Dating apps like tinder and happn are successful at least partly due to the on-demand economy. I have not used happn but I will refrain from making jokes about the uselessness of yet, another dating app. I admit that I have used tinder more than once and I am past the point of thinking that I am better than it. Algorithm and coding make my options plentiful and swiping left or right to find a match gets rid of the burden (and the excitement) of trying to figure out if a feeling is mutual.
We mentally swipe left or right in real life all the time and even though some of us prefer the old-school way of meeting possible lovers, the truth is that dating friends or coworkers can have uncomfortable repercussions. Theoretically speaking, the odds of finding a desirable prospect while standing in line at Barnes & Nobles are less than finding them through computer programming.
I think about the on-demand economy and how our society is ruled by the “ask and you shall receive” mindset. A tinder match is as convenient as the uber ride showing up with the push of a button. Online dating, much like the on-demand economy is based on efficiency.
I sit at a bar by myself and nothing happens but I open an app on my phone and I find a sea of people wanting to make a connection. It’s clear that something is getting lost between my finger tips, the screen and the empty chair in front of me. Asking someone out in person today is as dated as hailing a yellow cab in San Francisco.
Technology allows us to open doors of opportunity to strangers from behind the safely locked doors of our homes and our routine. We start and maintain relationships across the country or from opposite sides of the world while we subconsciously question the need for face to face interactions.
Love that is curated by computers give us the freedom to remain independent and the insurance that there are plenty of virtual fish waiting, wanting and wishing for the same things we do. For some of us, the convenience of the set-up translates into not knowing how to pursue and sustain flesh and blood exchanges in which a left swipe comes with a snarky look telling us to get lost and long-term relationships don’t camouflage mundane conversations with xxx’s and ooo’s.
PS: Signature images borrowed from dating firsts