We Got To Try The New Facebook Dating Feature And Found Out It’s Risky For Closeted Gay Men!
With a declining number of younger users, Facebook has been seeking new ways of bringing millennials and Gen Z back to the platform. Maybe that is one of the reasons why they came up with Facebook Dating. It is a new feature within the Facebook mobile app (for now) that lets you create a separate dating profile.
I’ll admit. As a closeted gay man, it was hard to understand at first how are they going to keep your dating life private if you are using it within the same app until I tried using it and understand the system. As it rolls out to the public, Facebook Dating has become available in some parts of the world. We were able to try using it to see how it’ll go for LGBT users especially the single gay guys who are trying to expand their network when it comes to meeting someone new or possibly just hooking up. Y’all know how gay culture is.
The app within the app considers self-expression. It’s gonna let you choose more than one gender if you want. Same as other dating apps, it’s going to ask you everything from your age to the age range of people you wanna match with, and some other personal crap about you because the only data they are carrying over from your Facebook account is your first name and age. The rest should be manually filled out by you. However, they are not allowing you to choose your location manually. It’s going to be based upon your GPS location unlike on Tinder where the feature is available in their Premium tier. But you can still set how far you would want your gay ass to be caught by someone’s radar up to 100+ km. (It’s gonna have an equivalent English system in the US.)
Now for the matching process, it’s pretty much the same as with other dating apps. If you’re interested in men, you’re gonna be shown profiles by men who included men as people they are interested in meeting up with. Sounds just about right. But these people are not just random people. They are friends of your Facebook friends. They can be friends of your mom, or your dad, maybe your sibs, etc. They’re still within your network.
So don’t be surprised if the dating profile of your closeted uncle that you are not friends with, suddenly appears in your radar. Worse is if you’re closeted at work and a coworker who is not your Facebook friend because he is trying to out you, but friends with most people in the office may be able to spot your dating profile and have his receipts to ruin you.
There is also no waiting to match with someone who liked you since you will be notified immediately if someone liked you. Complete with their name and all the information they shared on their dating profiles. It’s really not for the shy guys. Problem is, we specifically put men as someone we are interested in. But the app occasionally shows women’s dating profile. This means that the algorithm may not work perfectly. We understand that this also happens in other dating apps (I witnessed it happen on Tinder and Bumble), those people do not know who your mutual friends are because you two are completely blindsided by these other dating apps from who you are friends with unlike here, Facebook Dating shows you all your mutual Facebook friends. I just thought that what if you stumbled upon this cute guy not knowing he is homophobic. Then as you “liked” him, virtually, since it’s gonna notify him that you liked him, you are gonna be prone to harassment. He might even take a screenshot of your dating profile and humiliate you in public, even out you to your mutual friends because duh? He knows whose friends of his you are also friends with.
Another feature of Facebook Dating that is making rounds online is “Secret Crush“. This feature within the Facebook Dating platform allows you to add at up to 9 Facebook friends on the list of people you have a crush on, a.k.a. “Facebook friends you are secretly dying to fool around with” list. It’s gonna remain a secret to your crush until he joins Facebook Dating and adds you on his “Secret Crush” list too. That is when you are going to be both notified about liking each other (awkward) both of you will be able to view each other’s dating profiles. Sounds pretty safe huh. But this could be used as a weapon of bullying. I recall some flicks where the protagonist is being played by bad people, pretending that one of these bad guys likes the poor and nerdy girl. Then the bad guy lures the poor lady until she falls for him then realized it was all a joke? That happens in real life. And with this “Secret Crush” thingy, it is vulnerable to abuse. Someone could actually add you to their “Secret Crush” list just to see if you are gonna fall for their trap. Then mock you for being baited especially when you have not come out yet and they’re trying to find the truth about you.
Dating apps can really be fun and risky. But we don’t want it to be the latter. Especially if it’s going to affect you mentally and emotionally. The platform is in its earlier stages and these flaws can still be fixed. Who does not want a safe environment for everyone seeking for love (or dicks)? But what do you think of this new Facebook Dating feature? Would want to try once it becomes available worldwide? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!