Mobile Dating: Possible Negative Implications?
Mobile dating is such a new player in the world of dating technology and technology-assisted dating, that it’s hard to know yet what sort of impact it’s going to have on the dating scene.
Early signs certainly seem positive, with adopters of the nascent technology system very happy with the results they have achieved from it, and very happy to sing it’s praises:
“I would recommend mobile dating to any of my friends, and even some of my enemies,” gushed 22-year-old bank clerk Anne Emerson. “[New boyfriend] Andy and I would never have met if I hadn’t seen his profile on the service I use and decided to send him a message, our social circles are just too different.”
For all this though, there are certainly some possible downsides. Chief among these is the fear that mobile dating could aid and abet potential stalkers. This is because one of the main features of mobile dating is that it allows other users to know where you are. If you tell a stranger when and where to meet you, there’s really no way of knowing what they’re going to be like when they arrive.
However, there are of course things that any sensible person would do to protect themselves from harm, or even just from potentially over-zealous suitors, such as always meeting in a crowded place, and always letting a friend know what you are doing. If these precautions are taken, then mobile dating becomes not much different from the average meet-up between two strangers in a bar, except that you plan it a little ahead of time.
Besides which, all mobile dating services are aware that their systems could be used by the wrong sorts of people, and so they have features that are designed to combat potential stalkers. For example, there is usually the ability to block another number from being able to ‘see’ you when you are logged in to the service.
Another potential negative with mobile dating is the cost of using it, as unlike internet dating, it won’t be able to be supported by the sale of ads. However, preliminary indications seem to be that mobile dating services will often be free to use, at least for basic functionality, with only more advanced features such as sending electronic cards and gifts attracting a charge. So users can try the service and then decide if they want or need to use the advanced features for which they will be charged.
Other services do charge, normally on a per-message or per-10-message basis, but so far these seem to be priced on the low side, with 99 cents per ten messages sent being the price point chosen by one major player in the mobile dating world. Analysts believe that at this price point, even teens and college students will use the service, though further price increases are possible once services start to get enough members to reach a ‘critical mass’ of profiles available for searching. Even so, it appears that mobile dating won’t break the bank for those singles out there who are both alone and poor!