They’re fast, they’re fun, they’re easy, and relatively cheap, or, in some cases, free. We like our dating done quickly, efficiently, productively and almost effortlessly, much like all other things in our lives. But, unlike most other things in our lives, dating done quickly, efficiently and almost effortlessly does not always produce the desired outcome. While it should be easy to find that special someone, and online dating apps should be speeding up our process, they’re actually slowing us down. Match.com boasts that 92% of all current romantic relationships started because of them.
But, guess what? In 1994, before Match.com was invented, how many of those relationships started with people meeting each other without the help of online dating?
They are addictive/A time suck: Much like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, online dating sites take up too much of everyone’s time and energy. Instead of concentrating on hobbies, or spending time with our friends or working out or working on bettering ourselves for when the right guy or girl actually comes along, we sit at the computer, waiting to see who swiped right, or who emailed us or who liked our latest picture. We sit at the computer, not bettering ourselves, but waiting to see how great or lame complete strangers consider us to be. Why waste time waiting for a “like” or a “swipe” for one of your pictures, given by a complete stranger who doesn’t know you at all? Go out and live your life, instead. There’s a better chance of “The One” being out there in life. Cause he certainly ain’t sitting next to you at the computer.
They promote false advertising: How are we supposed to market ourselves effectively if we only have “thin,” “curvy” and “athletic” to choose from? If we only get 300 characters in which to describe ourselves? If we are allowed to post any pictures we want from any angle, in any lighting? If catfishing is a thing? And there is no regulation. How are we supposed to find “The One” if “the one” is not even who they say they are?
They promote an unnatural amount of dating/sex which leads to unrealistic expectations and an unhealthy sense of self: Because of dating apps, we millenials can go on a date every single night if we want to. Or two or more dates a night. Dating apps promote a “quantity, not quality” approach to sex and dating that can hinder our chances of putting our best foot forward. It also can lead to “dating burnout.” There is only so much of the same conversation one can really have about one’s job or local sports teams. A lot of dating is exhausting, and a lot of rejection can lead to an unhealthy sense of self. Dating is expensive, and spending a lot of money can lead to depression. Or less-than-stellar prospects you go out with are so depressing and underwhelming you cant even fathom meeting one more person and giving them a chance.
They actually narrow the playing field instead of broadening it: Every millenial thinks that online dating sites have opened us up to a whole new world of people we never would have met before, when, in fact, it is the opposite. Conversely, online dating sites allow us to whittle down prospects to an extremely unrealistic and oftentimes, unobtainable pool of potential matches. This is not good. Instead of being open to someone who might not be just quite your type physically, or someone who might not have the desired job or income or lifestyle you find attractive, if you are on an online dating site, you have the ability to shut out completely anyone who deviates from these criteria. Many millenials are still too young to actually know what they want or need, so online dating sites exacerbate the issue by allowing them to pick and choose too specifically. Finding “The One” means being open to anyone and everyone who could actually be “The One.”
They promote laziness: Remember when you had to actually get off your ass and leave your apartment to meet people? Remember when you had to actually listen to the person during the actual date to try to get to know them instead of having formed opinions and judgments of them before you even meet? Remember when you had to give your date a second chance, because 1,000 more prospects weren’t at your fingertips? Remember when you had to put forth an effort to meet people instead of having everyone and anyone literally in the palm of your hand? We are a generation of instant gratification. “The One” should not be synonymous with “instant gratification.”
They take the fun out of meeting someone organically: Before online dating, I used to look forward to going to bars with my friends, cause, hey, you never know who you could meet. I used to love riding the subway in NYC cause hey, you never know who you could meet. I used to like taking a walk or reading in a park or hell, even going to Starbucks, cause, hey, you never know who you could meet. I met a few exes in bars. I met an ex or two just walking around or at work, or at Starbucks. And I literally even once met an ex-boyfriend on the 9 train in New York City. The anticipation and excitement of the possibility of meeting someone just doing what you’re doing…is gone. The element of surprise of there possibly being sparks between you and the guy in front of you in Starbucks…is gone. Replaced by faces and words on a screen on your phone. Go to bars, go to the park, go to Starbucks. “The One” could be there, you never really know. But you’re not going to find him with your face buried in your phone on your match.com app. He could be right in front of you in line to buy your frappucino, so don’t miss him, millenials.