Do we want to know how other people see us?
We all have our own insecurities. Even the most body-positive people can wake up to a bad day every now and then. This is especially true for gay men. In the gay male world, we often idolize muscle and thin waists to an unhealthy degree.
On top of that, we often judge and categorize each other based on appearance, personality, lifestyle, and more. There’s a reason that one of Cut’s recent videos has gay men judging other gay men.
But would you like to know where exactly you stand with other daters? With all that in mind, would it be a good idea to know for sure what others think of you? And would you like to be openly ranked?
These are questions that dating app Once is asking its userbase. Last week, the dating app emailed its users to tell them that they can now find out where they stand with others.
“To help our matching algorithm, we ask our users to rate each other [sic] pictures,” reads the email. “We have decided to be transparent and release this rating.”
Predictably, this has created some unfortunate circumstances with the app’s users. A writer over at the Guardian explained her experience with finding out her ranking.
“It was nearly 4pm and as a long-suffering glutton for pain, I jumped at the chance to ruin my day,” she wrote. “I logged in – for the first time in several years – to find out how I ranked based on photos from younger, thinner times in my 20s. I thought I’d be crushed, and readers, I was right.”
She later added:
“Despite Once’s best attempts to sugarcoat my score (“Coco, you’re in the top 54% of attractive people” which upon reflection also means, I’m close to the bottom half of all humans) I knew it was nothing to brag about: 2.14 out of 5. It was a strange comfort, to shake off the humiliation in the knowledge that the system degrades us all, not just me.”
Gay Apps Too?
This has us thinking? Would we want this type of treatment?
While gay apps focus more on a Grid setup than a Tinder-esque swiping system, several apps like Jack’d and Chappy do offer the option. Apps that provide a swiping feature can easily provide the numbers and rankings to show just how liked and unliked its users are by the rest of the userbase.
But would we want such a feature? It’s very clear that knowing these numbers is just asking for mental and emotional punishment. But like the Guardian writer, many of us may be incapable of ignoring the temptation. Curiosity killed the cat and brought Eve to ruin, after all.
But with gay men already fighting inner community judgment, segregation, and body dysmorphia, such options would only cause more harm than help.
So while I appreciate the idea of being given the chance to know, this Instinct writer would be happy if dating app companies kept those numbers to themselves. It’s for the greater good.