By Jennifer Gabriele
How often do you think you check your phone a day? For many of us, your guess will probably be far lower than the actual figure, mainly because we probably don’t even realise we’re doing it. Whether ‘innocently’ looking at the time or checking to see how many likes our latest Instagram pic hast, these little glances at your device all add up.
The word addiction though seems pretty strong. To some addiction implies something negative – a weakness, a dependency, something that is completely out of our control. Can we really label what is essentially a bad habit, an addiction? Like a caffeine or a nicotine addiction… It’s not quite the same is it? Recent research does in fact suggest that our love affair with smartphones is having a deeply negative effect on everyday life.
Back in 2015, The Huffington Post reported on research by Baylor University which linked phone addiction to depression. The study concluded that “people who check their phones constantly could be trying to improve a negative mood”. Does that mean these people are relying on their phones to provide them with an injection of happiness that cannot be achieved through real-life interactions, such as a conversation with a friend? The research continues by saying that phone dependency has been linked to loneliness, shyness and lack of sleep. All of which makes perfect sense but is nonetheless worrying.
I’d be the first to admit that I’m guilty of being a little too attached to my smartphone. My latest vice being Instagram. I say latest loosely, it’s been my thing for well over a year now and whilst I do post photos on a weekly basis, my weakness lies with the scrolling. Like popping bubble wrap, the comfort of the scroll is incredibly moreish and I’m just not sure why.
If I’m totally honest with myself, it’s probably that ‘in-the-moment’ need to make sure I don’t miss out London’s latest reasonably priced restaurant opening or Pink’s most recent political rant. With social media now pretty much running in real-time how can we not get ‘hooked’?!
In September 2016 BBC News reported on a survey carried out by Deloitte that concluded that “people in the UK have never been more addicted to their smartphones” a statement backed up by the following stats:
If this does bother you what is there that can be done?
Exercise some willpower? Set yourself little targets like reading on the train to work for at least 15 minutes a day (that’s 15 minutes you won’t be on your phone) or banning devices from meal times.
As with most things though, there’s always the option of a compromise. You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are plenty of apps available that encourage you to put down your phone – oh the irony! In a recent listicle on The 10 Thing there are ten different apps showcased that help you either stay away from your device or at least reduce the time spent on it. The following statement confirms why these platforms are indeed popular and often necessary; “A study conducted by dscout in 2016 found that the average smartphone user taps, swipes, touches or clicks their device 2,617 times a day.” The apps listed on the article range from friendship-making (Chatzoome) and meditative (Headspace) platforms through to stricter and more blatant options such as Flipd.
With all this is mind I think we can agree that whilst your smartphones are pretty incredible for many things in modern day life (seriously, where would we be without Google Maps?!) when used as a comfort blanket it can in fact prove to be a hindrance. As a report from SimpleMost on The 6 Health Benefits of Being Social states; “when it comes to socializing, face-to-face interactions have more of an impact than emails or phone calls when it comes to mental wellbeing.” The article continues to say that face-to-face interactions can stave off feelings of depression and ultimately improve your mood.
So, yes, we could be addicted to a lot worse, but the benefits of human interaction and emotional connection will always outweigh those generated through a smartphone.
By Doug Hunter
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are here to stay and will become ever more prominent in as time ticks on.
Pokemon Go!’s recent boom in popularity and almost as quick decline may be a hazy memory in people’s minds, but it has left the world a different place. Even our previously non tech savvy friends and family know about AR now. Virtual reality was previously a thing discussed in sci-fi films but is now a topic of casual conversation. Someone who didn’t know that AR and VR existed at the turn of 2016 could now give an elevator pitch on how each is different.
VR allows us to enter a completely different world and leave the current one behind. This is ideal for some when there is so much inequality, suffering, confusion and hate in the ‘real world’ right now.
With VR, people can escape to anywhere. We’re already seeing some amazing possibilities with increasingly powerful headsets coming to market. Developers are fighting for the limelight with more and more beautiful games and experiences that take people far beyond the confines of our universe. These are places where science doesn’t follow the same rules: Whatever the mind imagines people can make it in a VR experience.
From Eagle Flight
…the possibilities are endless.
The other day, while sitting at my desk in the heart of Shoreditch, I took a private tour of Pyongyang through Google Cardboard. I felt like I was visiting North Korea. Despite being a five minute walk from Old Street station I was spinning around on my swivel chair taking in sights from a very different nation on the other side of the world!
