Another question that is absent from American dating apps but nearly ubiquitous on Japanese dating apps is birth order
The journal element of these two dating apps offers a rare and intimate prism into the psyches of its Japanese users
Whereas in the US, I highly doubt that Americans will care whether I’m the eldest dily, birth order seems to hold a greater significance for Japanese people. For Japanese women looking for a potential partner, ily can be both a blessing and a burden since in more traditional families, the eldest son inherits the bulk of his family’s properties as well as the obligation to take care of his parents after they grow old.
There is an unanticipated degree of up-frontness when it comes to displaying information related to money. On several of the dating apps, for instance, users can choose to answer the question of who they think should pay for the first date – should it be the man, the person with the higher income or should it be split in half? And when it comes to information about income, almost every Japanese dating app I checked out allows you the option of showing your salary level. In the case of Omiai, you can even filter profiles by income brackets. In the field of occupations that the dating app With has its users fill out, there are choices that include “Working at a publicly-listed company” or “Working at a top 10 financial company,” which signals to prospective dates your high-income level. The degree of openness regarding a user’s economic status is something that I’ve never encountered before using American dating apps, most of which, with the exception of Match, avoid bringing wages into the equation.
But perhaps it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that the questions on these dating apps would be this candid or comprehensive in scope. The wealth of profile information provided on these platforms helps Japanese users sidestep certain uncomfortable scenarios in online dating. For Japanese people, who are known for the discretion and indirectness in their culture, reading a potential date’s answer to questions such as “Who do you think should pay for the first date?” can help lessen the awkwardness involved in navigating the rules of dating etiquette and prevent the possibility of being perceived as impolite. And for users who are looking for a partner that can provide them with financial security, Japanese dating apps offer them an easy way to gauge a person’s financial earnings without having to ask prying questions out loud.
‘If You Want To Know More About Me, You Can Read My Journal’
One of the most distinctive aspects of some of the dating apps I came across was its “diary” feature. Both PCMax and YouBride have a diary component that enables its users to post and read other people’s status updates on a Twitter-like networking platform. The posts, which are usually short in length, range from diaristic documentation – one user, for instance, wrote “I stayed up all night playing Fortnite. Just woke up. Going to the hair salon now” – to more invitational messages, with users asking in their posts whether anyone was free to come out and hang out now.
While the majority of diary entries focused on chronicling the details of everyday life – last week, when the east coast of the US was in the throes of a heat wave, many Japanese users were also posting about how stifling hot the day had been – some entries are more confessional and bittersweet. On PCMax, I saw a female user write in her journal, “I am so lonely. I just want a boyfriend that I can go to fireworks festivals with.” And on YouBride, I read posts by users that exposed the raw nerve of uncertainty and insecurities underlying online dating. One male user journaled “I feel terrible. No one has matched with me so far. I wish I were more attractive. I’m feeling down now, but I’ll try to improve myself.” Another wrote “Today’s my 10th day using this app. I’ve liked a few profiles, but no one has liked me back yet. Only 20 days left. 2 I’m going to try to give this my very best.”