Do modern dating apps serve different purpose?

Monday January 17 2022
Dating pic

Young people on social media platforms. PHOTO|FILE

By Ramadhani Ismail

For a long time I have been asking myself why members of these various dating sites are, in larger numbers, females, some of whom sell their bodies.

While doing my research, I discovered that men are the ones changing the meaning and purpose of those networks and enabling that kind behaviour for women.

Dating apps like Badoo, SweetMeet and Tinder, are some of the most popular networks inTanzania.

I have used some of these for some time and every time I matched with someone, they rarely had the time to talk more than the opening exchange of pleasantries.

They will then proceed to send you a WhatsApp number which if you do text, chances are, you will be the recipient of some very sultry nudity photos and a price tag for how much it would cost for you to continue the conversation and possibly meet up.

Fortunately, every day, I am lucky enough to find people who match up with me but unfortunately, whenever they do send me a direct message, the conversation always diverts to money for intimate favours.

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Their apparent argument is that they did not sign up to find partners, rather they are on the platform doing business.


Apps and their guidelines

One thing you should be aware of is, among the operational guidelines implemented, these networks do not allow users to engage in sexual activity under any circumstances.

The consequences of a user engaging in such activities on the platform include a suspension or complete shutdown and loss of the account.


Dating pic2

Applications like Tinder have been used as a source for online sex trade. PHOTO | FILE

When it comes to Tinder, the platform is clear that nudity or sexual content of any kind is not allowed as well as spam for those who use fake accounts.

They confirm that they do not promote or advocate for commercial sexual services, human trafficking or other non-consensual sexual acts which will result in your account being banned forever from Tinder.

This then is the reason many of these women opt to have their conversations elsewhere to avoid being banned from using the service and still be able to gunner potential clients.

While there are those who still find and complain about all the inconveniences that may arise, there are those who are happy to find these beauties because they do not go through the hustle of driving around in search of women or negotiating prices and simply enjoy the convenience of the platform.


Tinder users

I met Samuel* 27, who told me that these dating apps have become a part of his life because every weekend, he has to find a girl to spend time with.

“Technology has simplified many things; not everyone likes to be seen in the places where hookers are available and not everyone likes to use websites where you can meet these women, but dating apps like Tinder make it easier and are little more discreet, making it normal for people to link up in this manner. People who use these apps are in the search for their possible soulmate,” he explained.

35-year-old Enock say that, these dating apps make sex easy, as long as you have the money to spend or a good looking body, then users don’t need to worry.

“I don’t believe these dating apps are made officially to meet with your partner rather than help you to have easy sex because for those with nice bodies and money, Tinder becomes their second home,” he says

Sessy, 21, a second-year college student studying business, says that one of the reasons for using Tinder is that it help in making money easily.

“We do this because we do not like to be seen standing at night like hookers,” she says.

“My colleagues and I use these dating apps a lot, because there are times when college life becomes difficult. So these matches we get help us pay the bills without necessarily being in affairs.”

She added that they also choose the dating apps because they offer anonymity to their activities and protect their identities from their classmates and loved ones.

Anne Mathew, a local college student, explained that before being hooker on the dating site, she was also looking for a soul mate but she came across a guy who gave her more than a hundred thousand to spend one night together.

“I was shocked at first but because it was just one night at a fancy hotel, I said yes, and he just asked to be seeing me only for the sex service and he paid me well”

“I can’t thank him for making me this way because I can’t get into a relationship since most of them who get matched with me just want the service from me,” said Anne.


Hope for true love

Despite the common presence of sex traders on these platforms, there are those who are still hopeful that they will find good relationships and are concerned that men have been the source of the changing interpretation of these platforms.

However, the online sex trade is not a first in our country.

It has been reported even in foreign countries, such America, India, Taiwan and more.

Unlike in our country, these developed countries have mechanisms in place to track those who go against the guidelines of the app.


Eve: Saloon and makeup artist

“Men have ruined dating apps. Even the dating app companies themselves are desperate to undo the damage men have done to apps. Many of them spend one or two months with you and then they leave,” explains Eve.

“I have come across several men online who are very friendly when you meet but after they get the chance to sleep with you, then you start seeing them acting weird all the time.”

“They use the app assuming that all the females who use these apps are desperate when it comes to relationships and so they sign up for these services just to make sure that they are able to get a sex partner,” she adds.


Jamila: Businesswoman

Jamila, 41, a local business woman said that the meaning of dating apps is not the same and has been severely distorted and the reason why their lots of hookers is because there are numbers of men who are willing to spend there.

Because of her wealth, Jamila is afraid of the real world relationship because most of the men she meets want to be with her because of it.

Through Tinder she hoped to fake her lifestyle, hoping it will help her find the right partner.


Ezat: Businessman

“Women are just as responsible for how dating has become and not just men. The reason is simply that romance is completely dead,” said Ezat, 25, a business man in Dar es Salaam.

“They act like all they want is to have sex with you and then they yell at you for not wanting to have a relationship. How are you going to feel romantic about a girl like that? It does not help that I met you on Tinder,” said Ezat.

It has been a decade since Tinder launched in 2012 and over time, there has been a number of people who were able to find their dream relationships but others don’t and end up as lucky.

To be fair, Tinder is far from the only dating site dealing with these kinds of issues.

Due to the improvement of technology uses, people are easily adapting to the changing planes whenever possible.

Keywords like “Pay to play and escorts” have been used by many people.

The ration of women on these platforms is also higher to that of men, making it easier for this trend to continue.

While Tinder guidelines do not allow both spam and other illegal activity and are constantly updating their services every week, the situation is still a problem for many users who have come across this app.

It calls for a change of attitude,