Imagine a world in which single people could instantly be shown pictures of people within a few miles who fit within a certain age range. Ha ha: Surprise! That's America 2014.
Forty-five percent of you right now think I am an idiot because obviously you know that this is how it works these days. Can you believe this jerk doesn't know about Tinder, you are thinking to yourself right now, and God bless you for your knowledge. But, as 55 percent of you will understand, I am a guy in my late 30s who has been married for almost six years. I did not know about dating apps.
Until I saw Bravo's Online Dating Rituals of the American Male, a show on television that I watch because my wife enjoys watching Bravo and I am, as previously mentioned, married. On this show, horrible men hold their iPhones with a casual familiarity, swiftly moving through various photos of young women (and occasionally young men) saying mean or lewd things loud enough for the boom mics to pick up, sending idiotic messages to their prey, and then going out on dates and acting like buffoons. I am certainly familiar with the idea that dating is completely horrible and terrifying, but I was not familiar with the idea that this is how dates — stacks and stacks of dates, overlapping, horrible dates at terrible suburban bars — were set up. But that is How the Kids Do It Now, as a panel of kids (my adult-but-younger coworkers) explained to me in the manner that you might explain how the DVR works to your elderly grandparent.
So here's how dating works these days, fellow old people. It's a Brave New World, in the literal, literary sense that computers pick your matches for you.
Let's talk about what a cell phone is these days. It has 1) a camera, 2) a GPS receiver, and 3) the ability to send and receive text messages. And so some enterprising person somewhere said to himself, hey, I have an idea and created a thing called Tinder.