First there was Tinder, then came Paktor, and now, Ivory?
Dating apps are now seen as a normal way to ask someone out, it being easier to swipe right than to belt out corny pick-up lines. Due to its large pool of users, individuals whom detest using dating apps to meet new people are eventually forced to jump onto the bandwagon, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of growing users in the online dating scene.
As though swiping left or right on the basis of someone’s profile photo wasn’t superficial enough, a dating app tailored for “elites” is now further simplifying the screening process of an ideal partner.
According to its Facebook page, Ivory is described as “Maybe a dating app for Singapore’s high-achievers. Maybe a byproduct of elitism, meritocracy and the Graduate Mother’s Scheme.”, and is claimed to be founded by two Anglo-Chinese School alumni and a random “angmoh”.
On its webpage, it is endorsed that “All our singles are part of a curated group of ambitious and high-achieving Singaporeans, Overseas-Singaporeans and Expats.”
That said, under their terms of service, users have to be at least 18 years of age and must sign in with their Facebook accounts, supplying information from their Linkedin accounts. Additionally, users are explicitly prohibited from submitting false information such as fake Facebook accounts and fake employment history.
Singapore might just be the best testing grounds for the success of such a fundamentally controversial application with a seemingly simple agenda, possessing world-class educational institutions and one of the world’s highest millionaire densities.
However, is this the way we want our children to date? In any other case, having our resumes and employment history sprawled out across a dating application makes dating seem more like an interview.
The next question we’d ask is, as much as Ivory can help to increase birth rates in Singapore, to what extent should Singaporeans allow birth rates to grow through the scarification of socio-economic disparity?
Sure, social stratification is a natural process in human history. That said, although social fragmentation and further stratification of our society may not pose us problems now, overtime, it will surely cause detrimental socio-economic problems that are worse than declining birth rates (i.e Economic slowdown, Monopolisation of Labour, Slowdown in economic growth).
As the way we evaluate an individual’s value within the community changes, the fabric of our societal beliefs will change as well. Men and women alike will be conditioned into feeling rewarded for prioritising practical characteristics over moral values, achievements over personalities.
How we search for our partners today will affect how our children see one another in the future.
After all, it is contradicting for an “elitist” dating app to exist when elitists find it fundamentally difficult to love someone as an equal; all alone at the top of their Ivory Tower.
“Sure, it looks lonely up here, but still, it is comforting to look down on everybody else at the bottom.”.