Life is so hectic with so many things always calling for my attention, and my phone is nothing more than an attention grabber. My phone is a powerhouse that happens to run my life. It enables me to:
- get notifications when friends want to talk to me
- see when someone pokes me (on Facebook)
- view comments, shares, tweets, or favorites on any of my social media
- view my bank account, and notifies me when I ask it to
- see funny videos I should be watching
- charge on my credit card with the touch of my finger
- remote control my TV and Blu-Ray Player
- navigates from point A to point B
- read my horoscope
- collect my emails to read
- use it as an alarm clock, a flashlight, and a primary camera
- listen to music and use as an entertainment device
And now, it connects with me 100’s of potential dates, friends, and new people, all with a few swipes, clicks, and a message. Within moments I can start talking to people 1 mile away from me, or even 100 miles. With dating and meeting people so easily, why would I need to even interact outside these fantastic apps. I mean, I can chat endlessly, look at the best pictures of someone, judge them, and choose to either interact or not.
Let me tell you a quick story. Mr. Joe goes to the Verizon store, buys an iPhone 6, comes home to his beautiful apartment, all alone, and wants to meet people in the new town he is in – a town where he only knows work colleagues, and not many places to go and hang out. Since Joe is bored, he decides he wants to meet people, so he downloads Tinder (gender neutral). Connects it to his Facebook profile, selects a few photos he knows he looks attractive in, and begins to see hundreds of potential dates/options. Swipes to the right on Person A (25 years old, dark skin, dark hair, tall, blue eyes) – no match. Swipes five lefts, swipes to the right, to the right, to the left, to the left, to the right. Almost like he is swiping to Cupid’s, “Cupid Shuffle.”
Mr. Joe swipes right on some real hotties, gets a few matches – he feels like things are promising! He thinks to himself, “Wow, I’ve matched with people who really want to get to know me.” Not to burst Mr. Joe’s bubble, but he’s wrong. All he did was find other people playing the game called Tinder. Even when you match on Tinder it says, “Keep Playing” or “Chat.” Yet, Mr. Joe was there to meet friends and find a few dates. He messages a few of the matches, no responses. Posts a moment, gets tons of likes. Still – no responses to his inquiry to get to know someone.
Mr. Joe was hoping to get to know a few people. He wanted a real connection in a digital world.
Dating just became superficial and easy, and Mr. Joe just discovered that.
However, did it really become that easy? No more falling in love at first sight, no more knowing what someone really looks like, or seeing their personality for using a cheesy pick-up line. Now you get to primarily start your relationship (to whatever extent) with, “Hey,” and something about your day and how you are feeling.
These apps let you create a predisposition about someone, without knowing anything about someone. Yet, you are under the impression that based on the pictures and a brief bio you are able to profile if you really will have a connection with someone you don’t know, yet.
We want all this information about someone before decide if we want to get to know someone – yet, isn’t the point of a relationship (to any extent) about getting to know someone, and discovering those things over time? Sure we always want to ease our nerves, see if any friends know the person and gather some information. Perhaps the fact that he likes a certain sports team isn’t a huge deal to you, because you know he likes dogs, or your favorite restaurant. However, you find those things from people you trust or know, not the person trying to score a date, AKA a salesman of their own persona.
There is definitely a fine line between the benefits, and the negatives of using a dating app. However, what is this doing for our actual relationships? What about those we meet up with? What does it do for them? What I’ve seen, and I admit to sometimes, is that because we know we can just go back to swiping to find someone else – we never focus on who is in front of us. ‘
We never give someone enough attention to truly get to know someone.
We continue to “swipe” to always have options. Which is good, you shouldn’t just jump head first into a relationship. The way I see it though is, that by not giving the deserved attention to someone you are genuinely interested in, are you really ever going to find the relationship you are looking for? – The reason you are on these dating apps. Maybe your option was in front of you the entire time, yet you got distracted by another pretty face, a “perfect match”, or some frivolous reason to not give the attention to someone already there in front of you that you both had some desire to get to know in the first place.
Now I do understand that not everyone we meet a connection is made, but I’m talking about those who make a connection – and never explore it.
With everyone treating each other like options our feelings get hurt, “cheaters” are created, walls go up and are hard to break down, and your personal reputation may be potentially harmed. The reputation you may later be judged on through mutual connections, etc.
Mr. Joe then gets seen as the crazy lunatic that gets attached to quickly, becomes the asshole when he has expectations for his own self-respect, gets walked over because Mr. Joe explores an option one at a time instead of many at once. When perhaps he’s just a little more old-fashioned in his approach and is misunderstood because he see’s others as potential, when they see him as an option.
You can’t try on more than one shirt a time to see how they fit, so why would you try? Take a few into the dressing room sure (feel free to go where you want with that), but ultimately you have to make a decision on what looks best.
Be honest. Be upfront. Don’t toy with emotions.
Make an adult decision, and choose not to be an ass just because you have “options.” Treat people with dignity and respect, and perhaps someone like Mr. Joe and find that perfect match. If you aren’t interested, say so – don’t taunt, lie, and degrade – it won’t get you anywhere.
I’m Mr. Joe, and if you swipe right – maybe you can date me.
…. but only if you really want to – and a few other requirements.