Let's be real, dating in 2016 is pretty fvcking weird. Most people who are looking for a potential partner have either tried online dating, or at least considered it. For those of you who fall into either of those categories, it's very important for you to know what you're getting into before you download the apps.
The first thing you should know about online dating is that you don't fully get to control the first impression you're making, unless you monitor all forms of social media extremely carefully. Take Tinder for example - all first impressions will be based on the 5 photos you have curated from your Facebook. After that someone may take a quick look at your bio, or your Instagram photos if you have linked the account. Sure, sometimes this works out really well. Especially if your photos are flattering, and your bio is clever. Although there isn't a surefire way to show off your personality, or even your looks in a 100% accurate way online.
Millennials are constantly fixated on the number of likes, comments, and right swipes they get. And to be honest, it sucks. The fact that we are given numbers of how many people think we are physically appealing makes it way too easy for us to compare ourselves to our peers. This is especially problematic because the playing fields aren't always level. Just because you have a lot of followers, and by default receive a larger number of likes, does not mean you're any more good looking than the person who likes to have a smaller social circle and gets 11 likes.
Our friends at The New York Times & The American Psychological Association recently did a study that reported that "Tinder users had lower levels of self-worth, reported being less satisfied with their faces and looks and were more ashamed of their bodies. They were also more likely to think of themselves as sexual objects, to internalize societal ideals about beauty, to compare their appearances to others and to constantly monitor how they looked."
This brings up the next problem with online dating; you can only believe half the shit people say online. There are so many different memes and article online regarding the crazy/offensive pickup lines used daily on dating apps. These messages are exchanged so often that they are almost expected, which is totally not okay. Nobody should think its "normal" or "humorous" to be completed sexualized within the first two exchanges of a conversation. You probably wouldn't just ignore someone if they came up to you in a bar and told you they want to "destroy that pu*sy", where as online you might just silently unmatch from them. Apart from creepy messages, people also straight up lie about so many things online. There is a good chance that they're teeth aren't as white as they are in their pictures, that dog isn't even theirs, and the car they are posing in front of belongs to their uncle's best friend.
And don't get me wrong, online dating is equally shitty for guys. There are way more guys using online dating sites, which can ultimately result in very few matches. This can be extremely detrimental to someone's self esteem, and make them totally rethink their standards when it comes to looking for a partner.
Even if you're an avid online dater, maybe it's time to uninstall the app for a couple weeks, and remind yourself how awesome you truly are.
So in short:
-Make sure you know what you're getting into
-Don't take anything too seriously
-Your number of likes does not determine how hot you are
-Don't be an asshole online if you wouldn't be an asshole in person
-Actually, just never be an asshole in general.