The Right Swipe Fantasy

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The meaning of the phrase, “you can’t judge a book by its cover” seems to be slowly fading thanks to dating apps like, Tinder, OkCupid, Grindr and Bumble. Profile pictures and witty bios dictate whether or not you’re worthy of a Starbucks date or a casual hookup. In the end, that pimple in your picture that you thought nobody would notice ends up being your demise. With a swift left swipe, you’ve been rejected.

Social media completely invaded the young adult dating scene. You begin to think you’ve really connected with that special someone until you creep on his likes and end up questioning everything you thought you knew. You stop talking to your boyfriend for a week just because he liked another girl’s picture on Instagram. Exchanging phone passwords is now one of the more intimate moments in a relationship. Social media can make or break a relationship, and miniscule things like not enough WCW’s or MCM’s can create huge problems.

With this, the question must be raised: Are we so immature that we let social media create problems with the ones we care about, or has social media made it easier to catch our S.O.’s infidelity?

We’ve evolved from getting to know each other over time and anticipating dates to periods of “talking” via text all day everyday. I fear our generation will never know that giddy feeling while getting ready for a first date or the joy when a boy picks you up at the door to take you to a nice dinner.

When you text a person all day long, you learn so many things about them and you know what they’ve been doing all day long; so what do you talk about on the first date? Do you even go on a first date, or was the first date exchanging numbers via Twitter DMs at a party so you can communicate casually all day long?

So many imaginary stages of dating have evolved over the past few years. Actually, “defining the relationship” is now a milestone. I once dated a boy who changed our status from “talking” to “in a relationship” every other day. No matter what the label on a given day though, things never actually changed between us.

People forget that titles don’t define a relationship. The actual connection you make with another person is the definition of the relationship. Now, we foster false ideas of stages before becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. We come up with new titles and levels of commitment to fit our daily wants and needs.

When my parents ask me about any new boys in my life, I know as soon as I say that I’m “talking” to someone that they won’t understand. To adults with real relationship experience, these pretend stages we created are humorous.

I personally have never used Tinder. Maybe it’s my fear of rejection or my lack of selfies for profile pictures, but I never had the heart to make one. As an outsider looking in, I can see the appeal and the popularity of it.

Sometimes you just want a person to talk to and give you attention because you’re going through a tough breakup and looking to fill that void or you’re looking for a hookup and the connection doesn’t extend any further than that. Boosts of confidence come from how many matches you have on Tinder, reassuring you that your ex is going to miss what he had because you’re a hot, in-demand commodity.

Social media and dating apps have no doubt made it easier talk to new people. It’s difficult in college to develop real relationships and make new connections.

The ease of online dating can be beneficial, but these days we’re abusing it. Technology is great, but to build a wholesome relationship you need human interaction as well. As a socially awkward person myself, I understand the struggle of introducing yourself to the cute lacrosse player who sits beside you in class.

As we’re all focused on schoolwork and responsibilities, we may not even see the time to start a new relationship with another person. It’d be much easier if we could just skip to the cuddling and binge-eating together phase—after all, isn’t that we all want the most anyways?

It’s still up for debate whether technology hurts or helps college relationships. The person you meet through Tinder, OkCupid or Bumble might end up being the love of your life, or they could end up tweeting at another girl when you’re “talking,” causing the relationship to crumble. Ultimately, if you’re looking for someone special to settle down with, steer clear of those people who consider sliding into Twitter DMs the most intimate form of contact.

Most importantly, make sure you’ve got perfect lighting for your Tinder selfie, a right swipe is at stake.

Writer. Far too sarcastic for my own good. Dad Music Enthusiast. Sophomore at Penn State studying Journalism.

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