I used to go out to bars and parties and imagine that I would lock eyes with someone from across the room, a stare which lingers for the magic moment too long. I would be dancing and back into someone and actually be pleased when they’d spilt they’re beer on me, not another girl in her best LBD, an excuse, a hello.
Lately the only thing I’ve gotten in a bar is a shot of tequila and extremely inappropriately groped. On the dance floor I spend most of my time performing a cat and mouse trying to keep away from which ever Neanderthal has decided the ‘go to’ move is to grind shamelessly against whichever part of my body he can get the closest to whilst beckoning to his friends to move in for support. I think it’s meant as a kind of Shepparding affect, shepparding a girl straight off the dance floor and into bed, obviously.
Instead I lay awake in my own bed, not quite alone because for as long as I have a decent internet connection and opposable thumbs, I can scroll my way through a catalogue of suitors. No awkward dance floor antics, inappropriate grouping, or painful heels.
Tinder is the latest dating craze sweeping its way through the iphone’s of the single, lonely and hopelessly hopeful. It allows the user to judge and ditch with a swift left swipe. Or give a virtual green light with a ‘Right Swipe’. A phrase which has now inadvertently found it's way into my Saturday night girl code, for ‘he’s Hot’. As in: ‘He’s hot, I’d Right Swipe the hell out of him’… I never said it was witty.
Whilst Tinder is fun and springs a new element of convenience and shallowness on the dating world, I have to wonder, where does it go from the ‘Right Swipe?’
Well usually straight to generic small talk. Suddenly it’s just like being in a bar accept he’s not eyeing up my cleavage, instead my 5 most recent profile pictures automatically chosen by tinder, another convenient trait of the app for the lazy single.
Next if you really hit it off and you get past the obligatory ‘Good weekend?’ usually the opener, you may want to exchange, not numbers, but Surnames. It’s time to take a snoop on your Right Swipes personal add, otherwise known as his Facebook Profile Page.
I know it’s all meant to be a little harmless flirtation but what I worry about is when reality meets the virtual world. By this I don’t even mean meeting 'Mr Right Swipe'. I’m talking about the likelihood that next time I’m really out at a bar instead of enjoying the company of the real people in the room, I’ll be scanning through Tinder. And isn’t that just wrong?
Have we forgotten how to communicate in real life? It certainly isn’t done with a grab of the ass or by herding up your Neanderthal buddies.
When my Nan and Granddad met, who were of course together for over 50 years, they just happened to sit next to each other in a cinema. I say happen to, the story actually goes that my Granddad was already sitting with his best friend in the darkened theatre. But they always kept a spare seat between them. A spare seat left vacant in hope of female company. Enter my Nan and friend. Actually, not my Nan. Back then a beautiful young woman of 17 rocking a Marilyn cut and red lips to match. She askes politely if my Granddad wouldn’t mind moving along. He didn’t, and nor did he mind. Instead he moved out, leaving two empty seats. My Nan and her friend sat down. And that was that.
How’s that for a meet cute? And before Harry had even heard of Sally.
Now, must we expect so much less? Should we accept that dating and eventually love is a cold numbers game and the more you swipe the more likely you are to find a ‘Match’?
But then, we are the 'just add water' generation. We feast on ready, take out, pierce the lid and go instead of home cooked meals. We’re in such a rush. Swiping too fast, how can we really see what we’re looking for?
That’s why 'Mr Right Swipe' is not going to be my next Mr Right.
Although of course if you’re just looking to get laid…
…To be continued.