Social media at its finest: catering to the laziest of human beings via dating apps. No offense to those that actually found their soulmates on Tinder or Ok Cupid. These dating apps have become such a trend now because, well, it’s convenient.
Inspiring story – a friend of mine introduced me to one of the dating apps she’s used after she met her now boyfriend via the app. She’s a single mom too and on this dating app, she met someone who’s totally into her, maybe even in love with her, her having a kid and all and not only that, bonus: the guy is also good looking. He’s from Australia and after months of chatting and video calling, the guy decided to come to the Philippines so they could finally meet. They hit it off big time. Us friends also got to meet the boyfriend and he’s really nice, awfully nice. Now, they’re set to be engaged, planning to marry next year and move to Australia. Sounds too good to be true? But yeah, it did happen.
So me, bored as hell as usual, downloaded the app just to see how these dating apps work, I guess. You put in a username, think of something catchy or unique and post a very pretty version of you or maybe just a picture of your red hair and fill in sarcastic nonsense on your bio. Set up your Instagram on public because you don’t really post pictures on Facebook (sometimes even linking your about me to your blog just for traffic haha). You’re actually quite being a salesman here, selling your product (yourself) to potential “customers.” And after you’ve set up your account, you’re greeted with a surge of faces of men you’ve to scroll through.
I’ve come across all sorts of men although I’ve never met any of them for real. I’m not sure I’m up for that. All types, such as:
Perverts (mostly perverts, god there’s a ton of these on dating apps) where they message you and send a picture of their dick and asking you to sext? I mean really, that fast or just desperate? Welcome to loserville.
Racists, like when they see your pretty picture and they message you and make small talk but since they didn’t read your profile, they find out later on you are Filipino and they are like “Ah no, I’m not sending you money” or “You are not getting a green card through me,” I mean seriously, what the fuck? Like I need your money? I don’t.
Then there’s the occasional delusional, some are not even on the criteria you set. They shower you with all sorts of fantasy, they make you feel special, talk to you like you’re a queen and tell of building an empire and shit and ask you to get married. And you’ve talked for less than 24 hours. It’s quite funny actually.
There’s also these annoying, gross looking locals. Don’t you get that I’m just not interested? I mean you could have combed your hair, got a haircut or got your cavity-stricken teeth to the dentist. Please.
There’s also the wannabe mysterious guy aka creepy. He doesn’t have a clear picture of himself, no clear profile, doesn’t tell you what he does, nada. Just asks all sort of things about you. I mean, dude, what are you trying to get at?
But it’s not all that bad. I’ve made quite a few friends (I’d like to believe they are friends), friends who actually make sense and it’s good to talk to someone about interesting stuff like culture, astronomy, aliens, human evolution, Mars. Some of them, you have a deeper connection, them being able to listen to your rants. It’s nice talking to these type of strangers, they’re like your best friend, only different. They give you non-biased advice and they also don’t judge. Well I guess because whatever they know about you is just through the thread of conversation you have. They know you on what you decide to let them know. And they too, show a little part of them and you start to build a totally different world apart from reality that only fit the both of you.
I’m not looking to be in a relationship, I’ve got my hands full on so much more important things so I’m not really sure what I was doing on those dating apps besides curiosity and maybe boredom. I guess, sometimes you just fall in love with the idea of being in love. The attention, the “making you feel special” feeling, the pointless conversations, even the random questions like “do you like pancakes” or “does your apartment have a view” or “why’s your couch purple” that somehow make it close to being normal and familiar and real. I think it’s okay to daydream sometimes.
I’ve actually met someone who I really connected with, he’s inspired most of the poetry I’ve written recently. He’s taught me a lot of things about life and survival and the guy’s funny too. He’s like my girl friend, like I could bitch about work or the wrong size of the dress I purchased online and he’d give me all these chuckle stickers, I could tell about random stuff that goes on my day, laugh about dogs on treadmills trying to cheat on the workout or that squatty potty video of rainbow unicorn poop, comfortable to the point of humiliating myself by singing songs off key. But then let’s be real, this social media platform–your world is boxed around a five-inch screen. It would have been different if you were facing each other, talking over a cup of coffee. After months, you just run out of things to talk about. Maybe because you really don’t know each other on a more personal level even if you’ve already exchanged personal experiences, even talking about heartache and other serious stuff. I don’t know. But it eventually happens, you will reach that point. Just like when a couple falls out of love, you just run out of things to say.
What I’m pointing at is these dating apps, you can’t really find love here if you’re really searching for love or romance. Temporary maybe, yes. That fairy tale fantasy of having found “the one.” Well, at least that’s how I feel. I mean you just don’t get to choose a face with a really interesting profile and make real a daydream. It takes more than just a set of words. It takes intimacy. Like how his rough hands feel on yours when you finally hold, even the energy emancipated from the space between the driver’s and passenger’s seat when you go out for a drive. It’s different when you get to know a person in a more tangible manner, seeing up close how his pupils dilate when he gets embarrassed or how his nose twitch when passing a flower shop displaying chrysanthemums because he’s allergic. It’s just different.
This love thing, it’s not fast food. The ugly part is those who take part or join these dating apps are somehow reduced to the likes of commodities wherein someone (or you) picks out what’s easy on their eyes and suits their taste.
So yeah, in my opinion, (others may think otherwise), these dating apps tend to sensationalize love or romance because it’s convenient. It’s also some sort of instant gratification, validating your feelings of being attractive when you have notifications of mutual likes (yay! would you believe somebody actually likes me!) and lessens the fear of rejection because you wouldn’t really know who doesn’t like you.
But you are more than just a category or criteria on an app, you are more than just a pretty thumbnail. It’s somehow become a battle between reality versus the substitute we are confusing it with.
What’s sad is it’s very addicting (lol).
These are all just my opinion from personal experience, like some sort of social experiment maybe, I don’t know. It’s actually worked for two of my friends, one’s married, the other engaged. It may or may not work for others. And to date, I’ve deleted all those dating apps.