A New Era of Dating: Are Dating Apps Distracting Us From Dating?

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(Article originally published on Chelsea Krost)

I use Tinder. There, I said it. Amongst one of the first to hop on the ‘mobile hot or not’ bandwagon, I know full well how great it feels when the person you’ve been eyeing all semester finds you equally as attractive. It’s that little ego boost that keeps the app onyour phone, though most likely hidden within the depths of some folder on a second or third page. (Because even though everyone’s on it, you’d rather die than have anyone find out).

You’ll talk to a few people here and there, but you’ll pick a favorite. This person will have the same last name in your contacts as whoever else you deem worthy enough of your phone number, and that name will be “Tinder.” I mean, how else would you be able to distinguish “real people” from “Tinder people”? After all, it is through labels that we are able to make sense of the myriad of relationships we manage regularly, right?

Your ‘favorite’ will eventually be the reason you smile like a lunatic when your phone lights up on a random Tuesday. Eventually, you’ll meet up – and you hope to God that you didn’t just get “Catfished” into embarking on a date with someone not even Pauly D would touch. But just in case, you make sure that you have a backup. You open the app. Swipe right. Swipe right. Swipe right.

Begin date.

*He’s not as tall as I imagined he’d be.*

*That laugh. What is that laugh?*

*There’s a show on tonight that I’m missing. I don’t know what it is, but I wish I could be watching it.*

*Good thing I swiped left on someone else two hours ago*

How quick we become at picking out flaws, when we know full well that there are others next in line. It’s as simple as opening up the app again, and tilting your phone ever-so-slightly, so as to avoid having anyone notice what it is you’re doing.

Millennials take a bad rap for being “too” option-hungry. We’re known to crave this unlimited amount of possibilities; and personally, I have to guess that it’s because we find comfort and security in that grey area that gives us room to make mistakes, all while seeking new opportunity. After a while though of swimming through the uncertain, we come to realize that all we’ve been doing is avoiding seemingly permanent decision-making that really ISN’T so permanent. Are we a generation of commitment-phobes, or are we too distracted by the grey area we’re so lucky to have?

It’s hard to focus our attention on just one person without having a flaw radar whip out at the first thought that there’s someone else we could be sitting across from.

The game-fied casual flirting app is fun, and with the right intentions can lead to long-lasting relationships. Really, it’s happened! But if that is your end goal, and you’re not giving the person in front of you a fair enough chance – you will wind up as single as you started out as.


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