Ebony Stansfield selfie
Ebony Stansfield selfie Ebony Stansfield

Swiping to the bottom of the barrel

GROWING up in the era with the world at our fingertips has its perks and definitely also has its downfalls.

When I moved a couple hundred kilometres away for this job, completely unattached, I never thought I would be the one resorting to use of a dating app.

On a hot summer's day I decided to get a taste of the action and took the plunge into the fickle world of online dating apps.

In one month of using the app I had 150 matches, however it didn't make me feel any sort of way.

In the six months I went on one date with an American who was backpacking across Australia from the app, and luckily it wasn't a bad experience. We had dinner and hung out a couple of times after that. But, just because I escaped the doom and gloom of bad dates it doesn't mean other people haven't.

Dating apps don't really have the best reputation in finding the fairytale dream-like love story but is more of a place where you can easily meet people or 'hook-up'.

The issue I have with dating apps, is it can make people seem disposable. Online dating apps are a place where you can meet whoever, and present yourself in a way you control to a tee.

The eye of the beholder can choose to swipe either left or right only influenced by their looks. You are merely presented with a couple of photos, a cheeky bio and sometimes their employment.

We were always taught to not judge a book by its cover but online dating is asking exactly that, where you can swipe left and say goodbye forever, if the person isn't to your tastes.

 

SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT: Some examples of Tinder correspondence
SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT: Some examples of Tinder correspondence Ebony Stansfield

If you enjoy their attractiveness you can swipe right, but if they don't reciprocate the attraction it doesn't matter because there is so many people out there, like a conveyor belt or a never-ending escalator. It's easy, simple and lacks emotion.

I think that's definitely how dating apps got the reputation as the place to meet up for one-night stands and no strings attached scenarios. It's just a click away.

Another thing that these apps do is fuel the mentality that you can speak to someone anyway you please, which you wouldn't dare to in 'real life', hiding behind a sheet of anonymity.

 

SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT: Some examples of Tinder correspondence.
SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT: Some examples of Tinder correspondence. Ebony Stansfield

The kinds of messages I have received are worrying and at the same time humorous. I think the everyday 'send nudes', 'porn jokes about my name', 'sex jokes' was just something I got used to on the apps. I found the more I used the apps, the more often I felt desensitized towards others and their 2D image on the phone screen.

Gone are the days where you can go and have a decent conversation in a pub or a park or a library, where everyone is too scared to strike up a conversation in public or too 'lazy', especially when they could just swipe right on a dating app.

I don't think I am ever going to find the person I am meant to 'fall in love' with, or want to spend my life with through the fickle world of online dating but that won't be without trying.



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