Who are we really swiping right for?
There are over 12 million active daily users on both Tinder and Grindr. These are the two market leaders in dating applications. It gives youngsters aswell as the older generation a chance to find dates and relationships at the swipe of the finger. Tinder is the firm favourite amongst heterosexual youngsters with 79% of Tinder’s users being millennials. The popular dating app also manages to accumulate 1.4 billion daily swipes across the world making it one of the leading forces in modern day dating. Grindr on the other hand focuses on an all-male community, giving homosexual men a platform to talk to and meet up with new potential partners. Grindr has said to be very immersive for it’s users, with the average Grindr user managing to process an average of 54 minutes per day!
However, all this swiping can breed dishonesty amongst it’s users. There are growing number of ‘catfishing’ cases throughout modern day app dating. Catfishing is the act of luring someone into a relationship by adopting a fictional online persona. This phenomenon has hit such a spike in recent years a highly popular MTV TV programme has been developed by Nev Schulman and Max Joseph following Nev’s experience falling for a girl he met online who turned out not to be who they said.
A growing concern is certainly developing amongst dating app users of today with 54% of online daters believing that someone else has presented false information in their profile, and 28% have been contacted in a way that left them feeling harassed or uncomfortable. At the base of this trend a lot of people struggle to understand why people would catfish someone in the first place. Usually it is people who are highly uncomfortable in themselves to pose as themselves online and are reaching out for a connection with someone through another identity. There are also plenty of cases where people catfish for financial gain, lure someone into a false sense of security then they ask for financial help, this has been the case on the MTV programme plenty of times. A lot of Tinder and Grindr users now have a preconceived idea that there are catfish on the apps meaning their online relationships are very restricted. The moment someone refuses to speak over the phone or in person alarm bells tend to start ringing.
Often they simply use social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, usually picking more attractive individuals with no following. A lot of the time, the person whose identity is being stolen never finds out unless professional help is seeked such as MTV’s Catfish or close friends find out about the fraud. Using someone else’s identity for financial benefit is highly illegal however, pretending to be someone else on social media is not actually illegal, just highly unethical. It can stem from jealousy and is sometimes used as a rehabilitation tool by some individuals.
George Boyes – Identity theft victim
“I was on Facebook one day with a couple close friends of mine and we ended up stumbling across a fake Facebook page under my own identity, i felt slightly shocked and concerned as to why someone was pretending to be me on the internet. I told all my friends to block and report his account.”
“I started talking to this girl after liking one of her photos. She seemed very interested in me from the start and as was I if I’m honest. Anyway, we started getting very close which surprised me as she was in London and I’m in Cardiff. One day however communication stopped, i’d recieved intimate photos from her so everything felt genuine. A few months went by and i got added by this certain Snapchat account. They claimed to be the girl i was talking to. As messages progressed ‘they’ started to become insulting and threatening. Through investigation i found out that this snapchat account has been catfishing multiple people all over the country, posing as guys to girls and posing as girls to guys. The communication stopped from this point” – Anonymous
“I was speaking to this girl on tinder for like three weeks. We never spoke on the phone or anything because every time I asked she just made up a different excuse every time. So we planned to meet, and in the morning she messaged me saying something like “I might not look how you expect me to”. I was kinda confused but went ahead with it anyway, and when I turned up I couldn’t see her anywhere, until someone called my name and when I saw the girl I had been talking to, she looked nothing like what she did in the pictures she had online, and clearly had used someone else’s.” – Anonymous