Swipe Right to find Mr. Right

This is a story of girl swipes right, boy swipes right. They matched, they met, and they got married, a classic case of modern romance. Will this be the future narrative of How I Met Your Mother?

Recently, with a promised spot on my dream Master’s course, I have taken a rather unusual interest in Big Data. I have learned that there are three reasons as to why Big Data is significant to society; its volume, variety and velocity. We are set on focusing on how technology will change our lives in the future. Data-centric celebrators will tell you that the changes to come will simplify your life, our daily existence will be easier, more efficient and that yin return you will have more time to focus on your personal happiness. Scientists at MIT are increasingly shifting their focus to emotional technology, aiming to decode brain patterns and influence our consciousness. If they are able to decode you, then they can re-code you to avoid ever feeling sad, depressed, unfulfilled or aggressive. You would no longer be confused about how you feel as there would be a magical mood reader, perhaps a little bit more advanced than the 90’s mood ring.

My main question here is how is Big Data and emotional technology going to change my dating life?

Firstly, volume, we will be faced with a much larger amount of suitable partners, which we will have to sift through. (Thumb spasm!)

Secondly, variety, we will have a much larger selection of people from more diverse backgrounds, ethnicity, nationalities, and personalities to choose from.

Lastly, velocity, dating is becoming increasingly fast-paced, we will be expected to respond instantaneously, always be present online and decide whether or not we are interested soon after we meet, or shout “Next!” This sounds like hard work; however, in return we are promised to be more successful at finding someone that is a true compatible match.

Now to the limitations of online dating, as Aziz Ansari highlighted in his investigation of romance in the digital age, online dating is limited when we can’t identify what we seek in a partner which leads to an exhausting process of mismatches. Personally, I am still faced with the problem of being unsure of my own personal preferences. More importantly, there is a big difference between who I think I am and what I portray to the public. Watching a series of 80’s video dating montage, I realised that we have a distorted view of our own personal attributes. It appears like we live in a world of fun, adventurous, active, healthy, social, funny men. If I was to create a more honest version of my online profile, it would include the following; I can be fun, but most nights I have a boring tendency to watch series on my laptop. I am active if you count the stairs to work as exercise. I am only social on Saturdays, and crawl back to my hungover hole on Sundays. I am relatively healthy as my budget restricts me to lentils, but I smoke and reward myself after every good deed or thought with chocolate. I can be funny only to those who appreciate strange mannerisms and obscure situations. I am an adventurous soul who travels the world, but in actual fact there is no place like home. Now, I am not sure this profile version will be ranking in the ‘Superlikes’.

It seems like we have still a way to go before a computer will act as a mirror that will reflect my ‘Self’ and find me a perfect match halfway across the world in a small village in Burundi. For now, I am going to stick to the response I got from a friend when I asked him if he has a new love in his life, he responded, “No new love in my life, but still a lot of love in my heart.”

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