Men: Remember when you actually had to muster up the courage to approach a woman at a bar or party, and give her your best introduction? You had to make sure that you looked your best, your breath was at its freshest, and you were equipped with your nicest smile? Ladies: Do you recall a time where you ventured out to a friend’s soiree, with excitement and anticipation that you might meet someone? A guy who’s charming,sweet, with the cutest dimples? a time where you put on your fanciest party dress ( not showing too much skin, but one that accentuated your womanly figure), and look forward to flirting with several men? Well, those days are over. You’re all now reduced to a Smartphone version of “Hot or Not”, which is a clear signal that romance is dying a slow death right before our eyes.
There’s a phone application lurking out there called Tinder, and if you are not familiar with it, it involves an individual perusing through photographs of potential “suitors”, and deciding to either give them a stamp of approval, or give them a big ‘ol “hell no!”, all within a matter of milliseconds. You can literally swipe left or right on your screen, and click on people who you might be interested in. Imagine that, being able to pluck out matches simply by looking at filtered photographs and not having to waste time reviewing a person’s dating profile. Who wants to read, anyway? I’m pretty sure Tinder is the love child of ADHD and it’s predecessor Grindr- a similar app geared toward the gay, bi, and curious community. A friend showed me how the app worked once at a football tailgate and we were 525 feet from his next potential date- the app literally shows you how many feet someone else looking for the same thing is away from you! I thought it was fascinating- frightening, but still fascinating. They work so fast, they don’t even have time for the letter “e” in the name of the application!
While Tinder has the look and feel of a hook-up site, there are many out there who believe that they can find “The One” while checking the “Yes” box on this app. Being the awesome pessimist I have become right now in my current dating life (I’m raking them in with that sentiment), I’m not so sure about this. Therefore, I never signed up for this site- I refused to waste my time. However, I became a bit more intrigued while having a night on the town last night with my friends while enjoying Miami neighborhood Wynwood’s monthly Art Walk. We were all at a bar, and a friend was showing the group her Tinder account, and we all became a sort of flash mob and collectively assisted her in picking out several future dates. She is an eternal spot of sunshine, and always has a positive outlook on things, so I’m happy that she feels a good guy can be found on this site. I hope she does find him so I can talk about him behind his back, all in the name of friendship ( that’s what ladies do, fellas). But for me, I don’t have much hope. If that wasn’t enough, I was approached by a lovely lady who recognized me from college, and after a while, I discovered she was on a date from the illustrious Tinder- and it was a second one at that! After I crashed her date and we all became BFFs, I concluded that they were getting along great, and had the potential to be a good match. But I believe they are definitely the exception, and not the rule.
I feel that this application speaks volumes as to the state of the dating world today, romance, and the never-ending search for love that so many of us seek. First of all, it’s on your phone. Granted, it’s not on your phone if your’e 55+ and you have one of those Jitterbugs issued to you by AARP, but I’m speaking to a younger crowd (I still consider myself a young buck). Seriously, how in the world did we end up in place where it is the norm to just look at pictures of people and think we could find our soulmate? I’m assuming a lot of people are not looking for soulmates, but forever romantics will always put themselves out there, eternally hoping to meet their significant other. How do we hope to accomplish this in a social media society that swipes across your face, to the left, to the left, in hopes of uncovering some god/goddess doing their best duck impression in the most sophisticated bathroom they can find?
When did the mystery disappear? It’s fallen by the wayside along with chivalry, talking on the phone for 6 hours with your boyfriend on a pay phone with just one quarter, manners, discretion, meeting the parents on the first date because you had to ask for permission to go out with someone, making people wait, and a world free from the concept of “hooking up”. Honestly, I find it quite frightening that the state of love is up in the air, dancing between the past of true romance and the future of casual hot mess. This could all be stemming from my sad little heart, so perhaps my cynicism is over looking the potential happiness people can find in today’s age of quickly making up your mind (and I mean QUICK) on who you are willing to date. You’re speaking to a woman who has deleted all of her online profiles, ended all of her “situationships”, and is bitterly working on her cougar persona in 5 years. I’m hurting ya’ll.
But can you blame me? What do you think of the state of romance and love these days, where instant gratification and putting your best profile picture forward rule the love world? Is it just a sign of the times? Do you think that you can find Computer Love? Or are we trying to find love in a hopeless place?
Check out my place at www.hotmesslife.wordpress.com, where I will eventually post my adventures from Tinder ( yea, I’m going to join- RELUCTANTLY).