In what I’m sure is everyone’s current favorite binge-able Netflix show, Master of None, Dev and his token white friend Arnold are hanging out in Arnold’s gloriously unrealistic Brooklyn apartment, trying to decide what to eat for lunch. After a bit of back and forth, the two finally decide on (what I immediately knew to be the obvious choice) tacos. In proper millennial fashion, Dev turns to the almighty internet to find THE ABSOLUTE BEST TACO in Brooklyn as opposed to walking outside to wander around a bit and find one.
Dev’s obsessively maniacal Google search for a simple taco at lunchtime directly parallels the core dilemma of trying to find someone to date in the year 2015. There are way too many options, way too much information, and in the end, you end up with the most obvious choice that’s probably not available to you in the way you want it to be (the place Dev and Arnold finally chose ended up being closed, sad face).
Let’s say you take an interest in someone you met on one of the many online dating services that are tucked away in some secret folder on your phone. You appreciated the composition of their profile photos and found their “Live life to the fullest” tagline to be endearing. However, you need more. In our fast food style age of dating, we want all the facts now before we go and waste our time with someone who might possibly not be as into Game of Thrones or trolling random subreddits as we are. We need perfection immediately; we don’t have time to get to know someone and build a solid relationship over time. Netflix is putting out magnificent original content on the regular, so our weekends are already pretty occupied.
After we Facebook, Instagram, and, possibly, LinkedIn-stalk to make sure this person has a good job, cool interests, and is actually as attractive as they portray themselves to be on their dating profile, we proceed to do the online back & forth of ‘fake’ getting to know someone whom we already know everything about. But even then we’re distracted. We’re simultaneously messaging this possible new flame while live-tweeting the latest episode of GOT and downloading the latest Adele album (which, btw, is amazing). In that moment, what can the other person really say to hold our attention? What chance do they have? In a seemingly normal conversation with a possible new flame, if nothing overly-simulating is being discussed than the possible relationship may, unfortunately, end as quickly and as shallow as it began: through text. And the cycle continues because we just know there is something better. Day in and day out, there are new matches, new messages and the never-ending thirst to be overly-stimulated. There is always a paradox of choice, mixed with this weird FOMO and in the end, no one stands a chance.
Now, I would be remiss not to mention that according to the almighty Pew Research Center, 2 out of 3 people who use online dating tools actually go on dates. “So you could look at it like, oh, well, there’s an insane amount of love that would not even be there had it not been for these things,” said Aziz Ansari in a recent interview with NPR discussing his new book Modern Love. However, if just getting a date is the end goal then of course, Tinder your life away. What I’m talking about is the forming of a magnetic bond between two people that produces trust, respect, and love. What used to be a drawn out meal at a Michelin-star restaurant where every flavor in each plate was savored and enjoyed, has become a rampant search for a mere al pastor taco at a taco truck. But maybe I’m asking for too much, I mean, I like tacos, doesn’t everybody? But when something (or someone) becomes so easy to obtain that it goes without earning is it still worth it? Until we find out, we’ll just keep swiping left on taco truck tacos.