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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Swipe left to reject someone.  Right to match with them.  Anyone who has tried online dating is familiar with this concept regardless of their preferred app.  And yet swiping hasn’t really caught on anywhere else.  Social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram involve scrolling, not swiping.  Attention grabbing activity for sure.  But not nearly as addictive or fun as swiping.  Which is why dating apps gravitated towards swiping in the first place.  So, if swiping is really all that then let’s expand what we use it for.  Let’s swipe on everything.  All at the same time.

What I’m imagining then is one app to rule them all.  The one and only app that we would ever need.  A place where people could swipe for dates or jobs or to find things to do or buy.  A one stop shop for everything.  That’s because mixed in with all of your dates would be advertisements, pitches from people seeking help, coupons from local restaurants, offers to buy various products and items.  It would be a cross between Bumble, Craigslist, TaskRabbit, Facebook Marketplace, and Groupon.  Everything you need or would ever want.  All in one place.

It doesn’t have to stop at connections or offers either.  News and information could be spread through this app as well as swiping right on an article could save it to your e-reader so that you can read it later.  New songs and movie trailers could be pitched to you as well with swiping indicating whether or not you would be interested in checking them out.  The app providing invaluable immediate feedback to content creators.  A global focus group of sorts.  New emails could even get initially fed into this app allowing us to swipe left on spam mail helping to inch us closer towards inbox zero before we even open our mailboxes.

This would all happen all within the same interface.  Unlike Bumble you wouldn’t need to toggle to different modes.  Everything would be mixed together.  However, it wouldn’t be a total free for all.  Everyone’s experience would be completely different with their personal preferences and chosen topics of interests providing their unique content mix.  And yes if you are married you can completely opt out of the dating portion of the app.  No other content can be removed.  Even if you aren’t looking for a new job you’ll still receive tempting offers because, hey, you never know.

All in all, having everything you would ever need from news and advertisements to socialization and entertainment all in one place would be a real game changer, cutting down on the number of apps we would need while increasing the opportunities presented to us.

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Is Swiper the Greatest Idea Ever?

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After years and years and years of online dating it has become painfully obvious that no one knows how to sell themselves.  Unsure of what to say most people have flat out given up, using some variation of the line, “I hate talking about myself”, “I never know what to put here”, or my personal favorite, “if you want to know something just ask.”

I’m not above criticism either.  I’m 37 and still single so clearly what I’m writing isn’t working either.  And I’m a writer! That’s why I think we should turn our hopes and dreams for finding true love over to an algorithm like we do with everything else.

Such a program would craft the perfect profile for us, customizing a series of standard templates based on our specific interests.  It would even select our best pictures for us using facial recognition software that culls our social media platforms.  No more awkward bathroom selfies or group shots where you can’t tell who it is that you’re supposed to be looking at.  Instead only the best, quirkiest, most fun-loving pictures would get selected.  The pictures that show who you really are, not who you want to portray.

In fact, by removing our ability to sell ourselves we’d be stripping away everything that’s wrong with online dating.  Carefully crafted selfies, humble brags, and hey look at me antics would all be devalued.  Instead of coming across like we’re trying too hard we’d all become genuine versions of ourselves, our true essence boiled down to a series of ones and zeros by an emotionless algorithm that knows us better than we know ourselves.

That may not sound like fun but perhaps it’s the approach that we need.  The one that will help us change our fate.  Because clearly what we’ve been doing so far hasn’t been working.  As they say in the 40 Year Old Virgin perhaps what’s felt right isn’t the right way to go about it.  Perhaps it’s time to try some wrong.

On the other hand, such an approach might raise other, more pressing concerns.  Such as: if everyone has the same cookie cutter profile how would the truly great person stand out?!?  And to be fair they probably wouldn’t.  But that’s where the dating part comes in.  It would be up to us to make that final determination of who is worth spending our time on.  After all, algorithms can’t do everything for us.  Or can they…

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Is an automated dating profile service the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,475 – Onward

Need help dealing with a difficult breakup? No need to bother your besties.  Onward has got you covered.

