Once a salve to post-breakup loneliness, my Tinder usage has begun to foster a deeper, more existential kind

Once a salve to post-breakup loneliness, my Tinder usage has begun to foster a deeper, more existential kind

By the time I return to New Orleans, the novelty has worn off. But just as I’m about to delete the app, I hear from Lori, the 22-year-old aspiring doctor, which keeps me tethered to the app for a bit longer. We’ve stayed in touch, though I wouldn’t describe any of our exchanges as even bordering on flirtatious, which is what makes this particular message so jolting: It’s a Friday night, and Lori wants my phone number so she can “drunk text” me throughout the evening. I give her my number, and soon enough … she’s sending photos! Nothing tawdry, but since I ‘m at a stuffy dinner party, these glimpses into the life of a sorta -stranger are an entertaining diversion.

As it gets later, however, Lori’s messages take a blunt turn. “I want to fuck you,” she writes, a message I find more jarring than flattering. Can you truly “want” someone who exists solely on a phone? Over the next few days, her photos get more and more explicit: Here she is in a bikini, here she is out of the bikini. She is indisputably sexy, but if I’m turned on, it’s more by the bizarre context of these exchanges than their lurid content. Feeling a kinship with Anthony Weiner was not something I’d expected from this whole endeavor. Every so often, I get a disarming reminder that to Lori what’s transpiring between us is nothing more than, like, a totally normal form of courtship. For instance, at one point when I ask her for another photo of her in a bikini – a seemingly within-bounds request, given that by now she has sent me dozens – we have the following exchange.

Lori: “It’s just that I was talking to my dad about you the other day, and he said I should be careful, that someone your age would only be interested in me for sex.”

Her dad? Just as I’m about to respond to Lori with a cultural polemic about the distorting effects of hyperconnectivity , I realize there’s no point. Lori’s memory doesn’t extend beyond the Myspace era. For her, there are no lines separating the real from the digital, the world of the screen and the world at large.

It doesn’t matter to her that we’ve never spoken; in her eyes ( eyes I have never seen), we’ve been dating all this time

I’m puzzled. What is the etiquette for breaking up with someone you’ve never met? But before I can formulate a plan, Lori texts me, at midnight: “Hey, what’s your addy? I’m driving to your house right now. I’m 22, remember? I still do stupid shit.”

But even after the Lori Experience I am officially worn out by Tinder

An hour later, an SUV pulls up, and as Lori steps onto the street I’m reminded of a long-dormant fantasy in which it was possible to flip through Playboy fast enough to cause the centerfold to step out of the magazine and into your bedroom. Forgive me if I don’t go into detail about what happens next – the awesomeness of the awkwardness, the thrill of the unfamiliar morphing into the intimate – but thanks to Tinder, I now know what it’s like to have a one-night stand with someone I’ve been dating for weeks.

Still, in life, too frayed from a breakup to get into this sort of thing, or , someone who finds real life just fine as it is. The buzzy pleasure of the swipe has lost all potency, the notifications alerting me to new matches have become interchangeable with those reminding me my credit card bill is due, and, in the https://hookupdate.net/ulust-review/ end, I can’t let go of the old-fashioned belief that it’s better to be liked by one person for the right reasons than “liked” by hundreds for the wrong ones, a worldview that clashes with the one that has made Tinder a phenomenon.

Add Your Comment