The days leading up to Valentine’s Day are filled with big heart-shaped balloons, cheesy quotes and red-frosted cupcakes. They are a reminder for those of us not in a relationship about just how single we are.
That’s probably why it’s a popular time for dating apps, and platforms like Tinder and Bumble have increased user activity, the Evening Standard reported.
Facebook ads for these apps promise to help me find the love of my life, so I tried to stay open-minded and give them a shot.
But after trying Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and Bumble, I personally felt demotivated, frustrated and tired.
It isn’t easy to work through the whole sifting-people-out process up to the point of going on dates, but my experience so far has proven all the negative ideas surrounding online dating to be right.
Once, I met a guy with whom I had no more in common than the table between us, even though the app promised an 80 percent match.
Then, I met a guy who was supposed to be 5 feet 9 tall, but my 5-foot-4-inch height somehow towered over him when I stood up.
I met someone whose photos were probably from the previous decade unless he aged during the commute to our meeting spot.
I met another guy who was really funny while we chatted online, but in person, he had difficulty even holding eye contact with me — let alone making jokes like he did behind the screen.
Internet dating culture is a universe of its own. Whoever you are, there is an app or site for you; Christian Mingle, GlutenFreeSingles, Jdate for Jewish singles, Farmers Dating Site, Elite Singles or AsianDating for example.
In theory, online dating should work in my favor, but it doesn’t. Let me tell you why.
An online profile usually tells you basic info, like name, age and height. It might tell you what the person is like, what they do in their free time and what they look for in a significant other — or at least things they’re comfortable sharing publicly.
But I care more about the chemistry I’ll have with someone, how mom-dependent someone is and whether they have anger issues or emotional baggage. These apps don’t show me the person behind the screen.
Popular apps like Tinder use a swiping mechanism, making my decisions superficial. Users swipe either left or right on someone’s profile, depending on whether they find them attractive.
This sounds fun, but in reality, I’m looking for intelligence, humor and a beautiful smile. On these apps, I’m offered smiles, but they typically come with plagiarized pick-up lines, shirtless photos and vague personality descriptions.
These apps usually work according to algorithms. An app can figure that out and adjust suggestions accordingly, the Chicago Tribune reported. But algorithms do not help predict romantic desire between two individuals any better than a groundhog’s shadow can predict the length of this year’s winter.
And pictures can be misleading — sometimes old — and a bio can be copied from the internet. At least, this is what I’ve found through my own online dating journey.
Do these websites really even want you to find the right person? Because if everyone did and lived happily ever after, they would go out of business.
Online dating has ruined meeting people by chance and in person. It’s anti-social. People would rather swipe than speak to human beings who are around them.
Whether you prefer online dating or count on fate to put the right person in your path at the right time, I wish you good luck.
I will remain old fashioned in this technology-driven culture and go offline for now.