Micro holidays on my lunch break, how cool is that?
I have recently been thinking a lot about what VR can offer industries further than gaming, and am only scratching the surface with this… The more I think about any industry, the more VR has the potential to be a game changer.
This type of experience needn’t be limited to entertainment, the business implications are impressive too. Remember when you first went on Skype and people could talk from across the globe with video connections? Meetings had so much potential, soon we will be able to connect and share projects in 3D without leaving the office. We will be able to virtually transport ourselves to points in space around the world and interact with people on a far more intimate level.
I have been speaking a lot to the team from Rentr – a property management platform for the private residential letting market. The team is constantly developing its platform, yes they work in property but at heart, they are pure technologists – constantly looking to make lives easier and cheaper for both private landlords and their tenants.
Adam Blaxter discussed his views on VR saying that, “Here at Rentr we are deeply invested in property technology, and VR is a buzzword in the PropTech industry today. Between all enterprise domains, the property vertical is the most natural home for VR – there is a natural use-case for virtual experiences of living spaces and future developments – so the speed of development of VR has us all very excited. Our primary developers at Technology Blueprint have already put together PoCs (Proofs of Concept) for us on VR viewings of properties, but the dedicated efforts of teams like at Google Tango are changing the game with hardware that is opening up the space for 3D environmental modelling in real time for VR applications for example. You only need to search for companies like Matterport and PropertyScape to see that work is underway across the board. Through the course of 2017 I expect to see more consumer-grade experiences emerging for mobile-enabled devices, but more importantly still more premium experiences for the top end of the market.”
Car designers will soon be walking around a car designed in London, modeled in Thailand and projected through VR in front of the eyes of people in Germany, The US, Japan and anywhere else simultaneously. All so that executives can ponder on whether they should make it in Sunderland. This is all before the artists with the clay models build a millimeter perfect model, saving a lot of time and money.
I have worked in automotive clay modeling in the past and don’t believe the process will be lost any time soon, but more and more design agencies are going to be able to get their ideas to the people that matter quickly, before final clay builds are ordered.
Surgeons in India might be able to call on the advice and expertise of a specialist in Cuba when performing a procedure that they haven’t been through before – demonstrated in high definition in a country many miles away. In fact YouTube tutorials are about to change forever!
I then asked my friends at at Promogogo, whose service streamlines ticket sales, what they thought of VR too, their reply was: “Imagine if VR recording tech existed back in the day and we could relive iconic moments like Queen’s 1985 Wembley performance – or the Nirvana’s 1992 Reading one? We think it’s very cool and will help drive interest for live events where people from around the world will be able to watch not only what is on stage but get a feeling for being in the audience.”
In November 2015 I went to a Virtual Reality exploration into the future of nightlife which, in reality, was a marketing ploy brought to us by Absolut Vodka. Stunt or not though, the event was great and the VR room was something to behold. After playing VR games in early development and seeing some seriously interesting uses for VR in engineering, this was the first time that I really lost myself in a new world.
This got me to thinking. Everyone talks about the obvious uses of VR, the ones most likely to mean headset sales go mass market but it is possible that the very things we might set out to avoid through VR, by disappearing into these alternate universes, will benefit the most from it?
Can we make the world a better place for those that need it most through VR experiences?
This might sound dark, but if 5 years from now we aren’t getting live reporting from war zones, natural disaster sites, refugee camps, and so on, in VR, then I will be hugely disappointed.
Hear me out… I don’t want to see the terror as if I am playing Call of Duty, far from it.
Think about what might happen if people could immerse themselves into the war zones of today, they will hopefully come out thinking “there has to be a better way!” On the ground experience of terror could finally bring about a new shift in mentality, towards greater humanity, people may push for better policies and less fighting if they have ‘been there’.
Humanitarian work can benefit on many levels. Imagine people from a wealthy, western nation being able to walk around a refugee camp in VR, tell me the average donation from someone that sees the problems first hand, as if they were there, won’t be larger than those that saw a TV ad or a statistic in the paper?
