Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics summed it up nicely when he said, “people spend too much time searching for options online for too little payoff in offline dates.”
We have become mindless ‘swipers’, scared to create meaningful conversations. Supposedly, we are searching for love but actually, we are ending up with hundreds of so-called ‘matches’ yet virtually no real-life experiences.
Isn’t the idea of online dating to actually have dates? To meet people? The clue’s in the name, surely?
The vacuum that the ‘big’ dating apps have created is damaging to real life experiences. It also affects how we interact and feel as people in its entirety.
The instantaneousness, visual-based scope of the online world means that many people care more about how they portray themselves online than their actual lives. The pressure of curating the perfect social media ‘persona’ is linked to depression and anxiety related issues.
Online dating and social media more widely have created a generation with low self-esteem as well as influencing other generations to become more distanced.
There is a poignant story that really illustrates the difference between someone’s online ‘persona’ and their real life: Madison Holleran. The 19-year-old posted a photograph on Instagram of a scenery in the local park, creating the illusion as was well, just hours before she jumped to her death.
This is an extreme and shocking case, but it is a real one.
The pressure of portraying oneself in a way that is deemed ‘attractive’ on dating apps is no different. You hear chuckles of friend groups as they discuss how their date was ‘nothing like their profile’ so they turned around and left.
Social media addiction is a real phenomenon. Dating apps fall under this category too. Mindlessly swiping with no intention of actually dating only to pass time is damaging in it’s own way, especially when you aren’t even sure what your motivations are.
The allure of the thought that the next profile might be THE ONE leave singles wanting to swipe just one more time. Others find a match-confirmation affirming exhilarating and want more, and so continue to swipe for more matches. Going on dating apps can then become a vicious cycle where boredom or allure of matches, become meaningless interactions. The lack of genuine contact then contributes to low self-esteem and loneliness.
Furthermore, this impacts the experience for those who ARE there to date. Those who ‘match’ and don’t talk, or want to meet in real life, ruin the experience for those who do. As a result, people feel rejected or negatively judged. People are more sensitive to rejection than we realize. In fact, so much so, we have developed a fear of rejection.
Many people still feel it’s a stigma to find love online. So by virtue of being online leads many to feel insecure, needy and vulnerable. Once online, it’s not unusual to be met with dud matches and silence, or dead-end conversations, leaving people feeling hopeless. Online dating becomes pointless, especially if you really want a relationship.
What should you do?
Don’t let your match develop into a penpal relationship, meet in person as soon as you feel safe to. This is anywhere between a handful of messages in a day or two, to exchanges over a week or two. If you have been chatting for over 3 weeks and still haven’t started a conversation about meeting, you are probably in penpal mode.
Genuine, real life, offline experiences are a fundamental human need. We need offline interaction ignorer to develop and maintain Laughter Conversation Debate Passion Love.
“Now” believe in genuine interactions and are seeking to revolutionize this industry by enabling the use of technology to create real-life experiences and break the aforementioned vicious cycle.
If you are reading this, chances are you believe in human interaction and real-life experiences too. Join us today, meet someone online and the go meet IRL!