Not so long ago, a tweet went viral narrating a certain gentleman’s experience in taking part in a prank that brought hundreds of men to Union Square and pitted them against each other in a Hunger Games-style competition for the attention of their Tinder match. While the mastermind of the prank, 22-year-old New Yorker Natasha Aponte, received a lot of backlash for the stunt, the social experiment perfectly showcased the superficiality of choices we make in online dating and sparked conversations on how we should be treating each other on dating apps and websites.
I have been on various dating apps like Tinder and Bumble for nearly five years now, swiping right and left the way I would browse for shoes online. While my interactions with men have been mostly pleasant, my recent experiences can confirm that online dating has changed the norm — and not in a good way.
I met an Australian guy on Bumble who I spent weeks getting to know and having great conversations with. Just when I thought we had a genuine connection, he tells me that all he really wanted was to hook up.
The dating apocalypse has arrived, welcome to hookup culture. With so many options literally at the tip of your finger, who has time to date? You’ll be surprised at the number of times immediately after matching with someone that I’ve been invited over to hookup. I often ponder on the amount of people who accept similar propositions for it to be a normal thing to say to a stranger. “Don’t you want to get to know me first?” I ask, a question that’s usually responded to with a swift unmatch or a brief, “What for?”
Then again, investing time in getting to a person isn’t any better if the end game is the same. Dating apps have made people more open and direct about their desire for casual sex — at least people are having these conversations, right?
Part of online dating’s supposed appeal is the anonymity that dating outside your circle offers. Unfortunately, it is also what encourages people to behave badly towards people they’ve met through the apps. The influx of dating apps that gave rise behaviors such as “ghosting,” a term for when someone suddenly ends a relationship without explanation by withdrawing from all communication.