First we had the internet, then we had internet 2.0. The next major step was the mobile revolution with more people reading the news nowadays on a mobile device than on a computer. This goes to show that constant connectivity is changing everything about the world we live in. Imagine if VR becomes the next wave of change finally bringing a level of global, personal connectivity that was thought impossible a matter of years ago. We already have too much news input, with less objective analysis or perspective.
Overload and compassion fatigue are already with us due, in part, to over reporting. Will the first news and charity outreach campaigns using VR be the ones that are remembered for years to come for changing this?
I believe that this VRevolution is coming. I just hope that we will use it overwhelmingly for good, not just for piloting drones and entertaining the wealthy.
By Lizzie Hubbard
Legacy and sustainability are words we often hear from countries due to hold the Olympic Games but 2020 host, Japan, has taken this to a new level and has announced that the medals for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made from recycled mobile phones.
Japan has a reputation for being at the forefront of modern recycling but soon there will be collection points popping up across the country to encourage people to hand in their old handsets for the Olympic effort and do their bit to reduce the amount of waste in ever-growing landfills.
According to TechRadar, 9.6kg of gold, 1210kg of silver and 700kg of copper was used to make the medals for the London 2012 Games. Considering that in 2014 Japan threw away 143kg of gold, 15666kg of silver and 1112 of copper in electronics it makes so much sense to recycle all these useful resources.
Personally, I am guilty of always buying the latest gadgets without thinking too hard about what happens the old ones and I know I’m not the only one. I actually have two old phones and an iPod that I no longer use that I intend to recycle using mobile recycling company. If I was in Japan I would definitely consider handing them over so they can be transformed into one of the 5,000 medals required.
The International Olympic Committee, mindful of the amount of resources it requires to host the Olympic Games, has a strict set of rules to promote environmental sustainability. But maybe we should be thinking about the amount of disregarded resources we have in our own homes every day, rather than just for major global events.
If you can make an Olympic medal, something that is meant to last a lifetime, in such a responsible way, what else can be made from recycled tech? There are endless possibilities from durable kitchenware to sports equipment. The silver from the inside of your iPhone could be repurposed for X-rays – there are so many uses.
Maybe we should be more like Japan when it comes to recycling. This Japanese bar, is completely decorated with old cables and it looks incredible – even if it does make you feel like you’re inside a lung. Do our general, cultural attitudes towards recycling need to be upgraded?
There are some tech recycling solutions out there – we just have to stop being lazy and use them! PC World does have a service where you can donate all your electrical items for free or you can sell your old devices to Mazuma Mobile which is what I intend to do. There are only finite resources on this planet and if we want to keep producing innovative new products at the rate we currently are we all going to have to pitch in and recycle all our old tech.
By Doug Hunter
It is Valentine’s day, so I thought I would give you my two cents, or whatever that is when converted to Bitcoin.
Over the last few years I have tried the occasional dating app, from Once, Tinder, Bumble and Happn to some further reaching ones like Coffee Meets Bagel, Rendeevoo and now, HATER!
Hater is different because it doesn’t really care about whether you like something, it’s all about finding like minded people who also hate the things you hate too.
I thought the concept was hilarious when I read about it on Mashable. People at Dimoso know too well that I like to have a rant, sometimes it’s about Brexit, Trump, May and other selected influencers at the top of the pile, or sometimes it’s about words like “BAE” and “YOLO”, so it would seem that this is the perfect app for me….
I have so far this morning expressed an opinion on:
Which is when it dawned on me, this app is entertaining, there is something great about meeting up with someone for a drink and initially discussing the things we don’t like, rather than the things we do, why not?, there is so much to whinge about in this day and age…
It is potentially one of the cleverest tools for marketers I have come across since the playable advert…
Within seconds of signing up for Hater with my Facebook account the data mining begins, they have my age, sex, location… I can only speculate, but they could potentially be gaining hundreds of micro opinions from me. A standard online survey would have bored me by now, but this is entertaining and fast and unless you work in this world or are conscious because you have seen too many documentaries on Edward Snowden, you might not realise the value of data to the highest bidder.
Interesting that the creators didn’t put “data mining disguised as a dating app” as one of the cards… they might have, but I haven’t come across it yet. I am however, hooked, so it is only a matter of time till something along those lines comes up.
Haters gunna hate!
I couldn’t write this blog without also mentioning another pioneering dating app that is doing the rounds right now, Shinder has been created by Shed Simove and is a swipe of genius, it won’t last long but someone had to go there. It is basically Tinder, but he is the only man available on the app. Read into that as you wish.
