The truth about dating apps
Loneliness (n.): sadness because one has no friends or company.
Tess Rembetsy-Brown, Staff Writer
One of the greatest difficulties that human beings endure is loneliness. It is something that everyone at some point will experience. We have this innate desire to belong to someone, to be a part of something greater than just ourselves. But these relationships come and go, and at the end of the day, we find ourselves back at square one—struggling to fight the inevitable loneliness which lingers inside.
I am a senior here at Assumption College, and only this year have I come to the realization that this loneliness is waiting to knock at my door when most of my relationships come to an end. Within the four years that I have been here at Assumption I have been in about five serious relationships. Each one has allowed me to grow and understand myself a little bit better; however, each one has also opened my eyes to a habitual tendency. This endless cycle revolves around social media, and more specifically, dating apps.
Tinder. How shameful it is to actually hear that word out loud—yet most of us youngsters use it as a means to either find a hook-up, a relationship, or to distract us from our boredom. In all cases, these means are generated by our fear of being alone.
For those who are more fortunate and do not know what Tinder is: it is an accessible app which allows you to display information such as your name, age, location, gender and all the likes, while incorporating pictures of yourself and maybe a bio if you’re really going to go ham. Personally, I add the most flattering photos of myself, maybe ones that flex the abs, or show off my butt. The ones that make me look the skinniest or the prettiest. In a sense it is me, but it truly is not my most authentic self. With that kept in mind, the people you are swiping through probably have the same mindset; they might not be displaying their truest form.
The game begins when you “swipe” through people—swipe right if you are interested in that person, swipe left if you are not. It is all very superficial: you make a decision based upon appearances and hope that the one you swipe right on also swipes right on you.
In a perfect world, you talk to the person you match with, they buy you dinner, they are romantic, handsome, sweet and everything your Catholic mother would approve of. But in reality, 9.4/10 times it is not someone you would ever consider long term. As a girl, I have these high expectations that these guys are actually interested in me as a human being and not as a piece of meat. The guys that you are interested in only want you for that one thing (if you know what I mean) and the guys that you are not interested in want to marry you right there on the spot.
With each person you match with, you lose a little piece of yourself. You might share information with them that you would not share on the first date. You put so much energy and time into trying to make something work with someone you do not even know. You create these illusions and fantasies of what this person would be like as your significant other. And finally, you realize that you matched with so many people that the sensory overload is so unbearable that you start to blur all the matches together.
With the plethora of matches that you can gather, comes the difficulty of finding just one person to commit to, as well as the greater potential to lose interest fast. Yet, you become so addicted to the therapeutic swiping and positive reinforcement that comes with a match. However, the disappointment you carry when you do not match with someone makes you feel worse and more rejected than you felt in the first place.
Although you become more and more connected to people you never knew existed, you are becoming less and less aware of the world around you. You are stuck living in a simulated
dimension that makes you feel occupied and adored, but slowly you discover all the time that you wasted on your phone when you could have had real-world interactions. You become unsatisfied, as you feel that there might be someone better than your newest match—someone with a better smile, stronger muscles, a taller build and a funnier personality. We have these high expectations for people we do not even know exist. And it prevents us from settling down. Why settle for less than what we think we deserve? Even worse, each failed match is just another rejection to add to your laundry list. And how awful is it to feel rejected by someone that we do not even know. How does a simple app hold so much power and control over us?
At the end of the day, you might feel like you are alone, but you must never forget that your best company is never far away. All you have to do is look in a mirror.