Washington, D.C. is a place to know and be known. What every newly arriving single in D.C. learns very quickly is that it’s definitely all about who you know in this town. For many, there is an assumption that where you work plays heavily into having the right connections.
Then back in early 2013 a new mobile dating app launched here in the Nation’s Capital. Hinge sets people up via Facebook by asking users to rate the attractiveness of the Facebook friends of their Facebook friends (following this?). The ratings scale is 1-5 and if two people rate each other 4 or higher, they will be provided an email introduction. If the feelings are not reciprocated, any one-sided interest is anonymous. No dating profiles or filling out questionnaires- just a daily trolling through a list of those friends. Talk about giving new meaning to “it’s who you know.”
Since its launch Hinge has been provided with a lot of data about where the best looking people work in D.C. The ratings break it down by overall hottest workplaces, hottest workplaces for men and hottest workplaces for women. In the overall category, gym employees come up on top- must be those toned bodies. The Senate ranks much higher than the House of Representatives- guess Democrats are more attractive than Republicans overall. Some corporate, financial and university workplaces also made the top 10 cuts. Hinge has been expanding to other cities with “hot” single populations, but so far, D.C seems to have an edge over the competition. Of course, the idea that you can easily connect with trusted strangers makes this app more popular- however, if they aren’t really friends just Facebook “friends” how much safer can it really be? Sort of like holding the secure front door you have just unlocked for someone walking behind you- they get in, but do they know anyone and what are their intentions?
It seems that having the right “friends” could be more important than ever. Hanging out with attractive people has always been seen as a way to gain access to other attractive people- but now, studying that picture and making careful selections based on looks may become much more the norm. Will it eventually come down to being all about looks and not smarts, personality, sense of humor- and all those traits that successful lasting relationships always “hinge” on?
Singles should pay even more careful attention to who wants to befriend them- on and offline. Someone who wants to know you because of what you look like, who your friends are and where you work has always been in the mix- but for these to be the only reason? This gives new meaning to skin-deep- and everyone should ask themselves what they look for in the company they keep and whether these friendships are anything more than a stepping stone to -what exactly?