If online dating already felt like a step out-of-the-norm, take a look at all the online apps being developed for smart mobile devices. Now you don’t even have to wait to curl up by the computer (a la “You’ve Got Mail”) because you can get a notification right to your fingertips.
As of yet, I haven’t touched Tinder (details and background info coming up later on each site!) For me, I could never quite nail down the type of user on Tinder, or true underlying motivations. Some say it’s a hookup app, some say it’s for finding real dates. All I know is that because it has the added benefit of being a mobile app, the location feature allows you to find somebody nearby… so nearby, you could be paired up with the guy across the bar (much more detailed than setting your search parameters to “50 miles near my zip code.”) On top of that, the initial set-up is based on a “hot or not” high-level superficial reaction.
Many dating apps incorporate location services with their own unique pairing algorithms, to give you a slew of options while you are on-the-go. While there are many pros to having access to throngs of people outside our social circles, isn’t there a concern that our entire method of interaction is going down the drain?
It’s bad enough we text during meals and parties with friends right in front of us. But now, do we have to resort to an app that points us directly to the other single, lonely soul in the bar that also happens to be ignoring his friends at that exact same moment, too? Are we going to lose the friendly-bumping-into-you at a bar, or the sending over a drink, or any spontaneous small talk to a stranger?
Clearly I haven’t given mobile apps a fair chance so I’m sure there are many strong arguments to counter my concerns. But as a millennial who already winces at most “what millenials are ruining now” articles, I can’t help but agree that it’s too soon to lose the excitement of catching someone’s eye across a bar… not the light of their cell phone with your notification that you found them “hot” on an app.