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WTF, Internet? Online dating now needs its own red-light district

wtf internet online dating now needs red light district its own feature

I have never had the pleasure of participating in the vast and wonderful world of online dating, but truth be told, something about it interests me. I’m pretty comfortable explaining myself and carrying on conversation behind a keyboard. (I realize this is not a huge shock coming from someone whose Twitter avatar is still a photo of that one time she met Grumpy Cat.) I also intensely enjoy filling out lists and surveys and then perusing their algorithm-based results. Give me a six pack, a couch, and an online quiz that wants to know more about my personality, and I will give you the recipe for a fun-filled Friday night!

But something has happened; slowly, but surely, the Internet has made us worse people. I don’t mean regarding things like “You’re always staring at your cell phone!” and “No one writes letters anymore!” and “The Facebooks are ruining family time!” and other things our aunts complain about. I mean the evolution of online dating apps suggests that humans are horrible, because at this point online dating is about this close to becoming prostitution. This close! I’m edging my fingers so closely together, I kid you not.

For starters, Carrot. Carrot is a recently launched dating app that allows you to bribe people to date you. You can even offer plastic surgery, which is sort of counter-intuitive, because if you’re the type of person that bribes someone to date you, it would suggest you’re trying to woo someone who’s out of your league … and if you believe this someone is out of your league, wouldn’t you believe he or she to not require plastic surgery? Ha ha, I’m sorry, I just tried to make sense of an app that actually indicates you can find happiness by buying someone gifts! If pop culture has taught you anything, it’s that everlasting love is not found in jewelry boxes or on yachts. Unless you’re Jay-Z and Beyonce. Otherwise, you have to find a love in a hopeless place just like the rest of us (two hip hop reference in two sentences, I believe that’s 10 points).

And it shouldn’t need to be said that things could easily get a little solicity.

I will be damned if I have to live in a world where people legitimately use an Airbnb for hot people.

But it’s not as blatant as LoveRoom. Have you ever searched online for a place to stay during a trip and thought, “Who cares if that guy has a guest house with pool access in the exact town I’m visiting? He needs braces.” You have?! Then you should try LoveRoom, which totally doesn’t sound like a way to contract VD!

LoveRoom describes itself as the Airbnb for hot people. We have an Airbnb for pets, for boats, for cars, for meals … I will be damned if I have to live in a world where people legitimately use an Airbnb for hot people. Hot people are not a commodity for which the sharing economy should be adapted!

But I digress: LoveRoom has a lot of fun phrases in its landing page that purport it to be a good, neat way to find “interesting” (which is LoveRoom code for “let’s see what’s under that shirt, tiger [insert cat noise, claws air]”) people to share a place with. You know, so you guys can have deep conversations about the fallacies of the American education system. Just kidding! It’s so hot people can bang and not have to deal with all those uggos trying to rent their stupid rooms.

None of this, however, dips into the shallow, muddy waters of SeekingArrangementTM. (Seriously! That is trademarked!) The tagline does sugarcoat anything (or does it sugarcoat everything?!): “The elite sugar daddy dating site for those seeking mutually beneficial relationships and mutually beneficial arrangementsTM.” 

I won’t embarrass either of us by explaining what this site does – because it will do that for you in its “What’s an arrangement?” section! You actually might feel more confused after reading this.

“An Arrangement is short for ‘Mutually Beneficial Relationship’ or ‘Mutually Beneficial Arrangement’ between two people. At Seeking Arrangement, we believe that successful relationships are all ‘Mutually Beneficial Relationships’ or ‘Mutually Beneficial Arrangements’ in that they are two way street, i.e., two people giving as much as they take from each other. Essentially, is a website for arrangement seekers or arrangement finders who are interested in ‘Mutually Beneficial Dating.’

Emphasis theirs. All theirs. I think what I love most about this description is how often someone would have to use air quotes were they to read it out loud.

When did this happen? How did we go from the sanity of filling out questionnaires and meeting people who also liked dogs to this? Have we been ruined by the Internet? These sites tout themselves as just being honest, but it’s that horrible type of honesty that’s actually just hurtful and destructive. Maybe the narcissism and self-inflation of social media have turned us all into bro-ed out, heartless, disgusting, dating monsters.

Now taking bets on how long before a DatingMonsters app exists with a site that borrows quotes from Where the Wild Things Are, solidifying the ruin of digital dating and childhoods everywhere. 

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
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