By Jon Lopera
Mobile games becoming films – a new phenomenon
Ok it’s not recognised yet and I’m officially coining the phrase, but games turned into films (gilms) is big business for Hollywood these days. After all, there are plenty of blockbuster hits that have been made into videogames so it’s only fair we see it in reverse.
Admittedly I can’t think of one gilm that I genuinely rated highly but earlier attempts like Street Fighter (1994) and Super Mario Bros. (1993), though pretty darn awful, helped pave the way to for an industry that’s taken more than 20 years to mould into real box office contenders.
The growth of our industry is such that in an earlier blog post Exciting Times For Mobile Marketing On TV I touch on the seriousness of mobile advertising on TV in order to be widely noticed and somewhat successful in the marketing of your product. Other, perhaps more bolder, companies however are happy to push these limits.
One studio who has taken such vital steps is Rovio. The mobile games giant may not be a filmmaking veteran but their bold attempts to push the barriers of success means their brand awareness and even profits have benefitted massively despite a low Metacritic score of The Angry Birds Movie. For a company that supposedly lacks in film experience, they certainly make up for it in quality of entertainment and business acumen. The rest can follow in time.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing companies, great people across entertainment and business savvy professionals who’ve all dealt their fair share of ideas and creativity over the years. One thing’s for certain though, you can’t have one without the other and in the gilm game I only hope that we’ll be seeing more exciting projects like Assasin’s Creed (2016) and, despite the task of turning the impossibly complicated story into a screenplay, Metal Gear Solid whose release date is yet to be announced. Watch this space and in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a little list of gilms we can look forward to. Happy gilming, gamers.
Ratchet & Clank: Planned Release Date: April 29, 2016
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: Source: Warner Roadshow Studios. Planned Release Date: September 2, 2016
Assassin’s Creed: Planned Release Date: December 21, 2016
Sly Cooper: Planned Release Date: 2016
Tomb Raider: Source: Square Enix. Planned Release Date: 2017
Splinter Cell: Source: Ubisoft. Planned Release Date: 2017
Metal Gear Solid: Source: Konami. Planned Release Date: TBA
Shadow of the Colossus. Source: Team Ico. Planned Release Date: TBA
Dead Island: Source: Techland. Planned Release Date: TBA
We’ve been so busy since returning from Helsinki that we’ve only just managed to create a blog post on this incredible event! The B2B networking event took place from 5th to the 6th of September in the capital of Finland.
Pocket Gamer, owned by Steel Media, is the biggest mobile gaming site in the word and is a valued client of Dimoso. Pocket Gamer Connects is the company’s flagship series of events. Regular events take place in London, Helsinki, Bangalore and Vancouver with more being added to the roster as the global popularity grows.
The Helsinki event takes place over a few days, with a party on the first night. It’s a chance to network and get informed. Participants attend presentations and take part in tracks specialising in areas of mobile gaming of interest.
The event layout is intuitive with presentation rooms split into ‘tracks’ that cover all things in mobile games. There’s also a central hall, where attendees can find all the sponsors and event partners, including Dimoso.
The star of this particular show was Helsinki itself. What an incredible place! The architecture, the people, the landscape and the way of life. It is so clean and picturesque: From the cobbled streets to the trams, churches and cathedrals. Helsinki is home to some wonderful sights.
The event is a great opportunity for anyone in games to do business. But particularly for those looking to work with the Nordics; Nitro Games, Rovio and many more, were in attendance to provide their insight into games and games marketing in the region and globally.
The Pocket Gamer team make the event an absolute treat. Run by Chris James and his team, the event really is a highlight on the gaming calendar. We enjoyed hanging out with AppSpy camera crews, journalists from Steel Media’s host of publications and the events team who brought the whole thing together.
Rovio was a headline sponsor this year and we were lucky enough to be invited to visit its office. We also had some great conversations with other event attendees: OneSky, Pushwoosh, AppNext, Appodeal and many, many others.
We had a number of clients in attendance: Gram Games, TreasureHunt and The Specialist Works. Who took part in presentations, press and networking opportunities.
The legendary PG party was held in a local nightclub. Patrons were given Pocket Gamer dollars to cash in for free drinks and there were rumours of after-parties continuing until the early hours but we wouldn’t know anything about that….
