Are Online Dating Apps Capable of Bridging the Social and Racial Divide?

Dating
via Nathan McBride / Unsplash

Many aspects of our society today benefit from technology – and none more apparent than in nurturing human relationships. Since the invention of the internet, the world has become smaller and smaller. Nowadays, there are many avenues for people to communicate and connect. For instance, dating sites and apps have changed our perception towards the socially accepted means of finding a potential partner. Moreover, these sites focus more on compatibility instead of less-important factors or matters that are viewed as taboo such as religion and race.

But despite the overwhelming success rate of dating sites in bringing people together, there are still concerns about whether or not these sites break down or contribute to the racial divide.

Online dating sites – a contributing factor in the growing number of interracial couples

One significant characteristic of online dating is its power to connect people from different backgrounds. And according to a survey by Stanford University, out of approximately 3,400 American adults, couples who met online tend to be more racially diverse. Why? Because those who meet online are likely to be more open to dating someone with a different racial background.

Not only that, dating sites like Professional Match focus on matching professionals and business people all over the country. The goal here is to match individuals based on their current career inclinations as well as the industry they work in.

By highlighting a person’s interests and goals, there is less attention given to aspects such as race and religion. As a result, there is a greater chance of finding a match because you can pick from a bigger selection of profiles from users with similar interests to yours.

What about “niche” dating sites and those that use algorithms based on race?

There is an increasing optimism towards the capability of dating apps to break down racial barriers. But it is still a painful reality that race gets exploited by “niche” dating apps in coming up with algorithms to match users. For instance, there are still dating apps and sites that cater to specific racial backgrounds such as Asians and African Americans. While these sites claim to provide a more specialized approach to finding a partner, it is clear that the aim is to exclude people from different racial backgrounds.

No matter the rationale why these dating sites choose to exclude a specific race from using their services, what matters here is the general public’s overall attitude. Yes, there may be niche dating sites out there, but for every one niche site, there are perhaps four others that will include users from every racial background.

Eliminating racial biases through online dating is far from becoming a perfect reality. But, strides have been made and will continue to be made as more people invite openness and inclusivity within the industry. There is also hope because the younger generation of users who patronize these dating sites and apps are more inclined towards diversity. Indeed, the time will come when the color of your skin will no longer be a factor in romantic relationships.