Account created my curiosity was just so that I would think about it a lot but use it very seldom. It still felt wrong. So casual and flippant, urging you to judge people by the glimpse you were afforded of their appearance or personality.
Unable to help myself I would judge people for their choice of pose or camera-angle, on a small biological quirk, the prominence of their features, on the small details in the background, the untidiness of a bedroom reflected in a mirror, or how intimidating their friends look.
I would cringe for them, and then myself, knowing that someone is making these same judgements about me. Now that my profile was live it could be happening at any given moment. As I wake up someone is repelled by the size of my eyebrows, jumping in the shower someone mocks me to a crowd of peers about how deranged I sound in my description, as I drift through the ennui of my new single life, someone I know dissects my profile, taking screengrabs and sharing it with everyone else I know, laughing together, all of them in unison, all before I’ve even had my fucking breakfast.
In an effort to restore some balance, and wishfully create some karmic reciprocity, I would pay respect to each profile, give each person the time and consideration before swiping them away. But still, swiping. So churlish a gesture. If only I could bow an apology to those I don’t see a connection with – this could only be facilitated by the fingertips of prayer-met hands pressing against the screen, dragged down and over as I dip my head and deliver a compliment about the way they wear the hair or something.
I’m new to dating. Every relationship I’d had until now had grown out of friendships or friends of friends. Never set up so much as meeting and talking, and then deciding to keep meeting and talking until we run out of conversation; or feel complete disdain for each other and the people we had become. All healthy character building though ay.
I once asked for a girl’s number at school – written on a scrap of paper which I treated as a medal of my bravery, to be kept as a reminder and never actually called. I once worked up the courage to ask out a stranger but as luck would have it she was busy – an extraordinary turn of bad luck considering that I didn’t specify a date or time.
Since then I’ve stumbled and fallen into a handful of relationships clocking in at a total of around 12 years. Almost half of my life spent attached to someone. Now I’ve reemerged like a prisoner of yesteryear into a world that has changed so much that I’m a little overwhelmed by it’s rules and games.
I don’t have social media and have been away from it long enough to find it a little alien. The ability to cherrypick ones online identity, what you choose to show, accentuate or completely erase makes me feel very uncomfortable. I cannot take a selfie with any degree of seriousness, or use hashtags without wincecringing. I have gotten as far asusing a handful of emojis, though I most definitely use them incorrectly and have been known to misinterpret them on the other end. Suffice to say I’m a little backwards when it comes to this form of communication, which as it turns out, is the bedrock of online dating.
I can appreciate the idea of online dating but this side of it is hard to overcome.
Since my sudden singledom I have become obsessed and so this seemed like just another cleverly designed distraction. Surrounded by people who use these apps, evangelists to the cause, I was convinced to join, or rather they did it for me.