It was also great fun and worthwhile having all these gamers in one place, showing off their games and great products to the industry. We ended it all with a Sauna, the perfect close to a wonderful Nordic experience. (That’s not us in the picture!)
By Doug Hunter
Unsurprisingly, I have been proven wrong. Anyone who had the patience for me pre- Brexit will know that my predictions have not gone well this year.
Having spent the last couple of weeks (actually several months) being scathing about the multitude of rumours around the Apple keynote I have come out the other side mildly pleased.
The iPhone 7 is here, after all the speculation, leaks and discussion points (mostly about the lack of headphone jack) it seems ok. The sad bit is that I am using the word ‘ok’ in my opening statement when summing up the launch of what may well be the best selling phone for the next 12 months.
Before we get going, let’s look at the biggest upset: Just before the official launch, Apple further cemented its reputation of failing with social media by accidentally leaking its own devices using the @Apple twitter account which had been dormant for half a decade, waiting for this moment… Hats off Apple.
There is plenty of good news to glean from the event though, firstly, there will be no 16GB storage option for the iPhone 7. Anyone that has previously owned a small capacity iPhone will relate to the trauma of having to delete apps or photos on a night out to shoot videos, or having to carry around their previous phone for music purposes. It also comes at no extra cost to early adopters as the price points are staying the same. Simply put it is just the storage capacity which is shifting the price brackets along. Spot on Apple!
The iPhone 7 has a much improved camera, and the 7 Plus gains an extra lens, DSLR-style depth of-field and 2X optical zoom. I have to admit this excites and disappoints at the same time: I have always been one to say that the ‘Plus’ size iPhone editions are way too big, giving such separation might well be the most annoying thing because simply put, I do want the 7 Plus dual-lens camera, but on the standard 7 model. I am now going to have to purchase a sling to carry that behemoth of a phone around when I no doubt pre-order it tomorrow after one too many this evening somewhere in the depths of Shoreditch.
Seriously though, the 7 Plus camera really might be the hook Apple has been waiting for.
Next up, the lack of headphone jack.
When Apple first released the Macbook Air, the world went bonkers because Apple dispensed with optical disk drives. At the time, most people couldn’t understand but, be honest, when was the last time you used one?
This is also a little different and I am behind the choice to get rid of the jack. I just believe that the execution could have been better – this has been another extension of the walled gardens of the tech world. Apple has gone yet again with its own lightning port whilst the rest of the world will go for another option adding confusion and chaos when buying little Johnny his new headphones at Christmas. How many people will open up their presents to find that they have technology that hasn’t really changed all that much since Nathaniel Baldwin’s first ‘cans’ in 1910 or any number of miniature USB derivants.
You can read more about the history of headphones here
There is good news, however. Apple is including a 3.5mm to Lightning port if people don’t fancy switching to third party bluetooth headphones – including lightning ready EarPods or….
In possibly the most cringeworthy product launch since Steve Ballmer went mental.
Apple’s Phil Chiller managed to explain the lack of the 3.5mm headphone jack pretty well: He mentioned that they’d need more room for the stereo speakers, the internals have been reconfigured to accommodate great optics… brilliant! The battery life is improving…whoop, and the headphone jack has gone because of “courage”, wait, what was that?!?
Had he only told everyone all the good reasons why it was happening, I might have let it slide, even with the lack of agreement to make a world standard replacement, but “courage”?! It seems he is trying to put words into the mouths of the journalists. As any politician or public figure knows, Elon Musk excluded, as soon as you do this, it will get turned around straight away and thrown courageously back at you!
As our friends over at TechCrunch rightly reported, “Fighting the FBI in favour of encryption is courage. Coming out in favour or civil rights is courage. Nixing the audio jack is leverage.”
The new AirPods though, seem competent when lined-up next to competition, although I haven’t tried them yet, if reports ring true, they should sound ok and the price is competitive. I can’t tolerate however the barrage of Twitter users that think losing the wire makes them easier to lose… It’s late 2016 folks – if you want a wire, don’t buy them, use the free ones that come with the iPhone 7.
