I was in bed thinking the other day and I started to think back to what life was like before dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr (a gay hookup app for those of you who don’t know) or even Instagram (yes it’s considered a dating app because you can quite easily slide into anyone’s dm’s).
To be honest with you, I don’t really remember dating without them. It made me realise that our generation has been brought up on these dating apps and we don’t know anything different. Thinking back to when my parents were dating, they didn’t have tinder or smartphones, they met organically. My mum didn’t have to worry about my dad sliding into other girls dm’s or getting on a dating app and swiping to find other girls he might be interested in pursuing. She was only dating him, he was only dating her, and their time spent together eventually blossomed into an beautiful marriage, family etc. much like a fairytale …
Fast forward to 2017 — I am 21 years old, single and living with my parents. I enjoy my social life and I am 100% satisfied and stable with my current situation. The only thing I seem to be missing is a relationship. I’m not saying that dating apps don’t work, because I know couples who met through them, I’m just saying they have ruined dating for me. Being a young gay boy, I was not able to go to gay clubs and gay bars to meet guys, so the only other viable option was apps where you could connect with other gays. As time went on I realised that it was just full of seedy people who lack your basic social standards and just want to hookup.
Moving on to Tinder, I feel like it has ruined dating as well. With Tinder, we are spoilt with choice and we create imaginary checklists in our heads of the “perfect” guy or girl.
This feeling of “what if” is created … “what if your soul mate is a few swipes away?”. The “what if” feeling has created a dating culture that all too often leads to countless empty and meaningless interactions. The majority of matches on Tinder usually never lead to a message, or even a real life date, and even if you are messaging someone regularly, they often come to an abrupt stop for no apparent reason. The anonymity of online dating has made “ghosting” an accepted phenomenon. It is perhaps understandable, but nonetheless exhausting and dehumanizing.
Imagine meeting someone in a bar and exchanging words about your passions and interests only to have that person walk off in the middle of the conversation, never to return … annoying right? This would be the real life equivalent of ‘ghosting’. We have learned to treat each other as disposable commodities rather than real people with wants, needs and dreams. It’s sad, and it makes the future of dating for me look pretty bleak if you ask me …
There’s An App for Everything. Except, Like, Actual Romance.