Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

#1,591 – LAYAR

Before you go on a date with someone it’s highly likely that you’re going to do some form of due diligence on them.  A quick Google search.  A glance at their LinkedIn profile or Facebook page.  Nothing crazy.  You’re not trying to stalk them.  Just ascertain, as best you can, whether or not this person that you’ve agreed to go out with is who they say they are.  No mere certainty in today’s day and age of chameleons, chatbots, and catfishers.

Between the time spent performing these “background checks”, swiping or searching for dates, and actually corresponding with potential love interests, you may be spending several hours every day in search of true love, time you could be spending doing more important things, like actually living your life.

Realizing the value of saving time and the importance of finding the right person some people turn to matchmaking services that do the heavy lifting for them, screening and vetting the bachelors that want to use their service.  But this is an expensive proposition usually running in the thousands of dollars.  A luxury that most aspiring Romeos and Juliets can’t afford.

What I’d like to propose then is the creation of an abbreviated matchmaking service.  One that handles all of the tedium involved with online dating without performing any actual matchmaking.  More so a Private Eye detective service than an actual Fiddler on the Roof, this service would charge a nominal fee, say $10 a month, to handle all of the online investigating you’d want to do on potential soulmates.  Scouring the deep recesses of the Internet for blog posts, message board comments, inappropriate tweets, arrest records, Pinterest boards, and any other digital breadcrumbs that may exist.  Anything that may help you make an informed decision.

You could even specify what it is that you want the service to investigate.  Perhaps it’s conducting digital analysis of profile photographs to find out if they’ve been photo-shopped or altered in any way.  Or maybe the investigation is more centered on a person’s back story.  Do they really come from Ukrainian royalty like they claim?!  Are they really a retired Air Force pilot who now spends their free time in Napa Valley while dabbling in venture capitalism? If it really does seem good to be true, is it?

Since we’d be providing an extra “layer” of protection for people I’d name this service LAYAR, which would be an acronym for “Look, Are You A Robot?” – which is sadly now the #1 question that people ask on dating apps.  Or at least I assume that to be the case based on personal experience.

Now this service wouldn’t be the end all be all.  Most people are still going to want to do a little bit of sleuthing on their own, being careful not to accidentally deep like any old pictures on Instagram along the way.  But at the same time I think the idea has merit.  After all, wouldn’t you be willing to spend a little bit of money now for a life-time of peace of mind?

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Is LAYAR the Greatest Idea Ever?

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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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