A young man who's been bragging about using Lyft Line as a tool to meet women is not alone.
Or, scratch that, he's very alone. Definitely solo. But now we hear that other lurkers are, according to Recode, deploying the same tactic. Could this carpool stuff be the new Tinder, that publication wonders? Makes you think.
But as Leigha Beckman, a victim of our original Lyft Line lurker's advances, explained, the analogy to Tinder breaks down quickly. People don't sign up for a date, just a ride. Though a chance encounter in a taxi/Uber/Lyft can go any number of fruitful directions, I think that, ethically speaking, it has to be a chance encounter. Yet it sounds like this is calculated behavior on the part of mostly dudes (and one woman, who just sounds chatty). From Recode:
Here’s [Mitchell's] routine: Check the app to see who he’s matched with (Lyft Line will show the person’s Facebook picture; UberPool, just the name). Then when the woman joins him in the car, he’ll ask where she’s headed.
“If they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to my boyfriend’s house,’ it’s not a good situation to step into,” said Mitchell, who is a venture investor. He’s been on four dates with women he’s met this way so far — two from each app.
Recode and Mitchell do acknowledge the somewhat predatory, queasy-making aspects of the gambit. "There’s also the danger of having someone see where you’re dropped off, especially if it’s your home," Recode writes, noting that "Mitchell says he worries about making people feel uneasy." Very thoughtful of him.
If you want to avoid this kind of thing, Beckman advises you change your picture to — specifically — a turtle. That's what she's done, and she'd like it if you did too, she says. It could keep your out of a lame or creepy situation.