Another week, another blog. And just to show how diverse...or disjointed...my posts are going to be, we're going to jump from the discussion of films and rebooting franchises to the realm of the modern dating scene. Plus, it seemed appropriate with Valentine's Day bearing down on us all.
Dating has always been a fickle game. Some are good at it, some aren't. Some charm while others bludgeon. There are those serial daters who jump between relationships like they're stones and being single is the lava. And others who hardly date at all. But modern dating has become its own weird beast.
I'm of the generation who straddled the 'older' approach of meeting someone at some kind of social gathering, and the 'modern' way of swiping left or right. When internet dating was first becoming a thing, it was my generation that labelled it as 'desperate'. It was for older people who didn't remember how to date, or sexual predators. We shunned it and made fun of those who partook.
But once the smart phone really started to take hold and the internet was available to people at almost any time, there was a shift. The likes of Tinder, Grindr, Happn and Bristlr (an app matching people who have or like beards, and I'm not even joking) became the done way of finding a date. People are taken aback when you say you're going on a non-internet organised date (at least here in London. Terrible dating scene...)
And here's the best bit. Like Valentine's Day, finding love in the modern scene has been monetised. Want more than 100 right-swipes on Tinder? Pay for it. Want to see if people open your messages? Pay for it. Want an advert-free (which means they're making money as it is) app? You know what comes next.
And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are glued to our screens. At. All. Times. When we're on the bus, the tube/metro/train, at a bar waiting to be served, standing in a queue for food. Moments where our boredom would have had us talk to those around us, we stare at a screen. Why not look for love at the same time?
It's all a part of our need for instant gratification. The internet has ruined our patience. We can't wait for our newly purchased item from Amazon - we need Amazon Prime to get it delivered tomorrow, and even that is too slow. Wait until next week for the new episode of our favourite series? Bugger that, binge-watch it on Netflix! Want sex? Try and get laid with someone who likes that picture of the sedated tiger.
I'm not trying to be preachy. I'm just as guilty of pretending that I have something very important to read or send when I'm standing around on my own. And I'm not saying smart phones are bad. My maps app has saved me a few times. But the disparity between how connected we're supposed to be compared with our interactions to those who are literally around us is shocking. And it's becoming ingrained. If you try to talk to a stranger, they look at you indignantly because you've probably interrupted them typing a message *to a stranger* on Happn/Tinder/whatever.
At least the reboot of 'How I Met Your Mother' in ten years time will only be a mini-series, though...