Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is It Okay To Use An App To Bribe Someone Into Going On A Date?

See Is Carrot Dating, the Bribe-Based Dating App, Really So Bad?. The author, Daniel Stuckey, suggests it is just an electronic means of doing what has long been done. It seems that people are always buying and selling something. Maybe even love, affection and companionship. Excerpts:
"In the convoluted hellscape that novelty dating sites live in, it takes a really unique feature to stand out. Take Carrot Dating. It's an app that incorporates a surface-level, quid-pro-quo-dating model, and might just be ridiculous enough to work. I instantly downloaded the app to find out.

In a piece published by Al Jazeera America yesterday, MIT entrepreneur and app creator Brandon Wade explains the concept of letting users (who may lack confidence, or sociability, or physical attractiveness) bribe incentivize potential dates that are supposedly hot with a wide range of lures. Bribes include:
  • Coffee
  • Dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tattoo
  • Bouquet of Flowers
  • Box of Chocolates
  • Tank of Gas
  • Piece of Jewelry
  • Movie
  • Concert
The Internet erupted, calling Wade's app "thinly veiled prostitution," and shaming him and his carrot-stick concept before ever actually trying it. I think it's fair to say that, even if the app were requiring reciprocity in kind, a coffee isn't going to get me laid. My favorite bribe from this list is a tank of gas, but call me a sucker for indie movie romance.

But the Carrot Dating app does make a great point about transactional relationships. We live in a world in which expensive gifts and outlandish dinners are sometimes par for the course for attracting a mate. Whether that's bad or not depends on your own opinion, but is it any worse if the arrangement is laid out in an app?"

"But let's face it, most dates have some form or another of unbalanced reciprocity. Perhaps that's all that Carrot Dating is trying to highlight. Whether or not you've met "the one," you're likely making some sort of compromise. And likely, if you think about it, you're able to assess some type of value to whatever that compromise is. For instance, plastic people can be an unworthy investment of patience. And coffee can range from Dunkin' to artisanal pour-overs."

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