In this strange and complex world, we should look for connection wherever it can be found.
As technology continues to develop itself in this wild age of ingenuity and invention, many parts of human life are being affected in ways that couldn’t have possibly been anticipated—and love is most certainly included in that.
The vast array of dating apps now offered to us are starting to play a key role in how we approach modern relationships. I am hearing more and more people say how they met their partner on Tinder, and this has caught my attention. It is a strange shift in the romantic world, that we now have access to meeting a whole host of people online just by swiping left or right, rather than having to go out and try our luck at a bar or something.
My take on social media has always been that it is simply a tool; it is defined by how we use it. I don’t believe it works to change or modify our essential nature—instead, it acts as a reflection of how we already are. For instance, a shallow person will use Tinder or Facebook in a shallow way, and someone with more depth will be more likely to use social media in a more meaningful way. It all depends on how we use it.
Not long ago, a friend of mine recommended that I get on Tinder after a rough patch in my romantic life.
I had my reservations about online dating and was very resistant to making an account. It always seemed superficial to me, like some piece of humanity was missing from it. I always liked the idea that I would meet someone through a chance encounter—my eyes would lock with those of a stranger, and we would immediately engage in a profound and spontaneous conversation that would lead to a lifelong connection on a spiritual level.
Of course, oftentimes, people prefer to scrounge for a connection, wherever it can be found, rather than waiting for such a momentous encounter.
In spite of my initial hesitations, I set up a Tinder account.
It didn’t take long before I realized it was pretty entertaining playing around with the possibility of spending time with all of these women and imagining what they might be like. As enjoyable as it was to hide behind the screen of an iPhone while envisioning all of the possibilities, I knew that eventually I’d need to go out and meet these people if I was really to get the most out of this experience and possibly get over my previous heartache.
To my surprise, the dates that I went on were incredibly interesting and didn’t seem to be affected by the fact that they were initiated online. Once the relationship became “real,” in the sense of meeting and interacting with this person, I had pretty much forgotten that we had met on Tinder. It just didn’t seem to matter all that much after engaging in a real-world conversation.
Most of the judgments we make about people in the first few moments of meeting them are pretty superficial anyways, as a matter of necessity, so it doesn’t seem obvious that there is something wrong with determining our romantic interest by a few pictures and a couple sentences. It is the direct experience of the other person that really matters, and something like Tinder opens the door to having these kinds of direct experiences with all sorts of people that we wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise.
Tinder gives us more options, and options are good.
Going on these blind dates with all of these different women ended up being a deeply positive experience for me. It has helped me round out my personality and really strengthen my sense of identity by exposing myself to all of these new situations.
We learn about ourselves in relationship to other people, especially intimate relationships. Something like Tinder gives us the opportunity to expose ourselves to potentially life-changing relationships—and thereby, gives us access to developing a greater understanding of ourselves and what we really want.
It worked for me, so that’s all I can really say.
The newest wave of social media can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how we use this media. It is our responsibility to ride this wave effectively, maturely, and with love in our hearts.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Unsplash/Felipe Luiz
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis