I can’t remember the last time I was on the dating scene. I can tell you that it was way before technology started dictating when, where, and how single men and women communicated with each other on a daily basis. Come to think of it, I’m kind of glad I’m retired and my “single” jersey is hanging in the rafters of the dating Coliseum.
From what I can tell, all of the dating playbook has changed drastically due to advances in technology. Getting to know a potential teammate via multiple, all-night long phone conversations are long gone with nothing but a quick 5 minute Google search left in its wake. That “thanks for the lovely date” post-game wrap up phone call has been reduced to a few lines of text messages…with emojis. That awkward, yet intense “I’m feeling you” first play has been replaced for a few left or right swipes on a mobile dating app.
Too many sports references? What can I say, the NBA playoffs are off to a great start.
Now that we’ve you’ve accepted that the [dating] game has changed, according to a 2014 Pew research study, 56% African Americans and 53% of Whites own a smartphone. So you would think that finding black on black love via mobile apps like Tinder shouldn’t be too much of big deal since the probability that an equal number of African Americans using mobile apps is just about split among the races.
According to many Black folks using technology to find a potential mate, that’s not the case, and they find themselves digging through tons of profiles just to discover just a few potentials.
Enter SoulSwipe, a dating app that caters African Americans looking for that Ebony love (see what I did there? Using the app is very simple. Open the app and connect to Facebook to generate a profile and add images, set your search distance, age range, and what sex you’re interested in connecting with, and you’re off to searching through the app’s database of local users based on their profile picture and other information (age, location, and short bio).
If you’re familiar with the popular dating app Tinder, than you will quickly learn the ropes to SoulSwipe because they are very similar in how you find potential matches. Swipe right to “like” a person, swipe left to diss them. If that person also likes your profile, a match is made, and you two can exchange text-like conversation within the app, or meet up for drinks…or whatever it is you single-folk do.
Playing around with the app (for testing purposes only!), I found that the design and interface are pretty basic, but I like the fact that you can be extra-particular about what content you allow SoulSwipe to pull from your Facebook account. Tinder on the flip-side, is much easier on the eyes as far as the user experience is concerned, but requires more information from Facebook before you can get started.
While SoulSwipe doesn’t have any of the premium (read: paid) features that Tinder offers, the benefit for melanin-enriched folks opting to try out SoulSwipe is that you can zero in on more ideal matches in half the time.
“Most dating apps have such a diverse user base, which makes finding someone compatible extremely difficult. You have to search and search until you finally find someone that’s your type. SoulSwipe shows you exactly who you want to see and makes searching for your next boyfriend or girlfriend seamless,” says Gianni Coleman, SoulSwipe’s General Manager.
From what I’ve heard, the debate on whether or not technology is helping or hindering dating is going on strong. Fact of the matter is, technology is here to stay. So you can “Fight the Power” or you can jump on the bandwagon and download SoulSwipe for iPhone or Android and put some soul back into your tech dating game.
Terrance Gaines is a husband, father, tech geek, wannabe drone pilot and Peanut M&M’s aficionado down in Atlanta. When he is not trying to keep his check engine light off, he’s writing about the latest tech gear on his blog, BrothaTech. Follow him Twitter @BrothaTech