I recently listened to this podcast
about Whitney Wolfe and the company she founded called Bumble. It provides a new element to what we think of as online dating.
First, some context about relationships, or more accurately, traditional gender roles during the courtship process.
Men are trained to be the assertive ones, right? Go get her! Make the first move. This often leads to men being overly aggressive.
By contrast, women are trained to play hard to get. Play the submissive role and wait to be swept off of your feet by prince charming.
So what’s really happened is that both sides have been set up for failure. Men are constantly being rejected, and women are at risk of aggression, abuse, and unwanted attention.
Bumble flips that model on it’s head. It puts women in control by requiring that they make the first move. After a match is made, the woman has to send the first message within 24 hours. If she doesn’t the match disappears forever.
So the woman now has the confidence to pursue her own interests and go after what she wants. And on the other end, men don’t feel constantly rejected. Instead they actually feel flattered. So all of a sudden, there’s a new type of balance in the interaction.
The reason I love the Bumble story is because it feels so endemic of today’s online environment, specifically social media.
On the one hand, it’s great. Easily connect with tons of people, stay up to date on your friends lives, and share your interests widely with the world.
But on the other hand, all of these networks are filled with bad behavior. Bullying, abuse, narcissism, keeping up with the Joneses. It’s a giant interpersonal cesspool leading to depression, anxiety, and sometimes worse.
But what if that wasn’t the case. Could you imagine a purely benevolent Instagram-like experience? You open the app and it’s nothing but inspiring, supportive, and encouraging content. People are empowered to be vulnerable and seek help without fear of negative outcomes.
That would be a wonderful environment to frequent and perhaps we can play a small role in bringing it about. More to come on that in the future! 😉
-Jeremy & Jake