Tag: online dating

Tinder at SXSW

steven ward tinder-movie

No wonder people keep giving Tinder poor ratings in the app store. At this year’s SXSW festival which wrapped up this weekend, users were encountering a major disappointment. An article in Adweek outlining what happened begins – “Well, this is sneaky – and for some a little heartbreaking.” I’d like to point out that “sneaky” and “heartbreaking” are probably the two top characteristics you don’t want associated with a potential date, or with dating in general, online or otherwise.

The article goes on to explain exactly what happened. “Tinder users at the SXSW festival on Saturday were encountering an attractive 25-year-old woman named Ava on the dating app.” Ava (pictured above) then pointed people to her Instagram, where “it became clear something was amiss. There was one photo and one video, both promoting Ex Machina,” a sci-fi film that premiered at the conference. The woman in the photo was actually an actress from the movie.

steven ward ex machina

While this may have been a somewhat clever advertising prank, it speaks to a larger issue with Tinder and many other online dating platforms. You simply can’t be sure who you’re talking to. It is very possible that people you are in contact with are misrepresenting themselves, if they are even real people to begin with. Someone can laugh at this article because people were just being mislead for a marketing ploy, but it shows that someone with more nefarious intentions may have the means to mislead vulnerable men and women into something much worse.

Correcting this problem is the main purpose of Love Lab. With features including verification of age, likeness to profile picture, and even criminal background, people at next year’s SXSW can make sure Ava is Ava, and not the face of some scheme cooked up by the marketing department of a movie studio.

Chemistry and Trust

Should chemistry be based on trust initially in a relationship? I was asked this question recently and the answer is obvious. Not only should it be, it needs to be. Without trust, and the feelings of comfort and safety that come with it, chemistry is stifled from the very beginning because people have their guard up. You can never truly get to know someone that way.

Some people misuse the word “chemistry”. They confuse it for volatility. They see two people who fight constantly, exhibit jealousy, and yet can’t keep their hands off each other and think this is chemistry. I disagree with this definition of the term. I would call this misguided emotion and uncontrolled passion. While some people may call self destructive relationships like this “exciting”, they are actually made to implode. They turn out to be the very opposite of exciting because the arguments and combativeness soon become repetitive and draining.

I’m reminded of the comedy routine by Chris Rock about marriage and relationships in which he says, “All good relationships are boring. The only exciting relationships are bad ones. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow when you’re in a bad relationship.” While the last part of this comment is definitely true, I think the idea that the only exciting relationships are bad ones is a complete misconception. Stable relationships, from the very beginning when you get to know this new person who you care about to the later stages when you explore further interests together, are exciting. Someone with whom you can go through the experiment of life with – that is chemistry. Someone with whom you experience nothing but frustration and anger and only the sex is good – this is not chemistry. It’s biology at best.