Covid-19 has disrupted a lot of what was normal: work, socialization, healthcare, and just general living as we all know it.
On the socializing front, dating may be the most affected.
People may no longer be meeting randomly at restaurants, bars, or going on blind dates but online dating has quickly picked up over the last four months. It's fascinating to watch these changes in realtime.
Some of these changes are;
Niche dating, depending on your personality, career, or physical attributes, there is a dating APP for you. From the beard gangs to those who work has clowns-yes. The possibilities are endless. Unlike a couple of years back when Apps would run out of matches, now, singles are overwhelmed by the options available.
Social distancing presents a unique challenge to Apps. Since moving online it's now not considered essential, it has pushed Apps to include video options. Video dating is, to shamelessly join the cliché, the new normal, how do we go about this? Singles are going on video dates, using voice notes, playing trivia games, etc allowing them to virtually enjoy each other's company while safely distancing.
Group swiping is possible with some Apps. Mind-blowing isn't it? This means you can include your parents, friends to swipe on your behalf and possibly land you a date. "Ship' is the name.
It also presents great opportunities for already existing social networks to include dating on their platforms. Facebook dating has launched in about 20 countries so far, considering they have a lot of information on its users. It makes sense to expand that way.
Tinder has diversified by launching "global mode" which gets rids of physical borders. Users can virtually match with anyone from across the globe not just with people in their immediate vicinity.
You can have breakfast in Prague, launch overlooking the table mountains, and dinner on The Queen Mary.
The downside to this, however, is dating fatigue is being witnessed across all platforms, traditional daters are familiar with it.
Experts say they may experience an attitude or indifference coupled with a feeling of depression and hopelessness, exhaustion at the thought of another date, or even giving up altogether.
It's advisable to space dating experiences, ensure users balance between dating and engaging with friends. And more importantly, managing their expectations as they use the Apps.
With that said. It would be interesting to know just how effective the Apps have been in "Kenya's new normal," that word again, dating scene.