Nancy Jo Sales & The Corporate Takeover Of Dating

Shani Silver
5 min readMay 31, 2021

Dating apps are not on your team. They never were.

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one who can see something deeply wrong with the world and no matter how many times you try to convince other people that there’s a rabid pink elephant in the room, they can’t see it? After 13 years of being single and over a decade of online dating, Nancy Jo Sales is finally a friend in the asylum. Her new book, Nothing Personal, My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno shines a light on Nancy’s personal experiences dating online, but more than that she’s also exploring a concept I’ve long been screaming into the abyss: these goddamned apps are not our friend.

Something to bear in mind if you’re going to use dating apps: the worst case scenario for a dating app that’s making money off of you is you meeting someone and not giving that app your money anymore. I repeat: Why would a dating app ever want you to meet someone when that means they make less money? Dating apps are for-profit businesses, and these businesses have massively competing goals to the users they collect money from. Apps want to make money, users want to meet people, apps stop making money when users meet people. This leads to an entire industry that is never, ever incentivised to actually work—or to ensure that its users are treated well. Dating apps know they’ll make money either way. We’ve made singlehood so shameful, and couplehood so prized, that we don’t care what we have to suffer through for even a chance of partnership.

In her book, Nancy Jo speaks far more eloquently than I can on the realities of this corporate takeover of dating, and also points out some really vital information regarding the way women are treated in the online dating space. Something that is marketed to us as a tool in our “search for love” often turns out to be little more than a buffet of unwanted contact, dismissive and degrading messages, if not verbal and emotional abuse and harassment. If you’re going to participate in online dating, you need to have your eyes open, and Nancy Jo’s new book is a great way to lay some productive foundation.

My podcast audience has been begging me to speak to Nancy Jo for weeks now, and because I’m a sneaky bitch, I recorded an episode with her weeks ago. I released it today, it’s amazing, and…