As Fast Company puts it, “You just broke up and now you need to move out. Meanwhile, you’re an emotional wreck over your ex, barely able to focus at work, let alone organize a U-Haul. How can you possibly deal with so many logistics at such a time? Why not just pay someone else to do it?

That’s the premise of Onward, the newly launched ‘post-breakup concierge service’ that handles all your packing, housing, and self-care needs. Consider it relocation with a soft touch. A one-stop shop for moving out and moving on.

[After all] if one can easily hire a wedding planner or funeral director, then why not a breakup handler?”

Such a person would help you handle the obvious logistical issues that arise during a breakup. Such as gathering your prized possessions.  Something you may not want to do if the other person is going to be around.  But they will also help you handle the not so obvious issues such as helping you find a therapist to talk to.  You can also pay to receive recommendations for singles events and things to do in your area.  Everything you need to get back on your feet.  One overwhelming task at a time.

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Is Onward the Greatest Idea Ever?

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In regular speed dating eligible bachelors play a glorified game of musical chairs, rotating from table to table in five minute increments, trying to make a good first impression while speaking about any topic they can think of.  Books, look, and hooks would be more focused.  No ice breakers necessary.  No corny pickup lines needed.  Instead, the only thing you are allowed to comment on or talk about is the book that the lady has chosen to bring with her.

If she brings Harry Potter you’ll instantly know that this is a woman with good taste, a fellow nerd perhaps, somebody with whom you’re likely to have similar interests.  A travelogue would be a sign that she suffers from wanderlust.  An Anne Rice novel that she suffers from regular lust and has no interest in a serious, long-term relationship.  Meanwhile, a true crime novel is likely to indicate what kind of shows are in her Netflix queue.  While a non-fiction book may indicate what she likes to do IRL.

The idea stems from a post I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago, where a woman noticed that men would continuously come up to her if she was reading a book about baseball.  Striking up a conversation over balls and strikes.  Hitting on her in more ways than one.  And it makes sense.  Having a shared interest is the ultimate ice  breaker.  Making it more likely that you’ll want to talk to someone you otherwise would have never had the courage to talk to.  And maybe, just maybe, it can also make speed dating a little more tolerable.

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Is a speed dating event involving books the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Need a gift idea for Valentine’s Day?! Then you might want to consider getting your loved one some pickles. After all, one can never go wrong with a pickle.  But, I’m not just talking about a regular old jar of pickles.  No, that would be lame.  Rather, I’m talking about getting your significant other someone more traditional. Something more in the spirit of the holiday.  Such as a bouquet.  Albeit one made of pickles instead of roses.  That’s right.  The hottest gift trend this year is a pickle bouquet!

But it’s not just pickles stealing someone’s heart.  Other delicacies and snacks are getting into the fun as well.

As USA Today puts it, “Although roses continue to be one of the top-selling Valentine’s Day gifts, other bouquets are gaining in popularity: Think meaty ones made with bacon and beef jerky, sour ones with pickles or sweet ones with candy, cupcakes and doughnuts.”

As tempting as some of those would be I think I’ll stick with a pickle bouquet!  The obvious key to anyone’s heart.

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Is a pickle bouquet the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Samsung has unveiled a new dating app, for their $4,000 smart fridge, that lets people find their soul mates based on expiration dates.

Even if you don’t have the smart fridge you can still participate.  Just download the Refridgerdating app, take a picture of your latest groceries, and start swiping away, left on people who have open cartons of left-over Chinese food populating their top shelf, right on people who look like they actually know what a food pyramid is.

As CNET puts it, “The idea is that what’s in there, whether it’s moldy leftovers or an enticing collection of craft beer, could provide a more authentic look at who you are and how you live. And ideally, keep you far away from those monsters who refrigerate their honey.”

Personally, I love this idea.  I’m all for creative ideas, outside the box thinking, and modern ingenuity no matter what form it takes.  Even if that form is yet another dating app.  Even if that dating app is one that lets users swipe right on a slice of bologna.

