Toga Toga

Posted on 12/22/2018 in misc

A friend was discussing this story about the impact of dating apps yesterday. He was wondering if dating app algorithms may actually be more important to the future of civilization than anything Twitter or Facebook is doing to us. It's an interesting thought and one worthy of more consideration.

(Note - my experience with dating apps is a few minutes in a bar on a business trip with some guy explaining Bumble to me because he thought me being happily married might mean I have some insight into who he should swipe right on. My insight was that a 45 year old dude swiping right on 25 year old girls needs to be rich, and he wasn't.)

However, one quote from the article really stuck with me.

When Ingram Hodges, a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, goes to a party, he goes there expecting only to hang out with friends. It’d be a pleasant surprise, he says, if he happened to talk to a cute girl there and ask her to hang out. “It wouldn’t be an abnormal thing to do,” he says, “but it’s just not as common. When it does happen, people are surprised, taken aback.”

I hate to sound like an old person here, but the whole point of getting dressed up and going to a party in college is to meet people, usually but not always in a romantic partner sense. Seriously, if you are just going to hang out with your 3 friends you might as well stay home. It'll be way less hassle for the same result, and the odds of somebody dumping a Busch Light on you is dramatically reduced.

Also, college parties are one place where you learn to talk to strangers, which is still a pretty important skill in the real world. I'm comfortable walking up to a complete stranger in almost any context and striking up a conversation. I'm an introvert, this is not natural for me. It's a learned skill and the primary place I learned how to do it was college social events full of strangers.

My friend was thinking about the dating app algorithms deciding who you date might be changing society. I'm wondering how society functions when everybody lacks the basic fundamental social skills needed to function in a room of strangers.

This is entry #22 in my attempt at 31 days of blogging for December 2018. I've haven't posted here daily since about 2007, so this should be interesting.

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