Recently I was switching the battery on my phone to low power mode and noticed my app usage stats for the last 24 hours. I was super alarmed to see that I was spending the most time on Bumble and Hinge – even more time than Instagram, my one true love. I was spending nearly an hour a day combined on these apps – and for WHAT? My time spent on these apps was result of a bad habit- a super addicting, stupid habit that I developed over the course of the past 6 months. Opening a dating app became my default activity if I had idle time. For example, if I was waiting for something to cook, or lying in bed, or watching Netflix, or even when I was waiting for the subway (yes I was doing this in PUBLIC. GROSS, ERICA), I was swipe-swipe-swiping.
Now let me give you the rundown on how “successful” these apps have been for me in the past 6 months. READY TO LOL?
- Boy 1.0: the first Bumble date that I ever went on was with a boy who had recently moved to NYC and was working at a startup. Because I decided it was a great idea to download Bumble while I was doing Dry Lent, I had to suggest an alternative activity when he asked to grab a drink – eventually, we landed on rock climbing (his idea, SWOON). Long story short, we kind of dated (without a label of course) for about 2 months before he abruptly moved back to Canada. I was pretty bummed about it, but it was for the best because honestly we were super different and it was never going to go anywhere serious.
- Boy 2.0: OUT OF MY LEAGUE AUSTRALIAN. This one was so fun. We grabbed drinks at Horchata one Thursday then walked down the West Side Highway talking about Kanye West albums. He was so freaking hot and had a really cool design job. That night when I got home I was debriefing the date to my roommates and when I went to show them his profile I ACCIDENTALLY UNMATCHED HIM! I was in panic mode. Full on. I mean, he was hot. So naturally I used my god given talents to find him on Facebook with the little information I had, messaged him some lame-ass message about how I was a total stalker, but found him anyway, gave him my number if he wanted to go out again, blah blah, and never heard from him. This is what I’d call a *learning experience*. Lesson being: don’t be a fucking creep, and don’t unmatch your soulmate in a fit of excitement.
- Boy 3.0: Oh man. *CLENCHES FISTS*. So, I matched with a mutual friend who I’d met at a halloween pregame last year. At that party I remember thinking “oh, he cute” – but nothing really happened that night, I went home early, and kind of forgot about him. When we matched on Bumble I was like, WORD, thanks Universe! So we chatted casually and ended up going out for dumplings one night. This really could be a longer story, but one thing lead to another and I ended up getting summoned to Bushwick a few weeks ago to get friendzoned.
Boy 3.0 was kind of my breaking point. I was definitely just as active on the apps for the few days following the Bushwick Friendzone of 2017 (you know, trying to get some hot revenge beau), but seriously I was exhausted. I mean in 6 months I’ve had what, 3 pretty pathetic stories? So stupid. After realizing how much time I was wasting on these stupid apps, I pretty much quit cold turkey. I deleted my Bumble account, kept Hinge around for a few days, then ended up deleting that app, too. Every time I go to open something now, I try to make a point to just open the WSJ on my phone to skim the headlines, or listen to a podcast, or write. That’s right, I’m cultured. Just making a conscious effort to do something more productive than swiping through a sea of fuckboys of whom I’m POSITIVE have nothing good to offer me has felt INCREDIBLE.
So if you’re out there, frustrated by dating apps too: I really recommend taking a breather. You don’t have to quit them forever, and I’m not saying dating apps are all garbage – I know plenty of people who have met their significant others this way. But for now I’m focusing on spending that hour a day doing something a little more productive.