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The End of an Era

I love asking my parents, grandparents and strangers in public bathrooms how they met their partners. They met under sometimes the most unusual of circumstances, and others just in an everyday setting.  Their stories fascinate me, not just because of the romantic elements these stories possess, but in the fact that all these interactions resulting in two people being brought together came about due to a physical and chance interaction.

When I was in my early teens I recall conversations with my equally lame friends discussing our future husbands, how we would meet, how many kids we would have, how many Oscars he had won etc etc. All of these conversations, no matter how far fetched (Robert Pattinson please give me a call if you are reading this) all began with that first encounter. It could have been a subtle look from across the bar to two strangers sharing an umbrella in the rain, whatever the setting it always was the result of a in-person interaction.

Now in my early twenties these same friends, and every one else who doesn’t wish to die alone with their collection of cats  despite them being a dog person has opted to try online dating. Now there is nothing wrong with online dating, its a great and effective tool to meet a vast array of people that without you may not have had the opportunity to interact with, but are we really interacting?

I will be the first to put my hands up and admit I have tried out the online scene. There are hundreds of dating apps out there to try. There is everything from eHarmony to Elite singles all the way to local I personally opted for Tinder. Its popular, has a similar aged audience on it and most importantly its free, because who can put a price on love.

For instance, with Tinder, you pick a selection of pictures of yourself for people to decide if your pout is truly on point and are encouraged to write a short paragraph about yourself. Usually this consists of some deep meaningful comment like “Let’s recreate the human centipede and sew your mouth to my butthole” or “medium-small penis with extra large personality”. Yes these are hilarious and would definitively open the way for conversation but I cant help but think did our cavemen counterparts paint their nudes on walls?

So what has got my knickers in a twist about the online dating scene? Simple. The fact that, for the most part, every guy on there wants to see your Knickers, whether they be twisted or not. I’m not saying this is the case for all men, or that its specific to men because its not. My issue is the fact that the interaction takes place behind a screen which allows people to be different to how they would be in a real life social situation.

For instance you are at Christmas Eve Mass, the only time of year that you go because its J-boys birthday and your parents force you. You see someone in the aisle in front of you who immediately grabs your attention away from the choirs sweet ass remix of silent night. It finally comes to that time when you get to offer the sign of peace, normal socially aware you shakes the persons hand as if they could be potentially infected with Ebola and you want as little contact as possible, the brave may even make eye contact. But what if the behind screen you took over and you shake that persons hand, only this time you say something charming like “I use that hand to masturbate”? Do you think that’s appropriate or effective? And if it is well you’ve found yourself a keeper.

If you are reading this, and have tried online dating, be honest how many of you have had a conversation, where the guy, or girl you have been chatting to has been like what you wearing and your sitting in front of the TV watching re-runs of friends, sudocream on your face,wearing a pair of knickers your mum got you with a little bow on the front and legs so fluffy they could insulate an entire building and said your in lingerie, or wearing nothing at all. When the correspondence occurs behind a screen we are capable of being the best versions of ourselves, but are we being authentic and are the conversations genuine?

I’m not stupid not everyone who uses these apps are there to find real connections, I know that alot of people use Tinder etc as if it were Uber eats, where they essentially can go online and order sex, and are fortunate enough that unlike Uber they wont be rated upon their performance. However there are others who go on these sites with the primary aim to find someone they are compatible with.

Online dating does work, we see and hear about it everyday, and its becoming a more and more common and accepted phenomena. But why not go out there, step out from behind your filtered images and make real life connections. Shave your legs, or don’t who cares just remember that before super fast wifi people actually spoke in person and had more to bring to a conversation than Netflix and chill.

I’m not saying delete your apps entirely, just go out, be present and give your undoubtedly worn out thumb a well deserved break from swiping left and right.