I try to stay positive about online dating, because despite its many pitfalls, I’ve seen it work! (I mean, I had such a great experience with myself and my first few friend-clients that I started a business out of helping people use it.) And I’m grateful that it finally seems to be shedding its stigma, for the most part. However, there are still SO MANY lazy journalists who ease into the cozy, simple-minded cover of assuming that online dating is only for freaks and weirdos, and that really pretty successful people shouldn’t need it. Um, let me tell you something: YES, online dating is great for freaks and weirdos, but it’s also helpful for Regular People right on up to Rich-Ass Gorgeous Celebrities, because its main value lies in its functionality to quickly and efficiently introduce people who might not otherwise interact, with a framework that allows them to easily start a connection. This is not a problem that pretty people are immune to (you lazy, lazy writers, you).
OK, to get specific, this week I’m talking about this piece by Grace Wyler in NYMag’s The Cut (which is supposed to be about fashion, I thought; does this relate because of the sash?). Grace resorts to some fun, super duper unbiased and positive hooks like the following:
Obviously, it raised the question of why Meriwether, who handed off the Miss USA crown just three weeks ago, would resort to Tinder…
OBVIOUSLY. Because attractive successful people are never lonely. Fact. And then there’s this gem:
“It’s hard to believe that Meriwether, a six-foot-tall South African–born beauty, has a hard time finding a date.”
It’s nigh impossible to believe, Grace. FACT. (In case you can’t tell, this is me typing sarcastically. Boy, can my tennis elbow tell! Probably my keyboard, too. Heck, probably also my neighbors who can see into my office window when I leave the curtains open. Hi guys; sorry about the hair.)
Nana goes on to indicate that she doesn’t take Tinder super seriously, and mostly does it as a group activity for fun with her gal pals. This may or may not be true, but that’s probably the answer I’d give in her shoes, to a reporter clearly hell-bent on proving the point that she’s too fabulous to be using Tinder, and asking leading questions that present the subtext that because she’s resorting to a “hookup app” there’s clearly something wrong with Nana. Sigh. THIS is the kind of faux-journalism that makes me so frustrated; online dating can be decisively un-creepy, and it can actually be successful for people who are so pretty or rich or famous that they don’t get treated like real people in most settings. I’m really pleased to see Nana using Tinder, and I hope she DOES move up to browsing solo if she hasn’t yet. Maybe we can even lobby to get her on OKCupid at some point!
And a little note: at a Google glance, Grace Wyler seems like an accomplished, educated author/editor with plenty of bylines that are far more intelligent and well-researched than this one, usually in the realm of politics or business. This isn’t a commentary on her work as a whole; it’s commentary on this one lazy, judgmental piece. I hope Grace has a robust love life so she never has to set foot in the treacherous, demeaning waters of the online dating world.
WAIT WAIT, final note! Today is the seven-year anniversary of my meeting Grant in person from the Craigslist ad I wrote. We had our first date on July 12, 2006, and our third wedding anniversary is coming up next week. So yeah. Online dating is clearly bunk, haha. YAY FOR LOVE! WOOOO!