The dangerous trade-off: Love or privacy

Love: The pay-off for risky data sharing

Today, the lecture inspired us to discuss the risk of sharing own private data with the dating apps. We noticed how particularly private and intimate is the data  available on Tinder for example. Not only it consists of all the generic information, but also it reveals the most discrete and intimate thoughts that we decide to share with the online partners. The abuse of this data is scary and definitely poses a big risk for using the apps. However, the potential pay-off is nonetheless significant. The vision of finding a life-long partner or even the mere experience of a fun date is usually so attractive that in return users are completely willing to share their data and somewhat give up their privacy. 

When it comes to the current circumstances, the changing environment and overwhelming uncertainty increases the motivation to find The One even more. We do not want to struggle in the difficult times on our own, hence we seek closure and support, also through the dating apps.

Dating Apps control our movement and feelings

Furthermore, we also discussed the different ways the dating apps control us. We concluded that prior to the pandemic, Tinder was rather incentivising people to go out and reach out to people in the real world. While now, the direction seems to be opposite – the app encourages people to stay at home, even though they may feel lonely. It helps them with self-isolation, through supplying social interactions inside one’s own home. Although, apart from the intended, and politically-correct use, some users resist this intended control. They schedule dates with strangers, disregarding the pandemic regulations.

Feelings are another human aspect that our technology can definitely control. The core purpose of the app is to evoke strong emotions, ranging from pride, excitement, interest, disgust, hate to even love. The algorithms in the app can also manipulate our feelings through curating the potential matches, adjusting their attractiveness, perhaps even the successful match ratio. Now, in the Corona times, where as we discussed before, everything is about the presence and mindfulness, we focus on our emotions to a bigger extent. Thus, especially now it is crucial to realise the dating apps’ influence on our emotions.

Briefing participants for the interview

Further action – What we did today ?

  • Conducting desk research
  • Briefing and interviewing participants for our questionnaire 
  • Collecting and evaluating answers
  • Narrowing down the scope of our topic

Created by: Marielle, Martyna and & Muriel