Tinder Wants You to Call Your Date a Lyft. It’s Actually a Good Idea.
I’m often unimpressed by the gimmicky new stunts and features Tinder and other dating apps have begun introducing in an attempt to stand out from their copycat competitors in the increasingly saturated online dating space. A somewhat belated video dating platform, an in-app choose-your-own-adventure series and free mail-in COVID testing are just a few of the ways Tinder has tried to reinvent the wheel in recent years, none of which, in my opinion, represent a significant improvement to the online dating experience. That’s why I was surprised when the dating app announced its most recent new feature, a partnership with Lyft that would allow users to call their dates a ride, which is actually a good idea.
Tinder announced the partnership with Lyft and its flagship product on Monday, stating that the new feature would allow Tinder users to gift their matches a ride, presumably to a date. No firm release date for the ride-sharing feature was given, and details about the logistics of how the feature would actually be implemented into the app remain scarce, though Tinder did note that users would be able to call their dates a Lyft from within the Tinder app, and would also have access to Lyft’s safety features including location sharing and emergency assistance.
While the question of whether one should call a ride for a date is somewhat disputed, I have personally always been a supporter of the gesture. It’s a kind, classy move that goes just a little above and beyond the usual call of gentlemanly duty. That said, the seemingly kind gesture may raise certain safety concerns, especially on a first date with a stranger. Many people, especially woman, may feel understandably hesitant to give their address — or any pickup address to which they can be traced back — to a stranger. Moreover, if you allow someone else to call a ride for you, you may not know where that car is actually going.
These safety concerns are one of the biggest drawbacks to the otherwise highly advisable first-date ride gesture, one that Tinder’s new Lyft feature has the potential to resolve. While details about how exactly this feature would work remain unclear, it seems likely that the app may take these safety concerns into consideration, possibly establishing a system that would allow the ride recipient to conceal their location from the ride sender, while having access to information about the ride from their own phone.