Online dating and valentines day dating advice for graduate students
Of course, the hit rapidly wears off, and so the next time we receive a trigger (the ping or buzz of a notification) we’re primed and ready to go, knowing that another, bigger hit may be just around the corner if only we keep going for long enough.It’s not just the chemistry that makes these apps so seductive – it’s also the fact that seeking a date in the real world can be complex and unpredictable.Yet the question we should be asking is whether such apps are actually helping us in our search for love and sex, or whether they’re simply feeding an addiction likely to result in neither.If you’ve ever used a dating app (or any social platform, for that matter) you’ll know how easy it can be to fall down the rabbit hole only to emerge hours later with no idea where the time went.Yet researchers in the field of persuasive technology have found ways to fine-tune these mechanics so as to elicit tiny, instant, unpredictable patterns of reward, the very kind that send us into loops of repetitive activity.The trick isn’t simply that the reward isn’t quite satisfying (the novelty of a match or a message soon wears off), rather, since we become conditioned to expect a possible reward for playing the game, we soon become swept up in the act of seeking, which becomes a reward in itself.
When it comes to dating, although it may feel like we’re getting a better deal in-app, we are in fact losing vast amounts of important information that we would otherwise gain if meeting someone face to face. They say love makes people do crazy things, however, the holiday comes with added pressure for both men and women to live up to the hype.Every Valentine’s Day couples prepare well-thought out (or last minute) romantic gifts and plans.Whether you’re looking for a hot date, a hookup or something more serious, the tech you use to get you there is generally designed with one goal in mind: to keep you coming back for more.For the businesses that develop these apps, achieving this kind of habitual and sustained use is the holy grail, not least because the data they stand to gain from such engagement can be significant. Well, as if the prospect of hundreds of beautiful, mysterious dates aren’t enough to get people hooked, designers have become increasingly wise as to which levers they can pull to make that swipe (and the next, and the next…) simply irresistible.