The right-swipe. Not just for finding a date, but also for shoe shopping. Stylect is a new app that helps you find shoes because ‘the more you swipe, the better our recommendations’.
A recent article on Fast.CoDesign stated, ‘Online dating and online shopping have a lot in common. The options are nearly endless, and it’s tough to find the good ones……So yes, swipe right if you think a shoe is hot and left if it’s not.”
What does this do to the way we perceive commodities?
I understand the Tinder model for dating, I do. It’s a numbers game after all, plus everyone’s too busy to meet in real life (because we’re all looking down at our phones?).
But in a world with material objects coming out of our ears, what does a a ‘swipe-to-shopping-cart’ fast consumption model reflect of us? For me, it doesn’t reflect my desire to consume products which I can get a feel for. Whose quality, origins and social footprints are in line with my standards.
It’s as if products are made in an ether, mysteriously and in bulk, and delivered straight to the screens of our smartphones. Like gutted, plucked and glad-wrapped meat on the supermarket shelves, we’re being increasingly removed from the production line of commodities, and instead seeing them in a quick line up, ready for us to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with barely a thought.
Should our consumer choices be simplified to such a degree?
Do these models support craftsmanship, or only mass production?
What effect will swiping to like or purchase have in other areas of our lives?
Just as Tinder encourages partner selection (however temporary) on the basis of a few parameters, does the same model, when applied to products, encourage us to view consumerism with a detached, short-lived lens?
The shoe may look good, but does it fit?