At Dimoso we love games, and there was some fairly epic news on this front. Now that we are getting slightly bored with Pokémon Go!, we don’t have too long to wait till SUPER MARIO COMES TO THE IPHONE! – Super Mario Run could have been called “I can’t believe it’s not Temple Run” but do we care? Guiding our favourite little Italian since Gianfranco Zola through a series of courses and collecting coins for either a personal high score or to simply belittle our friends on the bus, we can’t wait! Kudos to Nintendo for bringing back their most famous IP into mobile gaming – this is surely just a taste of what’s to come.
I could now jump to the Apple Watch, but meh, here are some highlights, it has GPS and there is a ceramic case option. Yes, the Nike partnership for runners is pretty cool.
However, I’d like to conclude on two points:
Firstly, despite there being some issues, I might well get an iPhone 7 and, (I can’t believe I am saying this) if I do it will be the monster 7 Plus. The slightly improved outer-casing looks good but I simply don’t think that it is worth the upgrade without the dual lens camera…
I want to dish out a huge round of applause to an old friend Hannah, watching the Apple Keynote as I do every year and seeing her wander on stage as the head of design at ViewRanger was the biggest shock of the day. I couldn’t be happier and more proud to see someone I know absolutely nailing it!
Hannah, if your next project needs any PR, you know where to come to first!
By Costanza Passeri
Dimoso recently attended Pure London, one of the leading B2B fashion industry events in Europe on behalf of its client EyeFitU, a great chance to take a look behind the curtain of the fashion industry.
Pure London is designed for networking and as an exhibition for journalists, fashionistas, bloggers and influencers in the fashion world. It appeals to a broad audience in fashion: buyers, independents and online retailers, department stores and everything in between.
At Pure, emerging and ground-breaking brands have the chance to catch the attention of buyers and press presenting new seasonal trends and products on engaging stands and dynamic catwalks.
This year’s Pure London had some great partners: WGSN, FashionMag.com, Attire, FashionJobs.com, alongside a busy and varied programme, attracting journalists and editors from well-known fashion magazines. People like award-winning editor of GQ magazine, Dylan Jones, who presented a speech on London as the Capital of creativity.
The event consisted of two exhibition spaces and an upstairs gallery. Exhibitors are divided by sectors dependent on the target audience of its brands: Pure Premium, Premium Footwear, Accessories, Allure and Spirit. At the centre of each space there was a stage for conferences and catwalks.
Particularly important from our perspective was the sector dedicated to retail solutions, which varied from stock control platforms to packaging solutions. Here different kinds of companies exhibited diverse products and solutions to common fashion retail problems.
EyeFitU fits nicely into this category, the app allows retailers to potentially save millions in costs by helping people shop in their correct size thus helping retailers limit their returns. The app creates a trusted and personal shopping environment that will become an indispensable tool for retailers who want to build loyalty and deliver an excellent user experience.
The seminars and conferences were interesting and inspirational. Fashion and business journalists, bloggers and entrepreneurs, were invited to be part of the event as guest speakers. These opportunities were used to discuss different topics with a common focus: the synergy between fashion and technology. The future of fashion and business was a key point of discussion, as were innovations in technology and social media.
One of the best seminars was hosted by special guest Navaz from Disneyrollergirl. The famous blogger explained what blogs do for brands, in terms of connecting with the audience. She explained that collaborating with influencers and bloggers is like building a bridge between brands and the public, spreading the word to the right community.
Navaz also took part in a seminar on the Fash Tech Evolution with the business, fashion and technology journalist Rachel Arthur. They discussed the importance of social media, especially new forms like Snapchat: Its spontaneity engages users all around the word and is seen as the next main tool of influencers.
The journalists also underlined how exciting this specific time is for fashion and technology, with more and more focus on improving the user experience. One way to make it great? Take inspiration from the videogames industry; follow big trends like Pokemon Go utilising AR to make artificial environments and products to feel real for consumers.
Pure London was an amazing opportunity to connect with retailers and well-known personalities in business and the fashion industry. Being there demonstrated how many people, in different roles, are working hard to make fashion accessible, amusing and fresh, while innovating latest technology.
What we took from attending the event is that creativity, passion and innovation are essential to making a positive change in the fashion industry, and that technology paves the way for the future. Who would’ve thought the latest trends in fashion would be apps and AR, rather than bell bottoms, pleated skirts and turtlenecks?
