viernes, noviembre 06, 2015

Aren’t you glad you didn’t have Tinder?

Like the creepy urban legend phrase, for many people in their 30’s it’s a relief that dating apps have appeared only a few years ago.

Smartphones are life itself. If you don’t have one, you are nowhere to be found, you just don’t exist. But 20 years ago it wasn’t like that and we just can’t remember what life was like without social networks, GPS, Google tools and all that stuff.

The symptoms are more or less the same in kids, teenagers and young adults: they don’t look at people when having a conversation and they can barely have a normal one. Most of them prefer sending an email, a text, a DM, an Inbox or whatever you want to call it. Remember those limits mom imposed for phone calls after 10pm? Well, they’re gone thanks to Line, Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber and Skype voice messaging, which makes you part of a conversation that’s simultaneously happening in 2, 3, 4 or more countries –or maybe just at the same dinner table.

When did we become such digital addicts? When did our younger siblings, kids, coworkers and customers lose the ability to interact with others face-to-face? Isn’t it scary that people nowadays use their phones to work, shop, drive and even date?

Vanity Fair published a chronicle about how dating is evolving to a new type of transaction fostered by apps like Tinder, Happn, Hinge, among others. The piece called ‘Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”’ gives us a closer look on how young adults establish fast, disposable, shallow relationships on the premise of “there’s too much out there to see, I don’t want to be missing something better”. That made me think of my youth days. I believed exactly the same thing, but I was geographically limited by the bar I would be in, or the city I lived in, or the boyfriend I had. I could only date one guy per night, a couple nights a week tops. And I’d probably run out of options in a few months, until I’d meet a new group of friends and start all over again.

If I look back, the impact Tinder could have had on my dating life would have been huge: limitless amounts of guys potentially available to date, anytime, anywhere, commitment free. 
But who’d I be dating?

I’m a little too old for Tinder and I’m glad that’s the way it is. I can’t imagine going out with someone just because he has a cute picture and happens to be near me. It almost feels like people-shopping, as if it’s impossible to establish deeper connections, like feelings are something too complex to explain through an Inbox or a voice message. Friendships depend on the amount of messages you reply, or pictures you share, but everybody is too busy to go for a cup of coffee or to visit you at home on a Sunday afternoon. Are we better friends via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? And if so, who can we count on when we are down? Should we just post a sad song to express our feelings and hope for some comforting comments to appear within minutes?