Pamela Chan, M.Ed/Editorial
A few weeks ago, I heard an interview on the GOOP podcast that featured Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO and Founder of the Bumble dating app. Bumble was designed to be a safer place for women who are using online dating apps. Whitney and Gwyneth Paltrow brought up some interesting topics in this podcast. I was also interested to hear that there is a corner of this site where you can meet new friends and make connections in the business world.
This non dating function intrigued me, so I added the app to my phone and selected the Bizz section. I could see that it could be useful but almost immediately I found that there were glitches.
1. I should be able to opp out from showing my age if I’m not signing up for a dating app. In the business world, why does my age matter? It makes sense on the dating side but sharing this detail on the Bizz side feels invasive. Especially since ageist discrimination against women age 40 + is widespread in the professional world.
2. I couldn’t verify my photo. So I took a selfie, added it and then took a verify photo (same moment/pose) and it still wouldn’t work. That doesn’t make sense. I gave up. However, this means I couldn’t ask to only see verified accounts.
3. When I was trying to hunt around for setting options, the app kept asking me to add a photo and would get stuck on this page. I had already added 3, including one clear photo of my face, that was positioned in the primary box.
4. Did I miss it? For career disciplines, there was no option for Education (eg teaching/research etc.) .
5. Maybe selecting Other made my result too vague but I ended up with people who really didn’t have a lot in common with me. I also question if some of these people live locally. Some just seemed a bit too generic in their self description. It was almost as if they lived somewhere else but wanted to connect with people in my area. This left me with an unsettled feeling.
6. My profile said exactly where I am located in my metropolitan area. That’s too specific and I hadn’t indicated as much on my profile. For personal safety reasons, I don’t want such a narrow demographic being listed.
7. I had to choose between different goals. But why can’t I have more than one? Eg Looking for a full time job and wanting to network?
Phew. That was a lot of glitches/design flaws. I shared comments about this feedback on my posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I also tagged the company in my posts on my BC Family Facebook page. Considering that the CEO told Gwyneth that she personally goes through feedback on their social media sites and that they work out what women need in involved company meetings, I was surprised that the result was radio silence. (I expected to hear from someone on their social media team – not the CEO.) Since there was no benefit to me personally, why should all the effort be on my side to keep reaching out to the company? Should I dig up an E-mail address? Hunt down a street address for snail mail? If my name was Gwyneth Paltrow, would they have responded?
Ultimately, I had to delete the app due to the seven issues that I raised above. I rechecked my efforts to connect with the company and couldn’t find any evidence that they had reciprocated. Does my feedback hold value? Yes. It’s a shame that the company doesn’t share my perspective.
You can comment about this posting on the BC Family Facebook page. Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!