It Takes 7 Seconds to Like Someone: The Flaw with OkCupid, Tinder
“You should blog about your Tinder dates,” he wrote. “I’ll be your first subject.”
“You’d either have to be the weirdest guy or the love of my life to be worth writing about,” I replied.
“Damn Kim, so much pressure.”
When we first meet someone, it only takes us 7 seconds to judge them. To decide whether there’s a connection, whether we like them, how we feel about them. That’s how long it takes.
“It’s not a conscious process, so we don’t even realise [sic] we’re doing it – but it goes back to our primitive roots when we couldn’t afford to make wrong decisions,” Linda Blair, clinical psychologist and author of Straight Talking tells the Daily Mail.
I’ve decided the eternal flaw to online ‘dating’ is that it is a waste of time. Literally, it takes us more time than it otherwise would to decide how we feel about someone. When we meet someone in real life for the first time, we know immediately if we’re interested, or how they make us feel. These first impressions are what prompt us to Google them, and request Follows on Instagram and Friend them on Facebook, which may lead to messaging, and a progression of the relationship. That’s the natural order of things (courtship in the 21st century).
The problem with meeting someone online:
‘Dating’ websites like OkCupid and Tinder are all about marketing. The people who have the most success are those who display the best photographs and have the most interesting profiles. But as we all know, you could be the ugliest person in the world and still take a good photograph if you find the correct angle, filter, and Photoshop tool.
On Tinder, for every 100 guys I swiped Left, I only swiped Right about 5 times. I probably would’ve spoken to most of those 100 guys had we met in person. Usually, I think that if a guy has a good personality, and he’s fun to be around, he doesn’t have to be the best looking dude. But, I can’t ascertain that from a photograph, especially when most guys aren’t good at finding their angles or are simply not photogenic. And, I’m not going to waste my time messaging 100 guys to find one with a personality.
What if you are able to connect with someone online? Well, the problem with getting to know someone through a series of messages, emails and even phone conversations is that it doesn’t equate to real life face-to-face interaction.
“What’s your idea of the perfect date?” he’d written.
“Road trip down the Pacific coast. Or road trip anywhere,” I wrote.
“Lol what if we find out we hate each other during the middle of the road trip. Like you keep touching the radio while I’m driving,” he wrote.
“As long as you don’t have a problem with the A/C on and the windows open at the same time.”
“I don’t know if we can do this road trip,” he wrote. “Are you always late for stuff? That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine. Like if I said be ready by 8. We’re leaving for the road trip.”
“We’re never going to work out…”
“And you’d probably still be rolling around in your bed.”
“I’ve been late my whole life.”
“Getting tanning oil everywhere.”
“Should’ve swiped left. We’re all wrong for each other,” I wrote.
We’d connected on Tinder. He was one of the few matches who actually seemed to have a personality. There was an ease about our banter. I was a sucker for dreamers and lofty ideas. The problem though, is from a few hours of conversation, I found myself filling in the gaps and projecting upon him an idea of the person I thought he was. That’s what we do sometimes. That’s the danger when you spend hours upon hours talking to someone, without really knowing who and how they are in real life because more often than not, your projection isn’t who they are.
So, often, someone is disappointed when the real life meeting happens. Either the photographs don’t match up, the personality wasn’t exactly what you had perceived, or the spark simply isn’t there. And then, all those days, weeks, and months are scratched.
(Of course, there’s always a chance that, that guy you found on OkCupid or Tinder ends up being the love of your life, but that’s probably because you got lucky. It could’ve happened anywhere.)
After a few weeks, I deleted my accounts, permanently. I decided that instead of using Tinder to ease my boredom, I was going to go out and try new activities (and get Netflix). I’m also working on smiling more… and being open. Whatever that means.
I figure, practicing these life skills might get me somewhere. Who knows. Anything can happen.