What’s your rating?

A new app allows women to rate the guys in their lives.

by Aditi Pradeep

A new dating app is generating buzz for being the “first-ever app for girls.” Launched in February, Lulu allows female users to rate male Facebook friends. So far, Lulu’s 1 million users have rated 180 million guys, but the “girl talk” app is negatively affecting our social lives.

Verified through their Facebook profiles, the app’s users can judge men on their appearance, humor, manners, ambition and commitment. Lulu takes an average score and displays it on a guy’s profile.

Women can also assign a guy prewritten hashtags. These include positive tags like #EpicSmile or #RemembersBirthdays and negative tags like #BurnsCornflakes.

The magic of Lulu is in its anonymity and gender restriction. Each rating is completely anonymous, so users can rate any male Facebook friends, whether they are a crush, friend, ex, hook-up, relative or boyfriend. The app also bars male users from signing up. While would-be users could simply make a differently gendered Facebook profile, Lulu remains largely a network for girls.

But what’s the cost of all this?

Anonymous users aren’t accountable for what they say. Those interested in revenge or defamation can easily hurt someone’s reputation.

Lulu takes the stereotype of girls as gossip queens to new levels, turning judging others into a hyper-social and competitive action.

Users put men under the spotlight, which may harm guys’ self-image in a form of cyberbullying. Like other types of bullying, this could have implications both on the screen and in real life.

Online interaction is becoming more and more normalized. Socializing and even dating don’t require ever meeting face to face. But this distance makes it harder to empathize with the people we may be hurting.

Lulu’s users unfairly and unhealthily discuss friends behind their back.

While the app may give girls a medium to express their feelings, men deserve a chance to make their own impressions.