Technology has changed the Dating Game! No, I don’t mean the infamous south side of Chicago lounge where one can step in the name of love…I mean the instant accessibility via text message, social media, and chat rooms have literally replaced long, late night phone conversations while dozing off but claiming not to be tired and dinner and a movie - dates! The convenience of instantly conveying catch phrases like – I’m running late, call u right back, and maybe even GM, have been manipulated into non-confrontational, impersonal, and often misinterpreted moments. They grant the illusion of getting to know one another without any real experience, created memory, or uncomfortable conversation. I mean you get the ability to retract your comments. Better yet, if I don’t like where the conversation is going, just mute it and the messages instantly reroute to text heaven. I call it accessibility with an option to ignore because you’ve no longer kept my immediate interest, but I’m too chicken to actually say it.
Oh yeah, social media has definitely changed the dating game! At first it seemed like such a great idea - a medium for two people that otherwise would not cross paths, to meet with a common agenda – forever. But over time, that idea has evolved from forever to just lunch to tendering - the process of making an offer, bid or proposal, or expressing interest in response to an invitation or request.
Tendering, spelled Tinder is an online dating app that finds your location using GPS, and then finds potential matches near you. When I moved to New York, a colleague gave me the “short list” of all the apps I needed to get acclimated and survive this concrete jungle - MTA to commute, seamless to eat, and Tinder to date. As she put it, I could use this app to meet new people so that colleagues weren’t my only option of friends in this cold, hard city. Initially, I laughed. Did she not know? I am not the online dating type! Or perhaps she was thinking what my 80 year old grandfather had already told me a year or so ago, “Tanisha, you need to try that online dating thing. You know, go on the Internet and find a husband.” Wait, she didn’t even know me. I mean, I’d literally been here one month and she was already telling me to find me forever?!
After contemplating the thought for a whopping 3 months, I realized that she was telling me I needed to find a mate quickly to share in this NYC rent expense! I mean it’s the equivalent of buying a designer handbag or first class trip to France every 5th of the month! Eventually, I figured out that if you're single, you're probably on Tinder. Actually, if you have a Smartphone and the ability to swipe – you probably have a Tinder account. Two swipes to the left, one swipe to the right! This is what modern day dating – actually new age, pretentious, no time to get to know you, no flowers, no candy – straight to the bedroom activity called dating looks like today! It’s hard to escape yet easy to imagine while swiping my next date over lousy conversation and a cappuccino with the date from hell!
But here’s the question, can I really blame you for continuing to seek out the next opportunity when you’re bombarded with endless amounts of pictures and videos of the next wanna be model or the latest hot stripper on Instagram and Facebook? Society has made this showcase a source for men to determine beauty in women, a meat market none-the-less. Follow, follow, and follow – a hunt for an upgrade while performing the least amount of work…no expense involved, no pursuit, just lazy!
The Dating game has changed, but there are a few things I would prefer stay the same. I still like fresh flowers and frivolous chitchat. Holding hands while strolling through the park merely enjoying each other’s company is definitely a missing art. What’s next? Adding dates to a shopping cart with a checkout feature that alerts me “this man has been removed” because I waited too long to actually message him? Actually, that one doesn’t seem so bad – at least once he’s checked out, I clearly know he’s off the market – no gimmicks, no refunds, no exchanges! Oh wait; there IS an app for that. Its called Coffee Meets Bagel!