Appearance-Based Filter Increases User Dishonesty and Superficial Judgment

By encouraging users to sort through potential dates by body types and attractiveness ratings, popular dating website OkCupid fosters deception and a sad shallowness all at once.

Considering many people have some physical insecurity, OkCupid’s new filter will undoubtedly damage self-esteems that are already low while simultaneously promoting dishonesty. Research by Dove found that as girls age, their self-confidence decreases with heightened pressure to be visually pleasing. According to their findings, only 4 percent of women around the world believe themselves to be beautiful.

With most people being their own worst critics, it is not surprising that many online daters feel the need to embellish their perceived image. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University found that a staggering 80 percent of the online dating world is dishonest when it comes to weight, age and height. OkCupid’s new image filtration system adds extra incentive for men and women to portray themselves with misleading profile pictures and inaccurate information.

While it holds true that people may choose whether or not to acknowledge certain people based on their looks, they cannot make them disappear from real life settings. But with the mere click of a button, thousands of OkCupid members instantly disappear from a user’s search. This is both highly damaging to a person’s sense of self-worth and unrepresentative of reality.

American culture has become obsessed with image, heavily emphasizing it in the dating world while often overlooking other qualities necessary for a successful relationship. OkCupid perpetuates this superficial practice and leaves many without the opportunity to see what lies beneath someone’s exterior.

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