An exploration of online dating

An exploration of online dating

The Internet cracks me up.

The same piece of technology that drove us to seclusion has us desperately begging on our hands and knees to help aid our search for companionship. There are nearly 54,250,000 single people in the U.S. and 41,250,000 of those singles have attempted online dating, and only 20% of online daters wind up in relationships. Even more astonishingly, the online dating industry annually rakes in a whopping $1,249,000,000.

Yeah, that’s right—online dating corporations have found a way to capitalize on our fear of loneliness. Genius.

Over the past month I signed up for several online dating apps popular among young adults to see what all the hype was about. Could a computer really match me with my potential “soul mate”?

It actually made me feel a more disconnected from myself, and in turn, disinterested in the women that I had been matched with. Now, I don’t want to lead you to believe that I’m too “good” for online dating, or that it is not a useful tool, because Lord knows I need as much help as I can get in the dating department. The whole thing just made me feel a little phony.

The girls on the receiving end cannot smell the overflowing garbage in my apartment, or witness the mound of dishes in the sink accompanied by the dozens of empty beer cans scattered around. But, I can tell you what they do see: a carefully constructed collage of my most flattering pictures conjoined with a calculated description of my best qualities, all in order to prostitute an idealistic version of myself via the internet.

Tinder, one of the most popular dating platforms for college students, allows users to flip through pictures of singles in the area for potential hookups.

Tinder on an iPhone

Based on the persons looks, mutual friends, and shared likes on Facebook you rate them in a “hot or not” fashion with the click of a “like” or “nope” button. When someone also finds you attractive, Tinder alerts you of your new match where the two of you can start a conversation; mind you, both parties have the same goal in mind—sex.

A wise man by the name of Jack Kerouac once said, “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk.”

Kerouac might as well have just been talking about Tinder. The hookup app is essentially a way to window shop for sexual partners with little indication of the individual’s true character or personality. On the other hand, if you are just looking for a quick roll in the hay, Tinder is the app for you.

Some of the more serious dating sites like OK Cupid are pretty good as long as you are honest and you know what you want out of the people you are matched with.

Ok Cupid asks you a series of personal questions, and based on your responses you are matched with people on a friend vs. enemy percentage. If you find someone interesting, message him or her and see what comes of it. They might be someone worth spending some time with.

The most absurd dating app on the market right now is called Carrot Dating. It is basically a sugar daddy/momma dating app. When a user stumbles across someone that is attractive, he or she may bribe that person with material objects. The more expensive the bribe the more likely he or she will go on a date with you.

Simple enough, right? Check out founder Brandon Wade’s explain of his app in more detail. It is offensive and unsettlingly hilarious. He compares women to dogs…

Don’t let my cynicisms get you down about online dating. It might actually be the future—just look at the movie “Her”. We might all end up dating our computers for a while. I just hope that online dating evolves to include more personality and less accepting bribes.

So if you’re into it, give it a shot—if it works for you, great. I sincerely wish you the best of luck on your cyber dating endeavors, but for now, I’m going to stay in the real world.

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Album Review: Deer Tick’s “Negativity”

Album Review: Deer Tick’s “Negativity”

Deer Tick, the alt-country rock outfit hailing from Providence, R.I., has turned over a new leaf since the self-destructive, drug-soaked hymns found in 2011’s album “Divine Providence”. The party is over and the aspirin won’t help. Deer Tick’s latest album, “Negativity,” is the caustic morning light to lead singer John McCauley’s, opaque late night tales of unappeasable partying and forsaken self-loathing.

Deer Tick

The opening track, ‘The Rock,” paints a picture of McCauley’s failed relationship with ex fiancé, Nikki Darlin, displaying that his wounds are still wide open. Starting off with bells that sound like a music box losing speed the song swells into a symphony of percussive bass and swinging horns to complement McCauley’s coarse howl. Right off the bat, listeners will have a strong indication of the album’s dark lyrical content.

Despite the album’s somber subject matter, the band slips in a few melodic tunes to keep fans singing along. “The Dreams in the Ditch,” written by guitarist Ian O’Neil, is a memorable number about the frustrations of being a traveling musician and the unyielding demands of the music business.

The best song on the album is the bouncy country tune, “In Our Time”—a duet featuring McCauley’s new girlfriend, Vanessa Carlton. Yes, the same Vanessa Carlton whom once flooded the airwaves in the early 2000’s with the suburban tween anthem, “A Thousand Miles.” One of the lyrically stronger songs the record, “In Our Time” tells the story of a stale relationship held together by the nostalgia of their younger days.

Musically, the band has cleaned up around the edges and become tighter as a group. It is clear that “Negativity” strays away from Deer Tick’s past four albums, showcasing their musicianship more than ever.

Tampering with R&B and psychedelic elements throughout the album, Deer Tick toys with broadening their horizons towards a fresh sound. Lyrically, for the first time McCauley writes of facing his vices instead of falling back on them.

If you’re expecting this album to be the soundtrack to future weekends of excessive drinking, however, prepare to be disappointed. “Negativity” is a retrospective look the self-indulgent sins that failed to rectify any of McCauley’s personal problems. Long time Deer Tick fans will recognize that this is not their best album, nor is it their worst by any means. After a handful of listens, the musicianship remains much appreciated and the lyrics remain impressive. Negativity is a nice addition to the rest of the Deer Tick discography.

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