Online dating in the age of 'Netflix and Chill'

Corey Townsend | 1/13/2016, 12:48 p.m.
Living in an era of instant gratification makes finding true love on the Internet a struggle.
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Online dating is like bargain shopping for a Chanel bag at Goodwill. You might find it, but you have to dig.

Recently, I relocated to New York City and was told by a friend to try online dating; against my better judgment, I took his advice and joined OkCupid. Within hours of being on the site, I realized that it was not God’s ministry for me, but I continued to peruse in hopes that I would swipe my way into love for the new year.

While reading my “weekly matches,” I discerned that this site had no concept of what I wanted in a mate; nor did it care about the preferences that I set into place. Every week I was bombarded with various melanin-deficient profiles, whose pastimes included such things as mud running (WTF is this?), mountain biking (as if regular biking isn’t bad enough) and bungee jumping (just, no). These were the types of people OkCupid claimed I had an 80 percent match with. After careful review, I started to question my own activities and thought I wasn’t doing enough. Then the melanin kicked in and I came back to reality.

After receiving several match email fails, I took it upon myself to forward these notifications to a tribunal of friends to make sure I wasn’t being overly critical, which is highly likely because #IDeserveIt. “Stop being judgmental. OkCupid is just doing its job and ‘Mikaelfilth’ looks like he fries an amazing plantain.” This was one of the responses I received from a friend, after which I decided it was time to re-evaluate my presence on this site as well as my friendships in general.

Being immersed in 50 shades of beige grew tiring, and I wondered what Narnia-inspired dating app I might have to join to find folks of my hue. I am well-aware that people of color do exist on these sites. But in my experience, it seems that the population of beige races is so strong that your chances of getting matched with someone your hue is slim to none. To be successful, it seems, you have to be ready to head to your nearest mountaintop to sacrifice a goat during a blood moon. If you’re not willing to do such, all your matches are probably based on “Hey, you both like books.”

In my head, I started to envision dating apps to be watering holes for the melanin deficient. They’re like chicken soup for the melanin-deficient soul when in-person interactions fail. Is this where they find solace/refuge? If that is the case, where do I find solace? And don’t tell me to venture to Black People Meet, unless you can adequately name at least one person who has successfully found anything but regret on this site.

During my younger years, I was a different type of Christian and dabbled in “dating” applications such as Jack’d and quickly realized that nothing but ill-repute could come from this app. Call me old-fashioned, but I would like to know your name and a little about you before I get bombarded with a random lewd image. There’s no need for me to know how your privates look and not actually know your name. Is this what millennial dating in the age of technology has come to? When it has become the status quo to take various aerial shots of our privates to send to strangers in hopes of sparking love? If that is the case, sign me up for the priesthood and let me live out my days in a burlap sack.