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*Disclaimer: All names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals.
The author did not identify herself as a reporter for The Daily, and no conversations have been recorded without consent.
However, like many stories go, his unkempt facial hair didn’t quite mirror the carefully vetted photos on his profile — and his bio’s claim that he had studied across Asia didn’t actually materialize itself into a cultured personality.
On “paper” (online), we had common interests in travel, literature and art museums — but when discussing in depth and in person, we realized how vague “commonalities” were really just dissimilarities.
Our lack of connection wasn’t necessarily due to a deficiency on my or their part.
Rather, it was simply a lack of social and dispositional compatibility that a mobile app couldn’t possibly discern with six photos and a three-line bio. While all the apps paired by proximity, Hinge took similarity-pairing to another level — matching based on mutual Facebook friends — forming connections that could very well be made in person in real life.
My Bumble, Hinge, Ok Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel dates all ensued in a similar fashion — with men where there was fleeting cyber infatuation, but little chemistry in real life.
As freshmen, my friends and I giggled abashedly as we downloaded the app, only to swipe sarcastically, we affirmed.
Though we stood proudly as anti-slut shamers, we turned a side-eye to those who prowled for casual sex, and even more for long-term relationships.
My coffee date with Patrick*, a 23-year-old recent University grad who shared few acquaintances, didn’t incite any romantic sparks, but we found a platonic affability from which we could keep in touch as friends.
After Ok Cupid and Coffee Meets Bagel, I’d seen many of the same men across the different apps. On day five, I explored Bumble, an app founded by Whitney Wolfe, the sole female co-founder of Tinder, one year after she sued her original company for sexual harassment.