An experiment in mobile dating…

OKCupid!

For years now I’ve been dating using websites and speed dating. I have also at the same time been reading people’s accounts of there dating, such as 52 first dates. Every once in a while I moan about the lack of transparency and data from dating sites and if you know me, sometimes over a couple of drinks I swear I’m going to write a book about my dating experiences.

So with all that in mind, I read the blog post “taking my dating life mobile a social experiment” with a lot of interest.

Basically Senior Writer for ReadWrite.com Dan Rowinski is going to use mobile dating apps to gage there success rates in finding love. Of course there is rules…

I have to set some parameters here, or this type of experiment could completely take over my life. So here are my ground rules:

Parameters

  • I will actively use dating apps for at least one month to meet actual people.
  • I will use a variety of apps (Android and iOS) to get a good sense of their depth and variety.

What I Will Do

  • Approach each connection with an open mind and respect.
  • Apply the rule of “half your age plus seven” to how old a date has to be (nobody in their late teens or very early 20s).
  • Notify dates that I am writing a series on dating apps.
  • If I make a meaningful connection and start a fledgling relationship with someone I meet, I’ll terminate the experiment.

What I Won’t Do

  • I won’t actively use the dating apps to just look for a “hookup.” No trolling for sex on my smartphone.
  • I won’t recount much in the way of specific details about my dates. Yes, I’ll share a few anecdotes here and there, but if you’re looking for salacious gossip, click elsewhere.
  • I won’t do anything to endanger my physical, emotional or financial safety.
  • I won’t lie to make myself look better or misrepresent myself in any way.
  • I won’t ignore possible connections in real life that didn’t originate on my smartphone.

The Apps I’ll Be Using
I chose the following apps because they represent a good cross section of new, interesting, location-based, social and traditional approaches. I won’t be using any traditional websites affiliated with the services, should they exist. For instance, when I use eHarmony or Match, I’ll only use those sites through their apps and over email to my phone. Here they are:

  • Let’s Date – Popular new app that allows to browse anonymously for connections.
  • Tinder – Location-based app that allows you to see who’s nearby, their pictures and snippets from their Facebook profiles.
  • eHarmony – There should be at least one traditional dating site in here to provide a counter to mobile-only apps.
  • OkCupid – It’s free and has a decent app.
  • Blendr – Among the several sub-tier dating apps in contention, I’m going with Blendr just because it looks the least troll-y.
  • Martini (if applicable) – Group dating app that just came to the Apple App Store.

Now the question is do I join in and try it out for myself?

In the past I have used Okcupid and Plenty of Fishes mobile apps and its been fun in some cases.

Don’t get me wrong I’m interested to find out what could happen and find out if mobile dating is any good or not. Mobile dating is a different take on the same idea? I did propose this as something different a while ago.

Do Location-Based Dating Apps Really Matter?

Good question

I wrote about OkCupid locals beta a while ago and said it was quite interesting to see the person on the phone in real life. This isn’t anything new but to see the hetrosexual world get there own thing even for a short while was interesting. Now there’s too many of them… Okcupid, Plenty of Fish, Meetmoi and even Zoosk has gotten into the field. You can now have that Bluetooting experience you’ve always wanted thanks to these apps… However are they actually used beyond having a giggle with your friends?

Another good question…

Well it seems like all this stuff, with so many different networks, the love of your life could be sitting next to you and you wouldn’t know because of the lack of interoperability between the services and their apps.

The reason why grindr did so well is because every gayman up for a bit of fun had it installed. Pushing out all the rest of the apps. If you were available and up for it, grindr was the app to have.

But back to the original question… Do they really matter?

I personally have removed Okcupid’s app from my phone because of the drain on battery and to be honest many people I know turn off the functionality. Privacy concerns and the fear of being stalked by some crazy ex may have a massive effect here? But frankly few people are openly using it and even if they are… there very unlikely to be on the same network as you.

I hate to say it but it looks like this one was the bluetoothing story all over again. Some people will have fun with the idea but for most people it will be another dream/fantasy/nightmare waiting to happen…