Online dating used to be a way for shy, socially awkward people to meet their (shy, socially awkward) soulmates and begin relationships based on, well, more than just looks and sex. But when dating sites moved from the wired Internet to smartphones, well, let's just say things started to go downhill.
Now, instead of questionnaire-based sites like eHarmony, we have hot-or-not style apps like Tinder. Instead of looking for "the one," we're looking for the one who can take the sexiest selfie, and who's within 25 miles of our house and down to...get coffee.
I'm actually not here to hate on dating apps — they're an understandable and necessary way to meet new people, thanks to our jam-packed schedules and smartphone-obsessed society. But some dating apps have me shaking my head. An app that asks you to bribe users to go on dates with you? An app that doesn't let you message other people unless other people deem you "hot enough?" If you've got the Valentine's Day blues and are looking to try a new dating service, stick to OKCupid — stay away from these.
Online dating is tough, especially if you want to date out of your league, looks-wise. But how can you show that sexy girl (or guy) that you're worth it (because you have money)? Bribe them, of course!
Carrot Dating is an app that lets you bribe (it literally says "bribe") people to go on dates with you. In fact, you can't not bribe people — the app only lets you communicate with people you have bribed or who have bribed you.
Does that sound totally sketchy? Well, that's because it is. Here's how it works: You sign up with Facebook or with an email address and you upload a photo and a short bio. You can then purchase credits (10 for $5, 50 for $20, 100 for $30, or 250 for $60) if you want to be the briber, or you can just sit back and hope you look sexy enough if you want to be the bribee.
Bribers can choose from a number of preset bribes from different categories (dining, entertainment, gifts, and activities). Bribes include everything from traditional dates such as "dinner" to...less traditional gifts such as "a tattoo" or "plastic surgery treatment." Bribees can accept the bribe, reject the bribe, or negotiate the bribe by saying "Let's Do Something Else." Carrot Dating acknowledges that "once a bribe is accepted, it's up to the members to communicate and plan the details of the date," and that even after a bribe is accepted, "some dates may not happen."
Sketchy bribing situation aside, the Carrot Dating app is fraught with technical issues. The app doesn't log your sign-in info, so you have to login every single time you open it. And you'll be opening it a lot — the app crashes every five minutes, and is otherwise slow and laggy. Plus, the iOS app has actually been pulled from the App Store, so no new members can join (and, trust me, that's a good thing).
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