While we’re on bad Millennial habits, let’s talk about the laziest one of them all: cellular
dating hookup services. I myself have two: Bumble (which is actually somewhat better, but not really) and the shallow, surface-swiping Tind: with an “-er”. Where you can sit on your ass and scroll through profiles, instead of leaving the safety of your home. It’s very convenient, no doubt.
But God-forbid, you should find a hobby and try to meet people by going out to events/parties. As a person trying to become better socially, this is actually my goal. I swipe, yes, sometimes voraciously a few times a week, sometimes at least once or twice a month. But it all feels tiring, even after matches.
In any approach you’ve got to present yourself in a way that is “socially desirable”. Which is only right. Call it shaving, applying lotion to your ashy-assed skin, bathing, brushing. More importantly it means expressing yourself with a magical “c-word”: confidence. Now, try to put that on five pictures, and a 150-300 character bio. Condense the initial approach, with all its subtle nuances, laughs, and awkward pauses. More importantly, silence and replace them with a GIF from Friends.
What do you have: the most “convenient” way to meet and greet. Minus a few human touches. Actually, more of a personal algorithm. Yes, yes, no, no, yes, yes, and so on. And I use it simply because it’s “convenient”. Not because I like it. I tend to hate dating apps, for the simple reason that trying to improve social, interpersonal skills requires looking beyond them.
I’d rather there was a month in the year where we all took a Tinder fast. And, instead of swiping for matches, went to local “Singles” events. If you’re socially disinclined, oh, well-get over it…I’m a recovering “Introvert” too. I agree that the crowded bar scene is terrible, especially with loud, blaring music and flashing lights. That’s not the place to look either. But think of a nice venue with good food and good company. Throw in a few Tinder-disillusioned adults who are sick of swiping. You might not have “matches” but at least you’ll have interaction.
And by that, I mean “interaction”: in the purer, less digital sense of the world. I don’t mean to sound like an “old man”. I’m only 23. Which is why I want to enjoy life more while I’m young, in the best way possible: by spending time with others, be they friends, family, or relationships. Not swipes.
But, as we speak, my profile is still hypocritically active. It’s kind of just there. I may go on a random swipe binge in a few days. And then just lay it aside, until matches. But I’m not going to spend the rest of the time wondering why there aren’t alternatives. I’m going to be actively seeking alternatives. Better alternatives. Or at least working in them, for starters.
And, another thing: from the people I’ve spoken to (including myself), Tinder rarely leads to anything past one or two dates. I landed a nice date one time on Bumble and haven’t heard back since. My friend told me that that’s just the way it is: you’ve got to go into Tinder expecting to match, meet for a date, and then probably never see or hear from that person ever again. That can happen with or without Tinder: people passing in and out of life, especially dates. It just doesn’t feel as empty.
If I were going to put ALL my faith in online dating, I certainly wouldn’t choose Tinder. I would go on something more professional, like E-Harmony, where you actually look at someone based on interests/values, rather than just a profile photo. E-Harmony uses photos too, but I’m assuming the people there actually take time to read ABOUT the person.
I’m not saying Tinder users are lazy. I’m saying we’re unwilling to take more substantive efforts to mingle while single. We’re unmotivated to take chances socially. We’re more than likely shallow judges of character. We’re seekers of immediate satisfaction. Whatever takes the most time and effort repels us.
I’m saying we’re EXTREMELY lazy. Myself included. The most adventurous/confident I felt recently was when one time when I hopped in my car and drove out after the Cavs won the championship. It was a late summer night, in 2016. And Stephan Curry had just had his ass handed to him. Anyways, I rode down to Case Western, just because I wanted to be around other excited Clevelanders. Walking down the street I saw a very attractive woman cheering as one (of dozens) of cars went racing by, horns blaring with triumph. I don’t remember what the hell I said. All I know is I approached her and then we had drinks at the bar. And talked for close to two hours. I felt alive, at that moment. Even though that occasion didn’t lead to a serious relationship, it was a unique achievement for me.
That’s the kind of adventure I want to seek. One with balls (metaphorically speaking) rather than trepidation. Being good on Tinder doesn’t make you confident, or a master of relationships. It just means you’ve mastered the laziest way of forming them. You’ve mastered the cons of Millennialhood. The prize should be a trophy made out of pure 20-karat GIF. Instead of gold.
But then again, it’s really convenient. If you’re lazy enough, you may meet that “special someone” who’s just as lazy. For about three dinners.