We all have been there. A new app. Sort of the same idea. A slightly different interface. New one gets launched and we all launch ourselves to download it.
I am only identifying three types of characters on hook-up apps. From observation the apps are utilized by: (1) tourists finding out where to go in the gayborhood. (2) The newbies in town for college or work looking to quench their thirst (even though they might not know what they’re quenching). (3) The sea of locals that proudly boast about mainstream culture-trend to objectify certain body parts, and refuse to share the part that carries the window to their soul (the very sign of not being comfortable being vulnerable. I’ll touch upon that later on).
One of the highlights of the apps is time-efficiency and that does not necessarily result in desired outcome.
Here are my little tips on how to implement mindfulness for each of the characters aforementioned when getting on dating apps:
Tourists: Connecting with your audience by not only asking how they are, but by showing genuine interest in what they are seeking in that present moment might get you the answer to your inquiry on what to explore in the gayborhood during your stay. Who knows you might even get a place to crash next time you’re in town. Practicing patience when asking for something might gain you a collaborator, and if you’re feeling frisky, a giving holiday lover.
Newbies in the city for college or work: Before you open the app of your choice, pose the question in your mind in the second person: What are you trying to quench in your body tonight? Let it sit for 30-seconds. As you identify what catches your eye ask them the same question. It’ll help you identify what options are on the table, and to practice kindness (try it, you’ll be surprised). For instance, you might want to see another lovely photo of their visage. But before you ask, do not demand (cannot stress this more) — send one yourself or as many as you would like to receive back. Inspire others so that your experience will be more enjoyable.
The sea of locals boasting sexually objectifying body images: Leave your choice of workplace aside and remind yourself that it’s not the 90s. No more Craigslist’s w4w, m4m, etc. When in Rome…you get my drift. Once on the app, tap into kindness and do yourself a favor and pose a question in your head before reaching out. What are you denying yourself of tonight? Whoever you choose to chat with, give them the opportunity to be kind to you and show them your face for acknowledgement. Practice patience by not placing the burden on them to guess what you like, and ask if they would be interested in exploring whatever scenario you have in mind. Guess what, you will be at the same time practicing kindness towards yourself. Do not sabotage your potential to make a fun genuine connection.
This last one applies to all three characters and everybody else on dating apps. When sought out by someone that you might not deem your type — practice kindness, thank them for their note, and let them know you’re not interested. Acknowledging them shows that you have the potential to receive kindness and patience from others when you’re willing to be vulnerable.
My question to you is this: Will you accept the fallacy that technology facilitates human interaction by speeding communication? Or will you take, yes, the 30 extra-seconds to practice kindness and patience with others and yourself by using your writing skills to truly attempt to make a fulfilling connection that day?
Catch up on the mindfulness series: