Skip to main content

Dating apps try to convince you to get vaccinated, but it might not work

The White House is using popular dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid in its social experiment to encourage more vaccinations.

While much of the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government is trying to convince more people to get vaccinated through a new, yet fairly unusual, initiative between the White House and several different dating apps. Dating apps will now introduce profile badges to indicate whether or not someone has been vaccinated. But there are some doubts that the effort will actually work well in an effort to encourage vaccinations in the country.

Each app will attempt to sweeten the pot by including special perks for vaccinated users, like free credits, boosts, or "Super Likes." Andy Slavitt, the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a press briefing last week that it's a way "to reach young people where they are in the effort to get them vaccinated."

"...meet people who have that universally attractive quality."

The apps involved in the new initiative include Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish, Match, and Badoo. These apps are available on all the best Android phones and have a combined total user base of more than 50 million people. Meanwhile, the U.S. vaccination rate currently sits at roughly 40% of the population or 131 million fully vaccinated individuals. It's still a far cry from the 70% that the U.S. is trying to reach by July 4.

The problem is that most people have seemingly made up their minds about taking the vaccine at this point in the pandemic. The U.S. government seems to be under the impression that dating is a good enough incentive to get vaccinated.

Richard Lachman, an associate professor at Toronto's Ryerson University, says that while it's unlikely to actually change anyone's mind, "it does seem important as one more signifier of alignment and compatibility, just like political views might be." This turns your vaccination status simply into another filter for users, where the vaccinated or unvaccinated can find each other.

On the one hand, that sounds like it could be an effective way for users to get back out there in the dating pool. After a year of social distancing and lockdowns, many people are probably rushing to get back to normal. Slavitt did point out a statistic from OkCupid stating that "people who display their vaccination status are 14 percent more likely to get a match."

On the other hand, the government is putting much more trust in users than maybe it should. So far, there has been no indication that these apps will actually verify a user's vaccination status. OkCupid has already begun rolling out its badge and has indicated as much:

This could pose a problem for users. According to Bloomberg, many of the young adults using these apps have expressed that they're not interested in getting vaccinated, mainly because they're not worried about the effects of COVID-19. This opens up the very real possibility that users will lie about their status. That could risk spreading COVID-19 further and undermine the effort thus far to lower transmission rates and expand vaccination rates.

"From a safety point of view, it makes sense," states Lachman. "Although, of course, it's simply an honour-system, and someone shouldn't rely on it. People can lie. Until there is a system for provable status outside of a dating app, we likely won't see anything reliable inside a dating app."

LGBTQ+ apps are missing from the initiative, even though they have experience with this.

This is the same trust system that many LGBTQ+ dating apps rely on, none of which were included in the new initiative despite Grindr being among the top dating apps in the country. These apps already include HIV status and prevention fields, which remains a prevalent issue within the community. There's no verification system for these apps, even while the HIV epidemic continues to affect many lives.

That said, there is an upside to this move. Similar to how the LGBTQ+ dating apps often include easily accessible information on HIV/STI prevention, the group of apps involved in the White House initiative are focusing on providing a way for users to get information about the vaccine and resources on where to book an appointment for those who are actually interested. Since many people still have not obtained vaccination appointments, this could become another outlet for finding a site, getting dosed, and potentially finding a match.

It's clear that while the White House may not expect this move to sway everyone towards getting vaccinated, it will at least reward those that do. Even if it's a flawed approach, it puts the conversation at the forefront of the dating experience.

Still, Lachman warns that it will take some time for people to get comfortable as things go back to normal, especially after a year of being told to stay away from each other. "What 'normal' is, including what we might want to change instead of return to, will take a while to be seen."



Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

How to watch England vs New Zealand: Live stream 2nd Test series cricket on

With the first Test ending in a draw, the series is on a knife edge at Edgbaston, as Joe Root's side look to put off the field controversies to one side and claim a much needed win against the Kiwis. Don't miss a single ball of the 2nd Test with our England vs New Zealand live stream guide below. The series has been somewhat overshadowed by the emergence of offensive historic tweets posted by Ollie Robinson who made his debut in the opening Test but has since been suspended. With the controversy still brewing amid interventions from politicians and accusations leveled at other members of the team, Root has a battle on his hands to keep his side focused on the game ahead. One positive for Root coming into the game is that they'll be playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Egbaston, with the overwhelming majority of the expected 18,000 spectators set to be cheering on the home side. The tourists have been delivered a huge blow coming intot his final match, with s

6 things Apple stole from Android at WWDC— and one that Google should steal

Every year, Apple and Google trade ideas for their newest versions of iOS and Android, respectively. But this year, during Apple's WWDC 2021, it seems like Apple purloined more than a few ideas that Google's integrated into Android over the last few years. Millions of iOS users won't get their hands on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 until later this year, so until then, we don't know until then how the new features will fare in the real world. For now, here's a tongue-in-cheek look at six features Apple, um, borrowed from Android with its latest software releases. Jump to: iPad widgets and app drawer Live Text Apple Maps AR navigation iOS notifications New Siri capabilities Apple Photos Bonus: What Google needs to steal iPad widgets and app drawer iPad OS 15 introduced two big new updates for the iPad home screen today: widgets and the App Library. If you think this sounds awfully familiar, there's a good reason for that. 2020's iOS 14 introduced both

Every armor set in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Armor up Ratchet and Rivet before taking down their enemies. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart features several armor sets that both Ratchet and Rivet can wear throughout the game, giving them damage buffs and other benefits. Each armor set is comprised of three pieces; the helmet, chest, and boots. Without all three pieces of a complete set, you won't get their collection bonus buffs. Thankfully, each map tells you exactly where to find the armor you need. It's then all about exploring the area and picking it up. You'll find most pieces within optional dimensional rifts that feature platforming puzzles of some kind, and there are eight total sets to be found. Here's every armor set in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and the buffs that they offer: Galactic Ranger Description: The classic helmet of the Solana Galactic Rangers. The Galactic Rangers' chest armor is forged with justice and Raritarium. The Galactic Rangers' pants protect the galaxy... and your legs

Best Roku Stick deals May 2021: $30 off Roku Ultra, Streambar and more

Transforming nearly any TV into a smart TV is affordable and easy with a Roku streaming stick. These tiny devices plug into your TV's HDMI port to unlock access to a world of streaming services, live TV channels, and other apps that will never leave you without entertainment. While prices are rather comparable to its main competition, the Amazon Fire TV Stick , Roku's devices have a few interesting features you won't find on a Fire stick. Roku Ultra - HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos | $31 off at Amazon The Roku Ultra is the fastest, most powerful Roku streaming device so far, and it's even compatible with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for a more cinematic experience. It has a better wireless range than other models as well. Today's deal saves you over $30 off its regular price. $69 at Amazon Once you've plugged in your new Roku streaming device, you can download the Roku app and use it as a remote or even plug headphones into your phone and listen to