Please pardon me; the title might seem tolerant of people all nations across the world but the content of this piece is targeted at Nigerians.
It’s a rare thing in Nigeria to find a dating partner on apps like Badoo or Tinder and even if it happens, the chances of you getting played are pretty high.
Societies such as Russia, China, US have good records with the use of dating apps but the concept is still very ineffective in a society such as ours where people still see the use of dating apps as embarrassing. If you discuss with an average Nigerian about registering with Badoo to search for a partner, you might also have to answer questions to prove that you aren’t desperate.
Using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to socialise with people is one thing but searching for a lover on Tinder or say 9jahookups, sends a signal that you’ve exhausted the option of meeting a potential partner at a hub, say a religious gathering or at a party; so you decided to try out ‘strange’ places like Badoo and Tinder.
An app like Badoo, with over 330 million users, looks like just the right platform to find someone who meets your specification and with the millions of interesting profiles on the app, it seems like it is easy to narrow down the search to one or two high-probability match(es).
Although it sounds like a good plan, it is unfortunate that the schemes on dating apps is beyond the mathematics of probability, especially as regards the Nigerian society where there are so many persons with the intent of scamming others, and for this reason they see dating apps as a field to scout for potential ‘clients’.
Usually, interaction between two persons on these apps, starts from checking out each other’s profile and from there, opinions starts to form and beliefs are established but overtime, profiles have proven not to be enough test of character because they reveal only what the owner chooses to share and not the a clearer view of the person. Because of this, a lot of dating app users has been tricked into starting relationships and going out on dates with people who later turn out to be schemers and in worse cases, rapists or ritualists.
Another factor that has limited the potential of dating application in Nigeria, is the issue of privacy and missing celebrity factor which has played out in societies like that of UK where an app like Grindr saw its user base increase by 50% following its endorsement by influential actor, Stephen Fry. The app later went on enjoy almost double its traffic size and it is now said to serve over 2 million active users daily.
This is so unlikely to happen in Nigeria, well except the celebrity owns the brand or is paid to promote it, perhaps in the form of an endorsement deal. Else, I can’t think of a Nigerian celeb who would feel so strongly about the potential of a dating app that he/she would endorse it openly. They don’t even act like things like that exist, same way regular Nigerians act like dating apps are strange to them, perhaps because of the issue of embarrassment mentioned earlier.
From the result of a recently conducted opinion poll with about 10000 of mostly Nigerian respondents, it is revealed that Nigerians value loyalty and honesty above other relationship factors, including finance and consistent communication. This is believed to be the major reason Nigerians use dating apps and although it allows for smooth and consistent communication, loyalty and honesty on these apps are like sex on a widow’s bed.
Written by Lagbaja
Ogbeni Lagbaja is a character created by a man who used to be an atheist; a man who was once in love, a man who once doubted himself. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org