While following up from my last post and continuing to research more into the special subcultures of dating apps, I began to wonder if these specialized sites are confining people into their preferences and causing a negative effect, or if it is bringing a positive effect on those using these apps. I stumbled upon an article on Complex that pondered this question as well.
“If you were to believe Vanity Fair, online dating is eradicating emotional intimacy, wiping out any headway the feminist movement has made, and exponentially increasing the number of “fuckboys” young women interact with on a daily basis. But if you asked more people outside of the straight, white, affluent mainstream you might hear a different story.”
This quote spoke volumes to me. Due to attending a predominantly white institution, most of the time the only women I hear talk about dating apps are white, with no special relation to a subculture or fan culture that they may seek out in a significant other. These women are not wrong in their experiences on dating apps, but they are one group of people on dating apps that do not represent people as a whole.
According to the article, “Specialized dating services also widen the pool of people for stigmatized demographics.” As I saw previously in my last post about different specialized dating sites, there are many different groups of people looking to connect with others who share their interests. Some of these interests are particularly taboo or abnormal, such as adult babies and furries. New dating apps give users more of an opportunity to connect based on interest than ever before.
For people who have no trouble meeting people with common interests, dating apps could become more of a hookup app. But for people with special interests, like furries, meeting someone who shares your interest is rare, and in a way could be more special. This is all my own personal theory after reading these articles, but I see now how people apart of these subcultures could use dating apps in a different way because the connection is valued more. It is based on a shared interest, a shared hobby, a shared value.