Can "Grades" Improve Online Dating?

Can "Grades" Improve Online Dating?
The Grade motivates its users to write better messages and maintain an engaging profile. Or else. Photo credit - Robert Hruzek

Can "Grades" Improve Online Dating?

Justin Lavelle
December 2, 2014

Another month brings another new online dating service. This time, it’s The Grade, a new iOS app that aims to build “community of high-quality” daters through using an algorithm to determine how often the daters profiles are liked, the quality and frequency of their messages. Users who receive consistently low grades will eventually be kicked off the platform.

In the age of Tinder, The Grade seems like at least a partial antidote to the rapid fire swiping and curt messages that have come to play a large role in online dating today.

But will The Grade’s grading system actually work? We think it could definitely improve the overall pool of daters on the platform, but it’s not likely to be a cure-all, especially when it comes to those dedicated to deception, and it may even encourage it.

Here are some online dater profiles The Grade could likely weed out:

The “Hey” Guy – We all know this type. They send out hundreds (or thousands?) of one-word messages per week to every woman from the age of 18-40, hoping to strike up a conversation (or at least their version of a conversation). The Grade should definitely knock out these monosyllabic, desperate types or at least make them up their conversational games. The question is if you want them to?

The Felipe – You can read more about this type on our previous blog post here, but suffice to say that the type of abuse that is common on Tinder would not win favorable grades.

The Infuriating Obscure Photo Profile – A single, mysterious photo of the back of your head looking at the Ocean. The baseball hat and sunglasses photo. The off-centered selfie. You know these profile photos suck. Just like in college when you turned in that crappy paper in a non-core class, you know this work isn’t good enough. So no one should complain when profile pictures like these receive a failing grade.

Who The Grade likely won’t weed out:

While we’re excited that The Grade’s community policing approach could innovate when it comes to clearing out the dregs and time wasters of online dating, one should keep in mind that the deceptive, emotionally manipulative and high-level con artists thrive on being tested in such a manner.

Someone trying to hide their “true” self will have no problem putting up quality pictures and writing a detailed (albeit false) profile. Likewise, a scammer targeting online daters only needs to be successful once before disappearing (and perhaps reappearing under a new identity).

That’s why it’s always a good idea to consider a background check as part of your due diligence in online dating. The platforms – whether Tinder, Match or The Grade – will change, but your common sense should remain.

What do you think? Will grades improve the online dating experience? Let us know in the comments section.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.