I’ve never really dated. I was in 2 long term relationships in high school, then I met my wife when I was 18 and we’ve been together ever since. I’ve only ever had to work up the nerve to romantically introduce myself to 3 people. And while pursuing a relationship with those 3 people, I had access to the internet for ZERO of them. Hell, the social Internet did not even exist the last time I tried to get a girl to notice me. I CAN. NOT. IMAGINE. what dating is like now. I mean, I CAN imagine it, because I have a better than average understanding of technology and a firm grasp on human psychology and sociology, but I can’t imagine actually DOING it.
AUSTIN, TX FANCY BASTARDS! Dragon’s Lair Webcomic Rampage is less than a month away! Details HERE!
I’m working on a new HE Store, that will live HERE when it is done. I’ll be offering new products that I’ve never offered before and I’m pretty excited about it.
On one hand, I really like the idea of using social media and dating sites/apps to pair down the entire population of the Earth to just the people that you are at least somewhat more likely to be compatible with. Of course, that relies on all involved NOT lying while filling out their profiles and NOT lying to themselves about who they are and what they actually want. The whole process seems rife with potential points of failure, but it also seem infinitely more ideal than going to a bar and hoping that the person you find physically attractive from 60 feet away isn’t hiding a slew of undesirable character traits, beliefs and interests beneath a pleasant veneer.
Then there’s the issue of too much specificity. When you sign up for a highly specialized site or app, are you limiting your options? Or are you just further improving your chances of making the kind of connection you are looking for. I guess I get it with “hook up” apps more so than “relationship” apps. “I want to go to town on somebody in category X with attribute Y who like to put my Z in both their… U? Is there a U?… And, I want it to happen in the back of a Volkswagen B between the hours of ?? and 2 hours past ?? or before my DVR records The Walking Dead because I like to watch that day-of before the spoilers hit the Internet.” That SEEMS like a recipe for success for those interested in that sort of thing. I also imagine REALLY HYPER SPECIFIC social technology being great for those in a particular kink community. Any interest that is typically kept below the surface in public life (i.e. “I can only get aroused if you X a big fat Y upside my Z, while we watch reruns of Leave It To B.”), is much easier to profess online and it’s certainly much easier to locate and connect with those with similar proclivities.
I’m not sure how I feel about the rise of apps designed specifically for teens to send self destructing naughty pictures to each other. Mostly because I can’t envision that technology existing and being available when I was age appropriate to use it and NOT dying at 14 from “He basically ripped off his own dick from over use” syndrome. I worry that the note-passing and mall make-outs of my youth have already been replaced with “I can’t take you to homecoming if you don’t send me some n000000ds!LOLJK #NOTREALLYJK.” I imagine this is a conversation most current parents are not super-capable of navigating with their kids since NOTHING LIKE THIS AT ALL LIKE NOTHING EVEN COMPARABLE existed when they were young.
If it’s just grown ups demanding to see each other’s bits before meeting face to face, I don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s pretty shallow, but I’m fine with whatever consenting adults do as long as it doesn’t hurt others (especially kids) or bring unnecessary hurt to themselves. Sexual compatibility is so important to a relationship (at least one where sex is… of interest all parties. I ALMOST said “on the table,” but table-sex is like at least a 4th date kind of thing.) Of course, so is every other kind of compatibility (emotional, financial, intellectual, etc.). I suppose you just have to decide which column you want to start checking off boxes in first. For instance, I don’t think my wife and I would have ended up together at all if we had been using dating apps. For starters, we were both in (unhealthy) relationships when we met. Would we have even checked the “single” box? Would I have been TOO specific about my musical tastes/musical requirements? SPOILERS: I would have been. When we met, we were attracted physically first, then emotionally but it was only with the benefit of time; the time we spent together that our interests and goals aligned as precisely as they have.
Perhaps the perfect dating app would be one where you tell it what you like NOW and then it tells you what you are statistically going to like in 5 or 10 years, and tries to hook you up with someone you will still have something in common with in a decade or two. We can call it Oldr & Wisr.