By Connie McCool Duncan
Nancy Jo Sales’ Vanity Fair article, quoted Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University, who explained that there have been “two major transitions” in heterosexual mating “in the last four million years”. The first, he claimed, was “the agricultural revolution” which took place “around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago” and which, through the introduction of a more settled society, led to the “establishment of marriage as a cultural contract”. The “second major transition” was, for him, “the rise of the Internet”. The article’s notion of the ‘dating apocalypse’ was linked to the fact that, given access to an incalculable number of potential partners online, we are now unable to settle for one person.
That said, while the rise of the Internet and the corresponding development of dating apps have made it easier to pursue casual relationships, ‘hook-up culture’ is not a 21st century phenomenon. Throughout history the only barriers to casual sex have been the threats of unwanted pregnancy and/or societal punishment. These obstacles began to be undone in the 1960s with the invention of the pill and they were further eroded by the profound societal change that has occurred since its introduction. The Internet and dating apps have given us access to a wider dating pool but their impact cannot be compared with, let alone considered greater than, that of this earlier sexual revolution.
The Vanity Fair article presented the changing state of modern dating in an almost comically negative light. However, to rile against an accessible and relaxed attitude to dating is to mourn the loss of an undesirable societal template whereby men and women are exposed to few potential partners, married young, and discouraged from leaving an unhappy marriage. In Vogue Karley Sciortino rightly called out the misogyny of Sales’ attitude. By reinforcing the idea that men have no feelings and women are always victims being used for sex, such articles only serve to resuscitate a stereotype that women have been fighting to bury since female virginity was first prized by the patriarchy.
The superficial image-centric nature of many dating apps is often used to justify disdain. Yet few users will swipe right in the belief that they’ve spotted their soul mate; unlike previous incarnations of online dating, in which complex algorithms were deployed to match potentially perfect partners, tinder does not provide false expectations of compatibility. You simply see someone you like the look of and you decide whether you want to talk to him or her. Funnily enough, unlike the elaborate machinations of the less-derided Match.com, this concept is actually pretty close to the traditional method of starting a conversation with someone you find attractive.
Furthermore, beyond being offensive, the perception that Tinder users only want one-night-stands is also wrong. Sean Rad, Chief Executive of Tinder, shared the results of a survey of over 300,000 users, which found that “over 80% of people on Tinder are there to find a long-term relationship”. As Natasha Lunn observed in Red, dating apps are “actually just a way to open another possibility, another window, another door to somewhere you haven't been to yet”. They provide those who are interested with a way of meeting someone that they might not have come across in daily life, they facilitate the awkward process of starting a conversation with a stranger, and they help those with busy lives make a human connection, be it for the night or for life. Granted, there are men and women on dating apps who behave badly but there are men and women who would behave badly in any dating scenario.
The negative response to the rise of dating apps is by no means universal but the resistance to them in some quarters highlights that we are not yet the equal, liberated society that we should want to be. It’s time we stopped judging apps like tinder and started celebrating them.
By Harry Cole
Did you know The British Library has Business Centres across the UK offering free resources and professional support to UK start-ups?
The UK government is working with The British Library to offer even more than the wealth of knowledge that can be found in books. It’s now a resource for small businesses, offering support and materials that in most instances would only available to major corporations.
Ideal for games, high-tech and apps companies, you could almost set up and run an entire business from your library. We’re talking city centre positions in Liverpool, Manchester, London, etc. With free WiFi, desk space, chill out areas, free research materials and databases worth over five million pounds.
You can join in sessions with local business representatives and entrepreneurs. Specialists are available to discuss IP Advice and other areas key to running a business. One-to-one sessions are available, or you can attend workshops and mini classes. The business hubs are tied to local government, with MPs and entrepreneurs in the local area backing initiatives. There are also advanced sessions which you can pay for.
There’s a specific team nationally to handle the initiative and representatives at major libraries across the country. In total there are eight national network centres across the UK, available six days a week.
In addition the British Library run a three month scheme worth £10,000 in support for business owners looking to scale up their company, called Innovating For Growth. It’s in partnership with the European Union, so you better be quick.
The remit of the Business Centres is to support ‘small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors like you.’ So make sure you get in contact and take advantage of this plethora of support.
I was lucky enough to meet the British Library at the International Business Festival in Liverpool, thanks to our friends at UKIE for the invitation.
If you are interested in hearing more then visit http://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre Just no shouting please, this is still a library.