

More and more the answers are getting more simplistic. There was something Douglas Ruskoff said recently in a chat while talking about present shock.

Its also something I’ve been thinking about, especially since installing Bumble and Plenty of Fish daring apps. Every dating app now includes the hot or not/swipe left or right mechanism; this for me is a bad thing…. I’m not the only one of course.

In the September issue of Vanity Fair, Nancy Jo Sales wrote an in -depth piece called, Tinder and the Dawn of “Dating Apocalypse.” It’s an eye-opener and validation of a woman’s worst fear. The guys are swiping right to hook up and it’s all just a game.

In the story, it’s reported that 100 million people are using mobile apps, with about 50 million on Tinder. The Tinder blog reports 25 million matches a day. The numbers are mind-boggling and enormous.

The VF story is really about sex and hookups. Mobile apps just happen to ramp up the numbers in a digital second, and singles in their 20s are buying into the hooking up program, I believe which ruins their chance at romance.

I of course wrote about the tinder breakdown here. But I find the pattern/ui decision/culture a little disturbing. I did look under dark patterns to see if it was included but couldn’t find it.  Maybe I should submit it?

Swipe Left

Whats wrong with the swipe? Don’t be a hater… I hear you say…

I boil it down to simplification of questions to a binary output/decision. Thinking like a computer...

Conrad Wolfram delivered a good talk at Thinking Digital around the exact same thing. I’ve said it a many times before but I’ll say it again, I do wonder/worry that the digital revolution seems to be driven by one group of people who may think alike and seem more comfortable with binary decisions that the fuzziness of reality.

In today’s touchscreen world, a “swipe right” is a quick, positive way to communicate interest. Alternately, a “swipe left” is the swiftest way reject something or someone. Whether it’s picking a date on Tinder or choosing a dress on Pinterest, technology brings immediate gratification to so many aspects of our lives.

This blog by nehrlich caught my eye which is somewhat related. The world is fuzzy and building up systems to block out the fuzz is in my opinion not great. We need to embrace the fuzz along side the binary.

I’ll say it again… diversity of people and thought just like nature.

Reducing a decision about something as fuzzy as a potential partner does irk me. Do I like the person in front of me or not?

Yes or No. In or Out, One or Zero.

No sense of maybe… Make a decision now….!

Plus you can’t move forward or go back. Its some seriously dark user interface voodoo. It seems so playful and fun but under the gamification there is something dark happening…. and its spreading like wildfire! This is certainly something which chimes against my new years resolution around thinking humanity…

After 3 hours of swiping right on Tinder

Which leads headlong into the “I want it now, instant gratification, etc culture…” but I’m feeling too happy for that right now.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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