For instance, in 2013, Ok Cupid removed users’ profile photos for one day, dubbing it “Love is Blind Day.” People couldn’t tell who was, well, what.
I haven’t been able to find this dating site that prompts users to engage in greater empathy. The responsibility, however, does not merely rest with the creators of online dating tools or podcast producers. Much like my attempt to quit Facebook, this latest digital abandonment might not stick.
I will gladly return if and when dating sites improve the experience.
From high school sweethearts to one time coworkers to even strangers on a train, it’s always fascinating to see how innocently life-altering relationships can begin.
But in the 21st century, more and more couples are having the same response when asked how they first came to know each other: online. According to the 2010 census, women make up 50.9% of the general population.
Did I really want to contribute to businesses that felt they had no choice but to cater to people’s racial biases to stay afloat? I’ve logged off from the handful of sites and apps I had been using.
But I have not lost hope in the online-dating industry.
In a chilling account discussed on the podcast, a Dating Ring user, upon receiving the name and phone number of a match, was said to have replied: “I hope that’s a typo, because that name doesn’t sound white to me.” Whenever someone tells me that discussing online dating is a waste of time, I refer to that anecdote and two sad truths about the online dating industry that Dating Ring’s founders discovered: First, giving people the tools to act on racial bias is profitable; and second, it is not fair to users who are discriminated against to be matched with people who are biased against their racial group and, as a result, will dismiss them as potential matches.
So Dating Ring moved away from its original design.
At times, online dating as a black woman has been extraordinarily painful.
I have desperately wished my friends and peers would more actively and deeply explore how profoundly this disparity in opportunity affects my life and those of millions of others — not to mention how it holds us all back from more equitable and enjoyable dating experiences.
If you’re a black woman, as I am, or an Asian man, Ok Cupid data shows that you’re likely to receive fewer matches and messages. It became glaringly obvious that I was getting far fewer matches and messages while online dating than my non-black friends.