You would expect singles to go wild coming out of lockdown, but here is evidence to the contrary.
Theme: Dating and the SMP
Length: 1,500 words
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Online Dating Continues to Grow Amid Lockdown
Before the covid lockdowns hit, we thought the hookup scene couldn’t get any crazier!
One might guess that the COVID scare and the resulting lockdowns would dampen the dating scene. However, a review of statistics like those shown below indicate that dating apps certainly didn’t slow down during the lockdown. In fact, they picked up!
Social Apps Target the Missing Piece
We might expect singles to launch into a dating frenzy coming out of lockdown, but here is evidence to the contrary. According to this article from Aljazeera: Dating apps find users want friends, not sex, in post-COVID world (2021-06-22), it is apparent that the lockdown has led many people to reconsider their purposes for using dating apps and similar social media.
The headline reads,
“Apps like Tinder and Bumble are launching or acquiring new services focused entirely on making and maintaining friends.”
I can imagine that these sites may have been concerned about an anticipated decline in activity due to the lockdown and therefore cooked up these additional social venues for buffering their user bases. But OTOH, maybe they are opportunistically following the market demands of users to acquire more revenue.
The article at Aljazeera explains…
“Amorous entanglements are not what is uppermost in the minds of many people emerging from long periods of pandemic isolation. Instead, they crave the friendships and social groups they have been starved of over the past year.
That is the verdict of dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, which are launching or acquiring new services focused entirely on making and maintaining friends.”
Jess Carbino, an online dating expert and former sociologist for Tinder and Bumble, told Reuters that social isolation had been “staggering” due to the pandemic, particularly for single people living alone.
“[The lockdown] has inspired people to use the tools available to them, namely technology, to find companionship and connection.”
Evercore analyst Shweta Kharjuria explains how it makes sound business sense to court more customers.
“These friendship services have seen increased engagement from users since COVID-19 restrictions have gradually been lifted around the world, allowing people to meet in person. […] This opens up the total available market from targeting only singles to singles and married people…”
Apparently, these sites have done their research and are responding to popular demand.
Absence makes the heart grow tender, not Tinder
I can’t believe that the singles who use these apps and were sexually active before the lockdown just went cold turkey incel after the lockdown. Instead, I tend to believe that many, if not most single people, had a sneaky “regular” on hand, a live-in lover, or a neighbor, or a coworker, who received the butt of their sexual attentions whenever their pangs of desire struck.
The thing that went missing during lockdown was not sex per se, but this generalized nonsexual social interaction with larger groups of people. When this went missing, then people realized how important it was and started to appreciate it.
“There’s a really interesting trend that has been taking place in the connection space, which is this desire to have platonic relationships,” said Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
“People are seeking friendship in ways they would have only done offline before the pandemic.”
Yes, if you’re stuck at home, even with the perfect lover at the constant ready, that will get old really fast without regular social interaction.
Facts and Quotes
Aljazeera’s article has a number of interesting facts and quotes, which I’ve summarized below.
Friend-making networks such as MeetMe and Yubo have even outstripped some popular dating apps in terms of daily engagement over the past few months, according to market research firm Apptopia.
Meetup, which helps you meet people with similar interests at local or online events, has seen a 22-percent rise in new members since January .
Meetup’s most searched word this year was “friends”.
Really? If that’s true, then the lockdown has had the effect of a soft SMP reset.
Rosie, a 24-year-old dental nurse living in the city of Bristol in southwestern England, struggled to connect with her older co-workers during lockdown and began using Bumble BFF to meet new people. She says,
“I’m a very sociable person and like meeting new people, but never found the opportunities. I’ve gone from having just Vodafone texting me to this app buzzing quite a bit, which is nice, it seems a lot of girls are in my position…”
Nupur, a 25-year-old teacher from the city of Pune in western India, uses both Tinder and Bumble. She said the apps’ efforts to promote themselves as a way of finding friends rather than just hook-ups and love “could work very well”.
“I’ve met a couple of people online and we’ve met up and have been friends for more than a year now.”
But while women are having much success with the new system, there are many men who disagree. A 22 year old male French student is quoted to say,
“Getting the momentum going is hard online and if everything IRL (in real life) is closed… You never really connect until you meet in person.”
Yes, I can see how using online apps to meet friends would work much better for women than men.
Other Reasons Why Friendship-Based Apps are Gaining Traction
It’s Safer for Men — Since smartphones became ubiquitous, people have engaged in much less generalized social interaction with many different people. The feminist controlled cold war between the sexes has further choked off congenial social interaction and has essentially forced it to be limited to internet venues. Hence, the popular explosion of sites like OnlyFans. Men who prefer genuine relationships over OASIS, and are wary of the risks involved with male-female interaction and dating sites in general may prefer a venue in which friendship is the stated purpose.
It’s Safer for Women — Women are experts in Exploiting Online Attention, and are quite skilled in using internet based venues to satisfy their cravings for attention and social interaction. A friendship-based site may offer many of the same conveniences and benefits, but with much less unwanted attention from low SMV men. It’s also much easier for women to let hopeful men down gently and justifiably, as the venue itself is for “friendships”.
It’s Convenient for All — Friendship-based apps offer the same benefits as dating apps, namely the digital speed, prodigious opportunities for meeting others, the ability to filter for what one wants, and screen out what one doesn’t, all available at one’s fingertips in a comfortable, safe, and relatively sheltered environment.
Trends are here to stay
As we have seen over the last decade or two, the goals of LGBTQ+ activism are somewhat of an indicator of where social trends are headed. Likewise, the article states that LGBTQ+ dating apps have spearheaded the push for more social networking focused on users’ personal interests, rather than solely a hook-up service centered on physical looks and proximity.
Christof Witting, the founder and CEO of one gay dating app, Hornet, said the number of people looking for friendship and community online had increased during lockdowns when people turned to digital platforms for “a sense of belonging” when bars, gyms, and pride events were shuttered. The number of users tapping the newsfeed, comments, and videos on Hornet rose 37% from January to May . Witting also said it was unlikely that people would revert to the “old ways” of connecting with their community exclusively offline, such as through nightlife, activism or LGBTQ sport events.
“These trends are here to stay,” he added. “Just like video conferencing and telecommuting.”
I believe Witting is right. This will also hold true for non-LGBTQ+ social apps as well. Given the ease and convenience of meeting like-minded people over the internet, coupled with the demise of Farcebook, apps like this will be used as a selection filter for social gatherings of the future.
What Hitting Bottom will look like (2021-02-10) predicted a dissolution and reintegration of society and the Socio-Sexual/Marriage Marketplace (SSMMP), including…
- The Sexual Revolution and 3rd and 4th Wave Feminism created many conundrums, dilemmas, and confusion in the SSMMP, resulting in an untenable mess of divorce, broken families, broken men, transactional sex, unregulated female power, undeterred hypergamy, s1uttery, and wh0redom.
- Women without a covenant covering, causing their shame and ignominy (e.g. wine and cats).
- A judgment on society, which will hit women the hardest.
- Widespread economic upheaval, despair, and despondency.
The lockdown, and many of the social changes that have resulted from it such as the one described above, are leading us closer to the edge. Are we there yet?