I recently spent a few weeks back on the gram (IG—not anything in the Breaking Bad sense).
The setback was a reminder that this is a process to navigate much like any other toxin one wishes to rid themselves of. Your system is so used to the rhythm of it, you don’t even realize you’ve slipped up and away again. The urge still lingers.
What is it about our handheld vices that continues to drive its need? Is it envy? Gluttony? Or maybe this is just a Seven Deadly Sins adaption into the mainstream.
To get personal, I feel the answer is our need to feel wanted outweighing our other urges. We as beings have a constant want of companionship, to feel rooted to something, or to someone.
If one looks at how this generation maintains friendships or relationships, it is reliant on the tangles of the web (vintage term for internet). Birthdays are forgotten without Facebook notifications and dating starts on an app, instead of a bar or coffee shop like the places of yesteryear. The fabled stories of our parents generation.
I recently jumped back into the incredibly intimidating and now superficial realm of “dating” via swipe. This is where my generation lives now.
If you’re told not to “play where you work” or converse with strangers at a bar then by all means strangers on a screen seems “normal enough”…
All the eligible bachelors of the city aren’t waiting at the nearest Starbucks to swoop you off your feet. They are scrolling through your curated content on their iPhone’s to see if your genetically blessed enough for a date/meet & greet.
As if dating and first dates weren’t already a minefield, we are now the vainest generation around only concerned with our match, looking like his poorly taken or oddly professional profile photo (whose taking your pictures, do you have a personal photog following you around?!).
So if your meet-up worthy with your right swiped “so and so”; you also have to mentally catalog every half-hearted conversation, to ensure you haven’t mixed up Jim the lawyer with Charlie the entrepreneur.
It’s like the 90’s old-school MTv dating shows where bachelor 1, 2, and 3 hid behind a partition, asking you sly questions about your life and first date preferences, except there are 20 other guys, and your just trying not to get 21st century cat-fished, or tell your potential a fun fact about a different guy because you cant remember the details of your initial chat.
It’s a romantic Rolodex and the death of organic relationships.
These days you can even make friends by swipe, instead of just going out of your house and meeting people the normal way (how passé).
So while we already feel the need to fill our companionship void, we are just digging a deeper hole.
The unfortunate truth is if your the type who just wants to meet a decent guy and every decent guy would rather play his odds with a tinder match—your S.O.L and soberly single. The same goes for the ladies.
You’re curating your curated content, for a 150 character bio and your 6 best looks with hope that the NFL player you came across on Bumble will think you’re worthy of a response. A real confidence booster.
We end up subconsciously manipulating ourselves, as to what is the best version of us just to seem interesting enough “on paper”(again a passé term meaning on screen for the kiddos).
Its a half-way dystopian reality of what our parents never wanted for us, but we are all so lost in our handheld boxes and precise taglines to really enjoy the world around us.
We never feel fulfilled, or truly happy because society keeps unleashing the next best thing. It’s a consumerism hamster wheel in itself, because the next best thing is a modern day case of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’.