a brief history of nüurdle, dating and perhaps the universe (possibly)
First published December 2015
Okay, perhaps I’m biting off a little more than I can chew for a first stab at this blogging business but in for a penny in for a pound…
So, where to start things off? Well perhaps I should advise that if you are after a genuine piece of thought provoking insight backed up by rigorous empirical evidence in one of the many great and good fields of social science then you probably took a wrong turn at that google thingy. If, however, you are willing to content yourself with some harmless, well intended opinionated nonsense with a cursory tip of the hat towards truth and honesty then welcome aboard for the first instalment.
To business and the business of dating. What is dating? I’m sure if I’d have had the kind of upbringing to allow for a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus to be on hand (or even the Oxford Dictionary for that) I’d give you some nugget of sensibleness served on dour brown bread with a slice of cucumber and a dash of chutney. Alas I had no such up bringing and this being the information age I have lazily directed my web browser firmly at wikipedia, which lays out as bare as one can get in one stone cold sentence that dating is a “part of the human mating process.” Well, don’t beat about the bush with foreplay Mr Tricky-Wiki! I guess, though, that explains a lot of the news stories and editorials in circulation bemoaning how most of the technology people in our age seem capable of churning out in this space are all about mating rather than dating (exhibit A).
Let us for one second move beyond the rise of mating on our planet (and naturally enough of course the Scots are laying claim to inventing that too, sex and the telephone, hmm) and consider the next gem wikipedia throws up on the subject of dating; “meeting socially for companionship beyond the level of friendship”. That sounds more like something we can relate to here and it puts the emphasis squarely back on meeting.
Now, if I may take the liberty of requesting that you join me in a brief glance up from your smart phone (easy not too fast, that’s the real world you’re looking at… take a deep breath), you’ll no doubts see a plethora of human beings about you. Now all those blinking bleary eyed souls you can see have to meet and that means coming together and attaining some kind of contact with each other. That’s how it’s always been for most of us in the most recent span of human civilisation, and of course for a great many of us it has been, and remains, one of the most excruciatingly difficult and embarrassing endeavours to blight the human condition.
So, in a round about sort of way we come to our small offering to humanity. Not, we hope, yet another app to supposedly help you get stuck straight into that conjoined Scottish fish business without so much as a “hello, haven’t we met before,” but a tool, or might we even venture a social service, to help all of us with that far more delicate matter of meeting.
Actually, us humans are a pretty good species when it comes to meeting, we’re definitely social but we’re a pretty wary bunch too. Possibly in most of us that natural reticence comes out in the form of a little coyness or, as is more often the case, that painfully hideous shyness that leads to the all too common I-saw-someone-they-saw-me-and-I-did-nothing lost opportunity feeling. We’ve all been there and wondered ‘what if’ the next day, such a waste! Then again, perhaps we’re simply too obsessed with looking to avoid making utter clots of ourselves.
In short, we are arguably now a species that needs help, a collection of decent enough sorts on the whole suffocated by the social norms and conventions of modern society. We probably don’t need much help, just a gentle nudge towards where cupid’s arrow might have a chance of doing it’s work without our having to risk looking like prize prats! If only there were some way we could use all this amazing technology which we surround ourselves with to help? Could we not focus our amazing spirit of human ingenuity and ceaseless invention and innovation on making the act of meeting people just that little bit easier without resorting to spamming strangers with our crude text pest flirts and manufactured photographic faux pas? Can we do that? R U up 4 it?
We thought about this whilst ponderously looking out the window (when we should have been working) and came to the obvious answer yes and the idea that became nuurdle was born (a slightly difficult birth to twins, we’ll blog about the development process in a later installment!) Our premise was simple enough; we all meet each other to varying degrees continuously each and every day and will continue to do so. Sometimes two people in passing will have that unique and wonderfully human and joyous moment where they feel a connection.
Trouble is too often in our busy modern lives we are simply unable to do anything about this and we sail on like the proverbial (and horrifically cliched) ships in the night, often onto large rocky outcrops which we should know to avoid! We’re either too “busy” or, perhaps more truthfully, embarrassed and shy to say something at these times, often left with little more than those knowing glances. The socialisation processes which we all go through tell us it’s not the done thing to spin around and shout “Wow, I think you’re fan-tastic” at a passer by (trust me I tried it, still I got by as a very ugly Kate Bush impersonator for a few years on the back of it but that’s definitely a tale for another time).
So, enter nüurdle stage left! Instead of becoming the subject of disapproving (and mildly sympathetic) looks by not following the script, we thought you should take out that little miracle of modern life we call a smart phone and create a nüurdle.
Simple, painless, easy and (most importantly) not even slightly embarrassing. That little click creates a snapshot of the time and place, you add your description of the other person and you are done! You have created a nuurdle which anyone can search for and find, good for you. Our thinking was that the other person then scurries out of sight and searches; “was that a nuurdle they were creating, I think they felt it too..” a few clicks to search and then “YEEESSSS, I’ve been nuurdled!” Moments later a response whirls its way back, the connection is made and two “strangers” have come together in the most natural and organic way two strangers do come together. All of this is achieved without having to lose face, reveal who you are or challenge social norms by spinning around and singing O Sole Mio with a flower in your teeth. I’m all for that!
Well we’ve discussed here how we really genuinely do hope that our small offering can help to alleviate some of the regular turmoil and emotional suffering that characterises the human condition, but what of the universe? Well from where we sit on our little rock its all about life you might argue. Is there life out there? Is it intelligent? Are we alone in the universe? Perhaps our own meeting each other is a good microcosm for universal life? Is there anybody out there for us to connect with in a meaningful way?
There is life here of course (and despite what might sometimes present itself, it is actually complex and civilised). If you stop and think about it for a moment every living thing on our planet including you and me is a product of near astronomical probabilities. You are very unlikely to have existed and yet you do.
If Mum hadn’t dropped that hanky, if Dad hadn’t turned round and took that short cut, if it hadn’t have rained at exactly 4:16pm two years later and the car broke down… well we won’t go into the intricacies of that sexy Scottish fish business but you get the idea. Chance encounters and events make life, and if we (as a complex civilisation) are indeed as rare in the universe as might be the case then we shouldn’t let those every day opportunities drift by. After all meeting up with that person you smiled at on the train platform today could be the link in the chain that leads to someone, someday hooking our civilisation up with another! So, in the interests of the universe you really should get nüurdle on your phone, it only takes minute and its free. Thank you.
find out more about our great app at www.nuurdle.com