Taking it back to the Old Skool (sans apps)
by Write by Tanisha
I wrote a piece for Elite Daily a while back entitled Are Dating Apps To Blame For Women No Longer Getting Hit On At Bars? (Elite Daily’s Sub Editor Americanised my original title)
and today I came across a similar subject on TED: How technology has transformed how we connect — and reject — in the digital age.
Having had a busy weekend which involved a questionable amount of mixed drinks and consequently a day of hell for my liver and head, I resonated with the TED article and think it’s an important one for us (I won’t use the word Millennials because I hate it) young-ish, single folk who are now reliant on technology to give us instant gratification through dating apps just to get a buzz from a ‘match’. Now, I don’t know if this is the same for everyone, but the novelty soon wears off. The ego boost is good for the newly single who never had dating apps ‘in their day’, to make you think ‘heeey, I’ve still got it’ but then what?
Those who read my last post (thank you for your feedback by the way), will know that the date I went on was with someone I matched with on dating app, Bumble (I’m not on Tinder or any other dating app, I need the storage on my phone for all the screenshots I take and receive to and from friends on an hourly basis). This guy was lovely as a whole, and I was due to go on my second date with him today, but I cancelled. I just wasn’t excited about any messages I received, I haven’t thought about him since the date, and do you know why I think that is? It was too easy. The app gave me the knowledge that we both found each other attractive at first ‘swipe’, because we matched. Ok, great, that takes out the mystery and skips a step. But, is that great? Because the courtship has been taken away doesn’t that make it a bit more boring?
Don’t get me wrong, apps work for a lot of people I know, one of my best friends is getting married off the back of one of them. But for me, I think I need to meet someone I either already know, and grow that relationship from what I already know about that person. Or meet someone in real life, to work at real life gratification, rather than this tech heavy, instant ‘on a plate’ era that we’re now living in.
This TED article quotes comedian Aziz Ansari and psychologist Eric Klinenberg from their book Modern Dating: “you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket.” We are, and yet, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. Imagine being in a bar with all the people you’ve matched with. Now that does sound pretty good, but then add in all the other people who have matched with the same people in that bar. The anxiety of not knowing if the guy or girl you like actually thinks the girl or guy next to you is fitter, now you have the competition. This scenario in real life would be a mix of people, and you seeking out the person you find most attractive, to then go and muster up the courage to converse with.
Most guys I know will openly admit that they are always looking to the next more attractive match, but via their smartphones. We are now completely skipping a step, which could be detrimental to our own judgement. We use our initiative and paint a picture of a person just by looking at five photos of them, rather than being physically attracted to someone stood a few feet away from us and trying our luck with conversation. Courtship is dead.
In my hungover state today, I realised I don’t want to meet someone over an app. I want to meet someone organically and not force it. If I was newly single and wanting a throwaway relationship and had time to go on loads of dates with guys I’ve handpicked on an app, then I would carry on doing what I was doing two years ago. I know my date stories are entertaining, and I know I’m probably one of the most picky girls when it comes to guys (I could match with the most gorgeous guy but I get put off when I meet them from the smallest thing they say). So from now on, I’m taking it back to the old skool, and only going to go on dates with those I have met in real life, first. I mean, I really need the phone storage.