It’s so easy to blame the breakdown of everything on technology. Kids not reading enough? Blame it on the internet. Teens getting pregnant? Blame it on television shows. Kids getting headaches? Kaka-kompyuter mo ‘yan, your mother will most likely say. And right now, our mentors and guardians’ new favorite thing to whine about is the emergence of dating apps, because hey hey! They’re killing romance, they say.
Tinder is the most popular dating app today, blowing up since its launch in 2012. With more than 50 million downloads and 26 million matches every 24 hours, Tinder has made a reputation of being the fast food of online dating. It’s continuously growing, with more features and even more users. Just recently, the app added Super Like and Spotify features, because you know, a like isn’t enough and music is a great way to judge people apart from profile photos.
Just last year, BBC presenter and historian Lucy Worsley claimed that romance is dying out because dating apps make it “too easy” for couples to enter relationships. “How could Jane Austen have written her novels about the slow, exquisite torture of love in an age of Grindr and Tinder, when bored singletons search for one-night stands with a few clicks of their mobiles?” she asks.
Tinder making it too easy? Well, it definitely wasn’t easy spending more than an hour helping my friend decide which of her photos is the best for her Tinder profile, not to mention spending even more time crafting the perfect “about me.” Composing a perfectly flirty text for the cutie who’s 2.3 km away is nowhere near the vicinity of easy.
It’s funny how this rise of dating apps has fueled the concept of “lazy and entitled millennials”even more. Word on the street is, millennials are too lazy to date. Courtship is dead because they’d much rather “Netflix and chill.” And phone calls? Too tedious. Why be in a relationship when you can be hooking up. Right?
But here’s the thing: Dating apps haven’t really changed anything. And romance is still very much alive. I should know. I’m 21 years old, happily in a Facebook-official relationship for almost two years. And guess what? Our relationship started and developed online. Twitter was Cupid’s chosen channel for us, and two years on, and I still have all the kilig, flowers and chocolates that I need.
The only thing dating apps have done is to speed up the dating process, because let’s be real here: in this crazy fast world, no one has the time for star-crossed love affairs anymore.
Just because most young couples today first talk on Tinder, OKCupid, Grindr or whatever dating app there is doesn’t automatically mean romance in this generation is gone.
Think about it: How different is starting a conversation on Tinder from starting a conversation with a pretty girl you saw in a bar? And is getting drawn to someone because of his Tinder profile photo SO different from getting attracted to someone you saw across a crowded room?
Similarly, meeting online doesn’t make the relationship any less real. People break up even after meeting under the stars, in the rain or whatever.
If there’s anything us kids understand, it’s this: The fate of your relationship isn’t dictated by how you met your S.O. Perhaps it’s time to accept — and be grateful — that there are more ways for us to find the highly elusive L.O.V.E.
It’s time to look at dating apps as a blessing: for the painfully shy torpe unable to make a move, for the aggressive femme afraid the conservative society will judge her, for closeted LGBT, who can finally explore their sexualities safely. Thanks to dating apps, people are self-identifying much earlier, knowing who and they want. And that’s definitely a good thing.
Next time you say that online dating has killed romance, tell that to this guy who met the love of his life on Tinder, then later on discovered that the woman had terminal cancer, took care of her before she passed away fifteen months after they met. Tell that to the other countless couples who met through the help of technology. Sorry to break it to you, but not everyone wants a Jane Austen love story.
Illustrations: Madel Crudo
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