I’m running fast and loose with the term ‘dating apps’ here, but I guess for some it means they get to have the best of all worlds.
Obviously I’m making a sweeping assumption, having never actually used them myself, but from what I can gather, there are definitely benefits to be had. For starters, it must be great to be able to chat online, and properly suss out prospective partners before meeting them in person. I guess the days of picking up randoms in bars are long gone (which is how I met my husband). Also let’s not ignore the fact that not everyone wants to be half of a couple. Some much prefer being single, which is where these apps must come into their own.
There’s no way for me to have an opinion on this without sounding like a smug married character from a bad rom com, but I’m chucking my two pence in anyway!
Are dating apps destroying our chances of having real and meaningful relationships?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure our friend is very upfront about his expectations, so as to not cause upset down the line. I also have a different friend, who is newly single. She’s absolutely loving dating apps, because she gets to have fun on the weekends that her ex has the kids. Win win right? But are they the exception to the rule?
It’s all very well and good if both parties are just after a bit of fun, but if one is looking for a deeper connection, then surely they’ll end up getting hurt? I’ve heard people say that every single interaction they’ve had via dating apps have been a complete disaster. From married men looking for a quick thrill (how very cliche), to people who are charming online but have zero personality in real life. Others who claim to be looking for a partner, but in fact all they want is string-free sex (why not be honest?) Or the oldest one in the book – posting a very old and flattering photo, when they look nothing like it whatsoever.
Does porn play a part in all this?
I don’t think that the accessibility and normslisiation of porn is helping either. Porn isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s changed a lot since the Red Hot Chili Peppers sung about in their cult hit Californication back in 1999. I used to be open to the suggestion of watching porn back then, but the thought repulses me now.
Perhaps that’s just me being uptight? Or maybe that now I’m a mum, all I can think is that it’s someone’s son/daughter, and how would I feel if one of my children went into the industry? I found this article detailing how one man gave up porn and started a website to help others do the same absolutely fascinating.
A different era
I did my growing up in the nineties and early noughties, when people had parties and spoke to each other all night without checking their phones. I find it hard to get my head around how much times have changed, and how far so many are coming away from proper human interaction. I have no doubt in my mind that I’d be eaten alive if I were to launch myself into today’s dating scene.
The idea of making a split second decision, and swiping left (or is it right?) until I see someone I fancy, makes me feel uncomfortable. Are we being sold the dream, when in reality dating apps are just making us shallow?
There’s a brilliant quote about technology and reading books to children: “there is no app that can replace your lap.” I can’t help but feel that this is exactly the same.