As much as I tell myself that I’m part of the very tiny minority of people who actually read the text on potential suitors’ online dating profiles, a lot of the time what I really do is make assumptions about someone’s personality based on their profile pictures. Popped collar, complete lack of shirt, tourist landmarks or St Patrick’s Day merchandise = we have nothing in common. Casual bag of Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels in the background = we’re basically the same person.
But a new dating app is calling BS on our weak attempts at being not being lazy superficial dickheads. Willow prides itself on “putting the social back in social media,” and challenges you to base your “yays” and “nays” on a series of faceless questions rather than hot selfies. You also get to write three of your own questions in place of profile pictures, which actually seems like a pretty effective way of separating the basic bros from the true baes.
“We wanted to create a social media experience that emphasizes more than just a user’s photos,” says the company on its website, “something that would highlight the uniqueness of members’ personalities in a fun, personable way. We were tired of new apps claiming to connect people in meaningful ways, only to find yet another bland, repackaged version of ‘Hot or Not’ hitting the market.”
As much as it terrifies me to reveal my deepest, darkest secrets to someone before I’ve even seen how hot they look at the beach (kidding, kind of) this actually seems like a fantastic idea. You still get to see someones pictures before you actually meet up with them, but answering questions forces you to actually engage in some semblance of a real conversation before deciding they’re the one. Or, one of the ones. As the company explains, “A good relationship begins with a good conversation. A good conversation starts with a good question.”
More importantly, you can just swipe in the “fuck off” direction to anyone who asks what you’re doing on a typical Friday night. Seriously, OKCupid, has anyone ever actually discovered a good answer to this question?
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