It’s the Soho House world of elitism: They want to draw young, cool artists, but they actually just attract rich people, and dudes in advertising who collect vintage cameras as decorations.” As for the girls on Raya? “It’s an endless stream of photos of girls doing splits on the beach, or a photo from the one time they modeled for, like, Rawanastan or something.”Alan’s main pet peeve about Raya is that, the few times he met girls through the app, what he’d thought was genuine flirtation turned out to be a networking ploy—they were just actresses who wanted work.“Raya’s not a dating app, it's a social-climbing app,” Alan told me.On Raya, how do you ever know if someone’s in your bed because they truly like , or whether they’re just fucking you for your followers? Besides its exclusivity, there are a couple of additional things that differentiate Raya from other dating apps.
“It’s not that I'm anti-exclusivity or against narrowing things down, but Raya just seems to attract the wrong people.
Last weekend, while drinking vodka from a water bottle on Fire Island beach, I was complaining about the pervasive Raya worship to my friend Alan, a 33-year-old filmmaker.
Alan has been in an on-and-off relationship with Raya for more than a year now (currently off).
Raya says it values creative achievements, but they’re not interested in and stay in on Saturday nights to read Walter Benjamin instead of going to Paul’s Baby Grand. Recently, the app rejected a friend of mine—an Iranian-American Doctor of Philosophy. Because Raya is like being back in high school, where the hierarchy of popularity is superficial and undeserved.
Basically, people are praised for being conventionally attractive, having rich parents, hanging out at the “right” places, and wearing the “right” clothes.“If you hang with a group of really popular kids anywhere, you often can't understand why they are the popular ones, and they don’t know either,” Sarah said.