There’s nothing more flattering than receiving complimentary pick-up lines such as “maps claim you’re the best place to eat out in town” and “you tryna link” in my Tinder chat. The tradition of calling a girl beautiful has been replaced by the heartfelt poetry of “damn girl, you’re so fine.” The era of flowers and opening car doors is over, and the world of either being left on read or worse, being ghosted, is the new norm.
As Covid remains a threat to the public’s health, online dating has become a more prevalent way of finding Prince Charming. Although online dating is used by both men and women, females seem to face more substandard experiences. Since there is a screen shielding the confrontational interaction, the benefit of online dating apps is the ability for the users to be bold and confident with their messages. Whereas, confidence is very valuable when building a connection online, many women undergo the exact opposite effect. The small boost gives men the audacity to send graphic pictures or messages as the initial pick-up line to win over the female’s heart. In an article done by BBC, the data gathered claims “of the woman online daters aged 18-34, 57% said they’d received sexually explicit messages or images they hadn’t asked for.” Not only is it concerning that explicit messages are being sent without notice nor consent, but also over half of the population surveyed has encountered these situations. It’s great to have pride in one’s manhood, but no need to send pictures nor describe one’s small cock.
Alexis Vaka, a student attending Clemson university, shares her encounters with online dating. When planning a date to meet up, she was asked when her period was. This might indicate that the guy had solely sexual intentions rather than the actual purpose of dating apps: connection. The student was extremely disheartened by the message because previous conversations indicated interest in forming a potential relationship. The comment was not only rude, but it made her feel like a sexualized object rather than a human being. Additionally, while on Tinder, I received disturbing messages. After swiping right and receiving a match, the man messaged me “you’re so hot I’d rape you.” This message was quickly reported but left me stunned by the modernized bare minimum standards. The so-called “intended compliment” was oblivious to the real-life issues of sexual assault. Not only is vulgar language seen on dating apps, but Snapchat is also home for these behaviors. While riding in the passenger side of my dad’s truck after a big win in my tennis tournament, I was “celebrated” by a scandalous Snapchat sent from a stranger. This nude was then reflected on the window of the car, causing my dad to be both astonished and outraged by the image seen upon my phone screen. The matter was immediately resolved with my dad, but the whole situation shouldn’t have happened. Although it should be an obvious point, nudes should never be sent by a stranger especially without consent from the receiving end.
As well as possessing a sexual ego, many of the potential online bachelors have very outspoken personalities. Unlike the old-fashioned dating, which included complimenting the significant other and treating her with gentleman like qualities, modern online dating has standards of disrespect and self-absorption. Since online dating enables multiple options, if something doesn’t go perfect it’s easier to just “ghost” rather than working through a solution. However, men don’t just leave silently, it is crucial for them to always have the last word even if it’s through an online dating chat. Joanne Orlando, a writer for The Guardian, states “A study by Pew Research found that one third of women using dating apps have been called an abusive name” and this new norm causes “many people justify this as ‘to be expected’ given the marketplace vibe of these apps.” By being behind the protection of a phone screen, many users find themselves treating others with more disrespect without penalties.
In college, dating is like a game of hopscotch. You land on a girl and then hop to the next female that makes the slightest eye contact with you. As I transitioned through freshman year, different guys would serenade me with affection through messages, but after a week of the flirting and butterflies, they would get bored and play games such as continually blocking/unblocking my Snapchat and other social media. This constant cycle made me feel like a toy to play with when bored and then get thrown away after its use, but the crazy part was I let it continue repeatedly. It became acceptable to me and other females to only communicate during the male’s desired time frame.
Not only do online men daters play games, but they also can just magically disappear from your phone as a whole without any context. My roommate, Brogan Heavner, had a “magical” experience with a baseball player from our same school. Of course, the word baseball should have been the first clue to cut off the talking. However, they Snapchatted frequently and agreed to only talk to each other without the label of a relationship. “Over Christmas break we still talked to each other, but about a week before arriving back to campus, he had all of a sudden stopped answering my messages.” After arriving on campus, the communication was still one sided until one of his friends informed her that he had picked up a girlfriend over the break. My roommate’s feelings were crushed by the sudden ghosting plus the surprising news. Unlike in-person dating, online communications make honest confrontations avoidable by simply not responding.
Therefore, ladies, it’s time to clear out the phone and delete those Tinder profiles made of your hot bikini pics and perfectly lit selfies. Step out of the phone screen and into the fresh air, or at least do so if you want to find someone the least bit genuine.