Opinion | Connections, not COVID-19

Published by , Date: February 11, 2022
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As we come into our first Valentine’s Day that is feeling more normal than what became our new normal, there’s a much more diverse meaning of how you meet someone and build a romantic relationship.

In fall 2020, the last thing on most of our minds was finding someone for cuffing season. Even though most of us still wanted that cozy connection, we didn’t want that COVID-19 connection.

With the closure of most places where you would go to meet someone, we were left with our best and only option: dating apps. These apps can be amazing in connecting people who have never met in person, while also providing a safe way to connect people during a time of intense disconnect.

While all of that is so great, it can and did have some negative outcomes as well. For example, how it enriched the rapid spread of COVID-19 that certainly resulted in catastrophic damages.

Aside from the contribution to COVID-19, the mass utilization of these platforms resulted in issues involving social anxiety, self-perception, self-value and issues surrounding the ultimate foundation of a relationship: trust.

After you meet someone on one of these apps, most people have trust issues for any period after because the fear of the unknown is heavier than the lust for the known.

Anyone could easily still be using the app and talking to other matches while they are talking to you and even after you’ve met. There really is no way of knowing. So, how can your mind fight this anxious feeling when it doesn’t have the safety of the knowledge that comes with getting to know someone in person and getting a good idea of their priorities and intentions.

Not to mention the impulse that you must keep swiping and messaging after worrying about if the other person is giving in to their impulses, too.

This is a result of the culture that has assimilated within these apps: hookup culture.

Hookup culture, I believe, has always existed, but it really hasn’t been so commercialized until now. Before COVID-19, hookup culture mainly existed after meeting someone at the club. But with the virtual commercialization of romance and sex during COVID-19, it allowed anyone to swipe through endless faces just because they were feeling a certain type of way at the moment.

Ultimately, this just propels the ideas of emotional manipulation and dissociation, all along with self-perception and value issues that truly have no just cause.

Apps like Tinder have become a marketplace for love, and the simple fact is that love cannot be manipulated and marketed. In recent times, these apps have begun to implement new strategies to fight these issues.

Tinder has implemented a series called “Date Night,” where you can add some specific attributes to your personality, as well as other features, like linking your Spotify and social media accounts. This is all to balance the scale between a marketplace of looks with a marketplace of personalities.

In the end, I’m not going to sit here and type this pretending that, one, I don’t use these apps, or two, that you shouldn’t or wouldn’t use these apps. Rather, I am going to challenge myself, and you, if you’re reading this, to continue using these apps, but use them with more cognition and more consideration.

Trust me, ladies, he might have a six-pack, but that doesn’t mean he has at least six manners. And guys, just because she’s wearing a sports bra, that doesn’t mean she is constantly hungry for sex. Try complimenting her smile instead of her bra, and see how much stronger of a connection you’ll feel.

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