Well, there may be a global pandemic with no known cure, murder hornets, and a painfully recent toilet paper shortage, but we are all still looking for love! It's a tale as old as time—you simply cannot squash the desire of human beings to mash their parts together. But with the restrictions on public spaces and human interaction (don't do it!), we are looking for new and innovative ways to date.
Welcome. This guide will show you how to navigate the online waters of romance and help you make even the most mundane of sites a personal dating experience. So, crack open a Mango La Croix (seltzer is the new bread!) and buckle up.
We're gonna go obvious first: actual dating sites. I'm mentioning them up top so that no one asks about them later. These are useless. Throw them out the window. If they didn't work when the world was normal, they're not going to work now. You think you're going to find the love of your life because you both like the Frank Ocean cover of "Moon River"? (Beautiful, but unhelpful.) Love isn't a compatibility Spotify playlist; love is gritty and hard work. Radical problems call for radical solutions. We have to look to a new dating horizon. It will be like Robocop, but with none of the bad stuff.
This seems like an obvious choice. People want a successful partner, so why not pick your dates based on their resumes? LinkedIn has a messaging feature. In between "Tony Robbins says that the path to success is to take massive, determined action," and "Are you prepared to make a real impact on the world around you? Become a creative force for social change with Emerson's MA in Media Design," there's room for you to slip in and say, "Hey, do you like margaritas? What's the biggest mistake you've ever made? Who's the last person who saw you cry?" And we're off! It's that simple. With a little vulnerability in a sea of inhumanity, you will stand out.
LinkedIn also lets contacts endorse each other for skills. They won't let you write non-work-related ones like "butt stuff" (I have tried), but there's a lot to infer from what they do offer. Good at blogging? That person has a mood disorder. Event planning? They've been divorced. Copywriting? A liar! It's all there.
This is already a popular social media site, so it makes perfect sense that it would transition to dating at some point. Facebook has its own dating interface, but I wouldn't endorse it. Everything they do seems to be a way to mine our data, so after a week of chatting, your targeted ads would probably be so specific that it'd be violating.
The best way that Facebook allows us to find love is the comments section of news articles. Find an article. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't. Is the Earth flat? Some people think the jury's still out. Look in the comments. Find someone who says something really spicy—this tells us they have passion. Second, we know they can read. That's not something you're guaranteed of on an in-person date! Once you both connect, it's easy as pie. There are so many talking points you can find easily on their profile: where they went to high school, if they own a gun, how many of their aunts are still alive, etc. Good luck!
Instagram is huge for dating because it's a visual app, and as men love to say, they're "visual creatures." No one knows what that means, aside from, "I'm gross," but we don't have room for judgment now that the population is threatened by an incurable viral disease.
The trick to finding love on this platform is one of two ways: Either make a Finsta (an Instagram separate from your main account, where you post nudes or more vulnerable content than on your main), use enough hashtags to make that profile searchable to strangers, and wait for someone in Bulgaria—who is perfect for you in every way—to find you on the "Capricorn_bitches" discover page. Or, you can be the first to comment under every celebrity picture and wait for them to fall in love with you. Either way.
Perhaps the purest choice, Twitter is where you can fall in love with someone's mind. Think of the weirdest, most personal thought you've ever had. Now, search it. Has anyone tweeted it before? That's your soulmate! You can also learn about the world while you're here, and internal growth makes us better partners to others and, more importantly, to ourselves. Eventually, if you get a lot of followers on Twitter, you won't even have to *look* for dates. They'll reply to all your tweets with propositions that vary from awkward to vaguely threatening. The magic of the internet!
This is a video chat app where you can also play a knock-off version of Cards Against Humanity and Pictionary or trivia, while seeing other people. You can enter "rooms" that are already going, which has a real early aughts chatroom vibe, and if that wasn't a hotbed for love, I don't know what is. Roll the dice! Play a game with a stranger. Everyone is a stranger before we meet them. What's so much better about hitting on someone in a café while they try to write a bad screenplay than crashing their intimate video chat with their friends and family? We can't jump out of a plane or shoplift right now—why not try this unconventional substitute? Live a little. You can also pick your username, so make it something intriguing. Mine is ButtDiva because I want people to know I have a butt and love Mariah Carey.
This is everyone's new fave: the video conferencing platform taking the quarantined masses by storm. They have zero ethical barriers to prevent or punish breeches, such as hate speech or hacking, when people dump child porn in a call, but what do we expect? We don't punish racists in real life. Why would we punish them online?
Racism aside, this feels like a fun one. You can go on little video dates, and you also have the option to record every call, so send it to friends! Ask them what they think. Make a podcast out if it. Now we've redefined what love even is.
No love exists on this app! Just kidding. I just don't have $60 for the game or $200 for a Nintendo Switch. But have fun on your little islands or whatever.
All right, that's the end of our list. Any site can be for dating, because love is everywhere. The real lesson I hope that you all take from this is to be open and kind in all spaces, because at the end of all computers is another person who has also suffered and is searching for the comfort of connection, just like you. Also, why would you farm online? Truly insane. But good luck and invite me to your virtual wedding!