That’s because I think this concept could lead to a host of other themed dating apps designed to get people to show their true selves, not the Instagram Influencer versions of themselves that they currently project out into the sordid world of online dating.  This means that we may soon be swiping right on pictures of each other’s cars, wardrobes, DVR queues, and home décor.  Anything that can be used to measure who someone really is and what they’re all about.  For now though, we’ll just have to settle for swiping on bottles of wine, cartoons of milk, and jars of pickles.

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Is refridgerdating the Greatest Idea Ever?

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I’ve never believed in the idea of a soul mate.  Even if they existed, the likelihood of anyone actually finding their counterpart on a planet filled with billions of people when they are only searching in the general vicinity they happen to already reside in, is probably slim to none.  Just think about it.  Your soul mate could be driving a rickshaw in suburban China or working in an antique shop in Bangladesh.  They could be an Eskimo or an astronaut.  A princess or a pauper.  They could be anyone, from any walk of life.  And yet millions of people believe that they’ve already found their sole mate in their small town high school.  Give me a break.  Unless you’ve met, interviewed, or somehow screened every person on the planet there’s no way you can be certain that you’ve found your soul mate.

What you have found is someone that you are extremely compatible with, someone who you are attracted to, who you get along with, who you click with.  And that’s all well and good.  Just know that you could, in theory, find a similar person to date in every town in the country.

Of course, we don’t think that way.  When it comes to dating, specifically online dating, we lack perspective.  We throw reason out the door, believing that when we come across a strong match, it’s some sort of divine intervention.  We all want that fairytale ending.  We all want to find “The One”.  Yet none of us are really willing to do the heavy lifting.  None of us is about to literally travel to the ends of the Earth to find that special someone.  We all just passively leave our future happiness up to luck, happenstance, and nowadays, the machinations of computer algorithms.  But what if there was a better way?  What if there was a way to search every single person on the entire planet and find out who your potential matches were?  Would you have five potential soul mates or five hundred?  And would you want to know?  Would you actually be willing to meet one of them or move to the other side of the world to be with them?

If you’re asking me the answer is yes.  I would most definitely want to know all of my options and I would absolutely be willing to relocate for the right person.  I came to this conclusion while traveling this past weekend to Seattle.  While trying to kill some time I decided to swipe through my myriad of dating apps.  Not to find someone to hook up with over the weekend, but rather just to see how I would do as a dater if I was living in Seattle.  I did the same thing a few weeks back in Denver and London.

Regardless of what city I was in, I was blowing up.  Multiple matches with really attractive, like-minded individuals, who love the great outdoors.  A higher success rate than I usually get in my current hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Does that mean that I should pick up and move to the Pacific Northwest?  Not necessarily.  It’s nice just knowing what’s out there.  But, if I want to date that hot software engineer from Google (an actual match) or that cute transplant from Washington, D.C. (another actual match that I had a great conversation with) then I probably should.

And that’s kind of the point.  If you’re not having success where you’re currently living (Arizona) and you could be dating a hot software engineer from Google (in Seattle), wouldn’t you want to know that information so that you could act on it?  Otherwise you might wind up single the rest of your life or wind up settling for someone that you’re not that into because you wrongly assume (based on incomplete information) that said person was your best option, when clearly they weren’t.

These are important, life-altering decisions, after all, and we’re what, leaving them up to chance?  Leaving them up to fate to intervene while we’re shopping for produce in the supermarket? We swipe day and night on apps, let our friends set us up on blind dates, pay matchmakers, do it all, and yet, we never do the one thing that could solve all of our problems; we never expand our horizons and look over the actual horizon.

So, here’s what I’m proposing: let’s create a worldwide database of single people.  Sortable by various personality traits, physical characteristics, and interests.  The one thing this database won’t have: a way to search by location.  The objective isn’t to find someone in your area to hook up with.  The objective is to find someone, in any area, that you could potentially be with.  After all, if there’s another licorice-eating, Rick and Morty watching, abstract face-finding, nature-loving, uber nerd out there wouldn’t you want to know about it?  I know I would.  Regardless of where they may be located.

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Is a worldwide dating app the Greatest Idea Ever?

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