Almie Rose Tries Out Dating Apps (So You Don’t Have To)

The things I do for the Internet. There are so many dating (and, uh “dating”) apps out there now, and as someone who writes about dating (and, uh “dating”) I thought I should check some of them out. Here’s a short roundup of some of the notable ones.

SwoonSwoon is simple, and that’s a good thing. The idea is that you find out who near you is “into you” and if you’re into them. And you do it anonymously, in that no one knows if you’ve liked them unless they like you back. It’s crazy easy to use. You have to sign in via Facebook, but they never post anything on your behalf.

Once you download the app, you log in through FB, see who’s near you, and then you’re treated to a sort of virtual stack of photos. All you get is person’s face, first name, age, number of shared interests, and number of shared friends. If you don’t like them, you press “X” and they leave the top of the virtual photo pile. If you like them, you can green check them. I like that you can see if you have friends in common (and who they are.) Swoon is honestly stupidly simple to use, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you want a basic and cute app, this is the one. Apparently they’re throwing parties around San Fran, LA, and NYC – are you brave enough to Swoon in person? (If there’s free drinks, def.)

TinderOh man, I was scared to download this one. The things I’ve heard about Tinder…like Swoon, it’s anonymous, and you also use your Facebook to sign in and use it. It’s also location based. Weirdly, after I downloaded it, I got the message “It doesn’t look like there’s anyone new around you…” Whaaaat? Seriously? No one near me is using this app I’ve heard so much about? Then I pressed “recommendations” a few times and I finally found people.

You look through photos and “x” or “heart” people. When you “x” them, a giant “NOPE” stamps over their face as their photo is cleared for the next person. That made me laugh. I don’t like how I had very little control over what appeared and didn’t on my profile. I did NOT appreciate that it showed my age, because I don’t even have my age on my Facebook page, so it was a little jarring. Just so awful! My monocle dropped into my teacup. The “matchmaker” feature was interesting but I didn’t understand how I was supposed to use it and I was afraid to even try for fear that I would somehow accidentally set up my friend in a committed relationship with someone on FB I haven’t spoken to in 6 years.

OkCupid DatingI used to be on OkCupid. Again, for research. No, I swear! People wanted me to help them with their online dating profiles, so I created a shitty profile just so I could see how OKC worked. And then, something weird happened. My shitty profile got attention. And I got sucked into OKC. And I used it to date. And it was weird.

Nothing ever worked out, but I didn’t meet any terrible people either. I’m still amazed I put myself out there – really out there, outside of the Internet, in real life. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. The other weird thing about OKC was that using the site was more fun than going on the actual dates. Taking the quizzes for your profile, coming up with snarky messages to send back to creepers, seeing who’s been checking out your profile – that was the fun stuff. And that’s what’s most fun about the app. I’d love to check up on it and see what fun new messages were in my inbox, and see what matches the system came up with for me. If you use OKC, and you really, actually use it, not just have a profile and leave it there without updating, then you would like the app. It’s entertaining. It’s a lot more committal than Tinder or Swoon, and depending on what you’re looking for, that’s either a very good or a very bad thing.

SkoutSkout isn’t marketed as a dating app. They call themselves, “The global network for meeting new people,” the idea being, if you’re looking for friends and not just sexy times, this is an app for you. I’m guessing though, that most people use it to find sexy friends.

You can connect through Facebook, and because I’m lazy, that’s what I chose. And then the app crashed. I quit, reopened it, and it made a loud noise that startled me. I got annoyed. I felt like George Costanza’s dad, but, okay, I was in. I was given the option to “add friends from Facebook”, and when I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do this, it made another noise. Getting to the point where you can finally use the app, not just set it up, is frustrating. And then, there are ads everywhere, and I can’t figure out what the hell I’m looking at. And somehow, in two minutes, I got eight messages –- some from my Facebook friends. How weird is it that they would all be saying, “Hey! What’s up?” This app is shady as hell. The homepage greeted me with “men in your city” and many photos of said men. There’s a bar at the top where your photo can be “featured.” Every time anything happens, it makes a noise. Yes, you can turn the sound off, but why on earth would they make that the default? Anyway, this app creeped me out. Something about it felt really 1990’s AOL chat room.

These are just some of the apps out there. I wonder how much info is taken every time I use my Facebook account to log in, and if my accounts are all really gone after I delete the app. Just some things to think about. What dating apps do you use?