A Take on Internet Love
The quest for love today has become quite peculiar. We (the often referenced, mobile worshipping ‘millennials’) are in a state of apathy towards the potions of online love wizardry. We are in a sea of rather blinded choices, fueled by rather mindless scrolling. A slew of apps now surround us, armed and determined to bond us in sex, love, or both:
Tinder — The first crusader into the commercially successful swiping scheme, but also the first that attempted to build a super human with limited resources. As an initial Frankenstein he’s a bit mentally unstable, has laser vision that desensitizes people to a whole bunch of aggressive sexual statements, and frequently farts to attract a flood of creeps with no shame for their internet identity. It’s as if everyone on Tinder thinks they are in a secret bubble, where the big bossy adults can’t pop it open and see the mayhem going on inside. I liken it to going to clubs. Everyone is excited, grouped together in a cramped space, and is constantly patrolling in drunken stupor for someone to take home. Sounds lovely for the first hour or so. Then you realize it’s way too crowded, the jacked bro next to you is trying to get in the pants of the girl to your right, and your friends stumbled to another bar without you, leaving a series of drunken ‘whre r yio?’ texts.
Hinge — The younger and more honorable brother to Tinder (the family ‘lost child’). His farts don’t attract as many creeps from around the world, but only because he works based on pairing you through your extended friend circle (friends of friends). This forces young men and women to think approximately 3.4 seconds longer about how they portray themselves on the internet. There could be social consequences if their friends, or worse, income provider, find a screenshot of their messaging remarks posted online. Nobody wants their face smeared across the digital ecosphere (yet it still happens, much to everyone’s hearty internet chuckle. So at the very least, Hinge is a tad less crowded bar lounge, with softer music and more familiar faces.
Coffee Meets Bagel — This young miss is the much respected cousin to the Hinge and Tinder family (although she’s been keeping her distance for as long as possible). She can relate more to Hinge than to Tinder in terms of having decent moral and ethical standards. She doesn’t go out clubbing every weekend. Rather, she stays home, reads a book, shares a glass of wine with the girlfriends. It’s a beautifully domesticated young adult story. She goes on dates, but only one at a time (you’re limited to one possible match a day, but even that is changing).
Bumble — A new species. The crazed scientists of attempted superhuman creation went back to the drawing board to remove Tinder’s cyphilis of creepy bros. They worked day and night, concocting a gay friend. He’s a dude that has a lot of beautiful women friends (seriously, far more respectable and beautiful humans than the Tinder household). He only allows bros at the club into their booth if the girl initiates the conversation.
Sadly, Bumble comes with its own faults. Hidden behind the friendly gaze is a serious coke habit. It’s a drug pattern commonly termed to as ‘ghosting’, a common act where millennials suddenly vanish without cause or plan (after any number of dates). It’s a sudden escape: no reply to a text, no heed to call. Just because conversations start with a girl to remove the creepy factor doesn’t mean the formula for online love is solved.
This wild family tree doesn’t stop there. There’s a good deal more aunts and uncles I don’t know. There’s Grindr — for those who prefer twinkies to doughnuts, eHarmony — for those a bit beyond the age horizon, J-Date — for those holy bound, and Down — the Grindr for doughnut lovers. The list goes on.
All of these apps aim to move our generation beyond the traditions of our baby boomer ancestors: bar hookups, work flings, and a sprinkle of random chance encounters. Like me, you may have once thought of this as a strong positive, “My true loved one MUST be out there on the internet behind all these photos and instagram filters, all I have to do is swipe!”
But thumb exercise is no solution. Somehow the addition of technology has allowed our generational anxiety to rocket ship to paranoid levels. We search and search, but within our fear for something better, human connections have become hidden online, veiled in our personal media projection and short attention spans. They have morphed into a commodity to be traded for the next shiny Pokemon card or Beanie Baby.
As a young generation we want to do more for our community and environment, but we’ve forgotten about people themselves and what it means to give someone the time of day, to give them respect. There’s (hopefully) more to love than common Facebook page likes and well lit profile photos.
The world wasn’t always so big, you didn’t always have access to the endless chain of possible mates with the tap of Gorilla Glass. But somehow, by the grace of our human ignorance, we still found love.