But mainly it's stealing your data.
I don't really use Facebook, because they're famous for mishandling and abusing user information.
I'm also in a long-term, committed relationship, so when I heard about Facebook Dating, my first thought was, "Wow, there's literally nothing less up my alley than this!" But I was still kind of curious. With all the dating apps on the market, who in their right mind would want to find love through gross Facebook? I imagined a wasteland populated by only the most desperate people and boomers who can't figure out how to download Tinder. But I'm a real journalist. Imagination is worthless. I needed to see for myself if I wanted to write a Facebook Dating review.
So I made a Facebook Dating profile and documented my journey.
Facebook Dating is kind of annoying to find. It's actually part of the standard Facebook app (which, again, nobody should ever use, because it's probably stealing your data without your consent), so you have to navigate to the far reaches of the crappy mobile interface to access Facebook dating at all.
Once I made it in, Facebook wanted to know which "option(s)" I most closely identified with. This seemed pretty par for the course, but kudos to Facebook for including trans and non-binary folks (I hope that kind of inclusivity is common in dating services nowadays, but considering I haven't been on the dating scene in 7 years, I have no idea).
Then Facebook asked me who I'm interested in seeing. I selected everyone, because I'm an equal opportunist, and I don't want Facebook to have any information about my sexual preferences.
After I told Facebook which genders I'm interested in boning, they wanted to see a good photo of me. Their default selection was my Facebook profile picture, which I do, indeed, think is a good photo of me. Or as one guy said to me in a comment once, "Put down the bong."
Facebook assured me that even though my dating profile is technically attached to my standard Facebook profile, the two will operate mostly separately, kind of like China's "one country, two systems" bullsh*t. Make no mistake, Facebook will be gorging itself on the information in your dating profile.
Considering Facebook already has all my info, they're willing to help me fill in some information to optimize my sexual prospects. Thanks Zuck!
Facebook wanted me to describe myself in "three sentences, three words, or three emojis." I'm also only in L.A. for the weekend, because I'm attending a wedding. I don't expect Facebook to know that, but I feel it's an important fact to note.
Okay, I went with emojis. I chose a bicep because I like working out, sushi because I like eating sushi, and an American flag because I'm a "real American patriot" who loves our great nation and bleeds red, white, and blue.
I went with "Staff Writer" for occupation, because in L.A. everyone will think I write for a TV show, which is very cool; and also, everyone in L.A. is a liar, so I don't mind tricking them. Also, I don't believe in God, but I'm at least somewhat sure we live in a Matrix-like simulation and that I'm the only "real" person. Unfortunately, I can't prove these assertions, and Facebook's religion options don't go that deep. So I selected "Agnostic."
Facebook thought this more recent picture of me was pretty decent, too, and I agee. It's of me giving a thumbs up at an Italian restaurant, which hopefully tells prospective partners that I'm a guy who loves being in Italian restaurants.
Facebook also seemed to like this picture of me from when I shaved off all my facial hair except for my mustache. My girlfriend said I "looked like a joke," but I'm pretty sure Facebook knows better than she does.
After showing me my best faces, Facebook prompted me to "Answer a Question," which they seemed to suggest will help connect me with people who have similar interests. Facebook then asked about something I'm embarrassed to admit I love, presumably because it wants to collect fodder to use against me at some point. I answered truthfully.
After answering a few more questions, Facebook completed my profile. This will help me stand out from the crowd.
Facebook Dating also has a "Secret Crush" feature. Under normal circumstances, you won't see friends of yours in your dating pool. But if you mark your friend as a "Secret Crush," they'll get a notification that someone has a crush on them if they ever sign up for Facebook dating, too. Then, if they happen to select you as a crush, you'll both be notified. You can select up to nine friends as crushes, because the chances of f*cking your friends are better when you cast a wide net. I selected my girlfriend and notified her of my crush in person, because she hasn't been on Facebook in five years.
Facebook automatically assumed my ideal age range for a partner would be "20-34." I corrected this to "20-100+" because how dare they assume what I like? And that's it, the final step! My dating profile is complete, and I'm ready to hit the Facebook dating scene to see who else has entered this personal information-scraping hellscape.
Oh. They're not suggesting people in my area yet. So...it's literally just me. I'm completely alone on Facebook Dating. Might as well have a cartoon piña colada, eh Facebook?
From the bottom of my heart, f*ck you Mark Zuckerberg.
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