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Modern Dating in the Digital Age

Dating Apps’ Impact Time Efficiency


Have you ever tried dating apps? I bet you have. Why not, right? It’s convenient, fun and it’s actually gratifying especially to our millennial audience – I for one.

It’s right there, on your phone with just a few clicks away from installing. Undeniably, it is fun swiping left and right and getting matches in minutes. An instant chemical release of Dopamine. Such a good feeling to have a few people or should I say a lot liking you, but let’s go beyond the surface. Farther than ice-breakers and getting to know conversations. I know what you’re thinking, it’s a long way but sit tight. We are going deep. Diving into dating apps is like a grand buffet with different cuisines. Everyone’s excited at first – trigger-happy those photos popping out your screen. I can remember those days that made my self-entitlement shoot up the sky. A booster to my melancholic days.

But let me ask – are they all easy-flowing conversations or some are just dull and hardly replying with a 1-3 word phrase? So I guess, you narrowed down your collection to a few knowledgeable people you connect with. Spending 2-3 days and almost everyone is fading with all sorts of excuses or in today’s term, ghosting. Such a popular word and people seem to be desensitized by it. Some say it's pragmatic but some say it’s unethical. Either way, time has been wasted when things go south. Surely, we all have to shortlist potential mates at some point, right? Prolonging and consuming more & more time replying to every single one. Did you do the math on this? It’s cumulative especially with texting. Try it sometime and you’ll get my point. Looking at chances, you’ll never know – if all information was handed to you with whatever sweet colorful sprinkles off of their lips to have a good facade then probability is very low. It’s biased. It’s a risk we are willing to take, at least for the ones swiping at the moment.

Thought to hear out a man’s perspective to scale it’s balance and it turns out, stress levels and mental exhaustion for him were immense too. It reminded me that it’s not only women who hold the shorter stick at the end of each bargain.

A creative man working 10 hours on weekdays in his early 30’s tried dating apps for more than a month - Bumble, Hinge, Cupid, you name it. He has been laying down his carpet rolls on these apps to get a good partner – a conversationalist, a rainbow added to his mundane, a person to grow with, whatever more he thinks to meet his qualifications. As everyone knows how it goes – swiping, chatting, videocall (if that’s even included to your security) and then meet up. If and only if it gets to that point. This is just the breakdown and not merely actually dating them. The minutes turn to hours, to days, to weeks and before you know it, it’s a month or so. Go ahead and do addition on all time spent on messages and the thoughts of what is the perfect and interesting response to this sentence and then multiply it to the number of people you are talking to. I know you spend different durations for each one but just on the average. Afterwards, hypothetically, it all doesn’t work out. Do you follow me?

Back to the tech guy – I asked why it was so stressful for him. He shrugged and said, “imagine if we get to meet up right away instead of chatting for days or even weeks. It would have saved me a lot of time. With my age and busy schedule, I would appreciate that and if we’re the same, I bet she would too.” He went on talking about the huge disparity of texting with being beside the person; walking along the streets and seeing a good Japanese restaurant to suggest or complimenting her shoes to start up a light conversation. “It's more personable when you’re on the actual date. It’s easier to gauge their personality— more interaction.”, explaining himself more. This also speaks of the human senses. In messages, you only know the content and the flow of conversation. In phone calls, it adds a person's tonality, hearing the intonations of one’s statement. In Video calls, it includes facial expressions and reactions – close enough to having a real date. Yet, still limited and leaving people unsatisfied since we all know eventually, meeting up is the focal point, the lack of intimacy is still prominent. Factors like body language, ambiance, series and continuity of moments in one night, the sharing of unsaid chemistry, the creation of having to see, feel, hear, smell (or even taste) the same environment and so on. All that stimulates bodily senses are what people are yearning for. “The thing over dating apps is you can be whoever you want to be. I have talked to countless women and I went out with several. They are all not exactly as I would have thought when we were chatting. It’s not necessarily bad but I experienced all sorts of insane instances. Catfishing is one.” Raising another stressor for this topic. Predatory females and males don’t filter. They are everywhere and if you are naive enough, you can be the prey no matter how cautious you are.

Many interesting vantage points. Not to mention the lifestyle in California and other fast-paced states, it really does matter. Meeting up doesn’t mean getting laid immediately but to establish the immediate sense of energy awareness towards each other and to answer your initial mystery question, is there a connection that we can begin with? It’s always that spark that gives you that leaning inch towards having another date with him/her, right?

“It’s like an added obstacle to dating. My grandparents didn’t have this and it worked out.” he added. Dabbling into this has complexity and this is another one in the branch, the culture of old school. Many are brought up traditionally and by living in a modern type of literally “speed dating” makes everything uncomfortable and forces us to adjust how technology evolves. Yes, he’s right but a lot of marriages failed too. However, the point being made by the man was that the time spent is not equivalent to even a fair probability of finding a compatible partner. For him it’s having a folded handkerchief tied around his eyes and aiming for a bullseye up in the air and saying, I might hit it. We heard a lot of success Dating apps stories, hilarious ones and even unusually weird ones – excellent for them. Added to someone’s memories and experience. Maybe our consolation from the trials and errors but seeing this matter objectively, we cannot reverse time and whatever we spent, it’s either you take it as learning and move to the next one or a tiny step closer to hopelessness. As if adulthood is not hard enough to deal with. If only we age backwards and just count only the knowledge we gain. Sounds so good, doesn’t it? But in general if that’s the case, failure will not be as important if time and age can be maneuvered easily. Because then, it is pointless to consider those in this context. Well, that was just a dip of our toes in saying we value time and for some, being in a vicious cycle like dating apps is mentally debilitating.

Question remains, Is Dating Apps really a convenience or just another hurdle in the chain of dating into finding “the one” quickest? Ironic, isn’t it?

Written by Pamela Yanga

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch


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