Aaaaand.. we’re back.
Dating is so hard that I had to come at you with a Part Two. If you missed it, here is Part One.
Let’s pick up where we left off then, shall we?
We are now entering the age of digital dating. And for once, having something at your fingertips does not make it easier.
Online Dating & Technology
Forget everything you know about Disney. Your parents advice? Throw it in the garbage.
Dating in 2017 can be confusing and frustrating…
Falsified information. Millions of ignored messages. Countless phallus images. Threatening and abusive behaviour. Casualties everywhere.
People are not who they say they are. Patience is wearing thin and tolerance is minimal. Tough pill to swallow, but there is no going back.
Online dating is here to stay.
The majority of your life will be spent looking at a screen. So it’s no shocker that you might find love that way too.
It’s also no surprise that people are fed up with online dating for that very reason. Technology should make things easier and more convenient – not people.
What Really Happens on Dating Apps (heterosexual):
Most girls get a Lion King stampede of messages flooding their inbox. “Hey sexy/gorgeous/hun/baby/Linda/mami/girl/etc.”
The message is usually followed by something generic like “how are you/what are you up to/tell me about yourself”.
And most girls are flattered/annoyed/overwhelmed/turned off/all of the above in that order. It’s a recipe for disinterest, mundane routine, and sometimes ‘stuck up bitch’ syndrome.
Most guys start off with good intentions, but they are often ignored (see point above) – especially if their profiles are deemed unattractive.
This leaves them feeling discouraged and frustrated – which is truly sad.
And then, there are the f*ck boys who cry alone in the shower. Their aggression, bullying, and abuse is quite rampant and most females have experienced it at least a few times (and counting). It happens when a female is not interested, doesn’t respond to their messages, or sometimes for no reason at all. These situations can get really ugly… and turn into what I call “dick rage”.
Online Dating Apps Are Not Effective
But how else should conversations start? “Hello, how are you” are common greetings that we use every day with our friends, family, coworkers, people we buy our coffee from..
So why doesn’t it work online? It’s like being the 289th person to apply for a job. At that point, no one cares about your MBA or Excel skills, Susan. NO ONE CARES SUSAN.
Dating apps work the same, but don’t worry it’s not your fault. The online dating system has failed you.
So let’s be real for 10 seconds:
If I get a barrage of messages from random people and I’m not sure which ones to devote my limited attention span and emotional space to, I will select the ‘best’ ones. And what is best?
Because all of this is taking place on a screen, I don’t have much to go on except your photos and your profile. Most people don’t read profiles, at least not after being on the app for more than a week.
I also don’t care to invest myself into this interaction because you’re one of the many fish in the sea.
That leaves your photos. And big surprise – WE’RE SHALLOW PIECES OF SHIT.
The result: You are not one step closer to finding someone you are compatible with. You are one step closer to finding someone to sleep with.
People are busy. People are lazy. People don’t / can’t read. When presented with so many offers of interest, everyone and their mother will choose the most attractive option. It’s called “THAT’S THE WAY IT IS”.
So clearly, an effective solution would be: “LESS IS MORE”
Who has time to go through thousands of profiles? Why should you even have to? It really de-values us as human beings to be sorted through this way.
People want options, not a data dump.
Sub-consciously, we are behaving like consumers… browsing, going up and down the aisles, occasionally reading the labels. We are shopping for our special human. Click to put “Edward” in your cart and checkout. Edward is a person – with feelings. DO WE REMEMBER WHAT THOSE ARE?
It’s the paradox of choice.
Having too many options leaves us overly-selective because of course, there are always more profiles – and someone better might appear with the next swipe.
That’s why it takes you at least 20 minutes to pick something to watch on Netflix.
Online is an appropriate method to find love if it’s done the right way, but dating apps make it a numbers game.
It reminds me of that Wayne Gretzky quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” Way to kill the magic… No one wants to shoot 100% of the time.
It just doesn’t feel organic and definitely doesn’t lay a good foundation if something comes out of it…
I guess it depends on what you’re looking for, but if you’re in it for more than a hook up, dating apps can be quite counterproductive.
The Strangers of the Internet
The internet has blessed us and cursed us.
Online dating is no stranger to stranger danger and all the shortcomings of finding love in a digital world.
No Responsibility for Behaviour:You can say things like “send nudes” or you can choose to say nothing back when you get a really nice message from a seemingly decent person. You can send an eggplant emoji with the splash or you can spend 10 minutes trying to come up with something clever to say.
No one has to take responsibility for their behavior on the internet – never mind dating apps. After a while, it’s hard not to have a sour taste in your mouth with all the trolls out there.
Photo Accuracy: Is that really them? Is it them from 5 years ago? Did they photoshop it? Do you assume the worst when it’s a group picture?
Fake Profiles: Otherwise known as bots, fake profiles are everywhere. They are programs that are written to emulate a human being – commonly used in online dating to engage users and sometimes collect their information and images. It feels like spam mail that’s trying to have a conversation with you. You have likely sworn at one knowing they’re just a computer program. You might have kept doing it because it felt good.
Algorithms and Compatibility
Dating apps are proving to not be so successful in bringing the right people together.
Most apps are set up in such a way where you make a profile, check off what kind of person you’re looking for (age, city, etc.), and you get a data dump of potential matches.
Relying on a dating app to find your match based on the criteria you provide is like ordering food by the ingredient, but hoping for a perfect meal.
Bottom Line: It’s not realistic that a computer algorithm can find your match.
But you know who can? Your friends. And maybe your Jewish mother.
It only makes sense that dating apps begin moving towards a friends dynamic.
People are tired of matching and meeting with randoms who could be psycho, married, creepy, etc.
What all the dating apps on the market have in common at this point and possibly one of the root causes of their widespread failure is RANDOMS.
The Good News:
There is new dating app launching in Toronto this Summer 2017 called Sonder – where your friends can actually make match recommendations for you from your extended social network: Friends of friends of friends. Everyone on the app is connected so it’s in everyone’s best interests to date responsibly and ethically. There are controls in place – so you can’t just swipe right on everything breathing. New school and old school just made a baby.
If you’re married / in a relationship, your role as a ‘matchmaker’ gives you and your partner a hall pass to be on the dating app as well – helping friends find love. Cute, right?
The next time you date someone, remember that they have a mom and dad, ambitions, hobbies; a good and a bad side. They are someone who gets hurt, someone who laughs, someone whose life means just as much as yours.
They are not your entertainment, a funny story for your friends, another screenshot conversation for the group chat…
Just be a good person. Like why is that so f*cking hard?!