Well, that happened: 2015? Swipe left

By on January 6, 2015
And Back to the Future said we’d get hover-boards this year. PHOTO: ANDREW MUNZ


Jackson Hole, Wyoming – I was browsing Netflix while browsing Tinder when I suddenly realized that, despite the world’s attempts to make us happier, it’s doing a better job of bumming us out. Welcome to 2015, ladies and gentlemen! I’m not the first person to recognize that advanced technology breeds a lazy, depressed society. For example, a long, long time ago there was a space station the size of a small moon called the Death Star (dope name), and not a single person who hung out there knew how to smile. And they were just a bunch of British dudes hanging out, getting paid to blow up planets. That was their only job. How can you not find that fun?!

I realize that me sitting in a hand-me-down loveseat staring slack-jawed at my television while I scroll through every possible option on Netflix is a different situation. But be it an Apple TV offering limitless entertainment or a handheld dating application that allows you to anonymously chuck uglies out of sight with your thumb, we still can’t seem to get the type of gratification we’re looking for.

If you were to ask me what I was currently in the mood for movie-wise, I would tell you:

“I want something really epic and exciting, but not dumb or with any bad actors, unless those actors are attractive and often shirtless, and no, I don’t want to see 300 again; I want to see something like that, but nothing weird, and preferably something that someone told me I should see, especially if that something is also something I actually want to see.”

If Netflix was an actual human being with emotions at say, Main Event (R.I.P.), and they offered up 10 recommendations “Because I watched … House of Cards,” then I would probably take their suggestions a bit more seriously. But Netflix is a robot and I don’t mind pissing off robots. I hold no remorse scrolling through their recommendations and ignoring every single damn one of them. They don’t know me, at least not as well as Facebook’s ad robots know me.

In a similar vein, Tinder is taking the emotion-filled experience of two individuals connecting over similar interests, breathing the same air, and added more judgment and self-esteem issues. I’m really trying hard not to judge Tinder users. I’ve heard of many success stories. But when two people match on Tinder, it doesn’t sound much different than flipping a coin and having both people shout “Heads!” Obviously, the more times you swipe right, the more chances you have to call it correctly.

I feel uncomfortable realizing that I learned Tinder odds in fourth grade math.

My Tinder experience usually amounts to shouting “Heads!” and realizing someone else also shouted “Heads!” and then casually swerving through tables as I avoid them at The Rose two weeks later. I know it must happen, but honestly has there ever been a more gut-wrenching, shameful pick-up line as, “Hey, I think we matched on Tinder?” No. NO! There has never been anything as embarrassing or pathetic.

It is truly the Michael Scott of pick-up lines.

Imagine if tomorrow the world’s electronics became inoperable and suddenly our only choice for entertainment or social interactions was (gasp) each other. We all have a yearning that lingers somewhere behind the dirty section of our brain telling us to downgrade our iPhone or delete our Facebook profile. It’s a tempting thought, but we can easily come up with approximately 600 reasons that convince us not to. I’m sure there are a couple readers of this particular column who do not have Facebook or still possess a phone that can’t take pictures. How very 2004 of you! I shipped you a medal via UPS to your PO Box during the holidays, so good luck with that.

The rest of us, however, have been herded into 2015 by the shepherds of time. We’ve been given the tools to judge one another with ease. And soon robots will learn how to judge us in return!

And Back to the Future said we’d get hover-boards this year.

About Andrew Munz

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