I Followed Teen Instagrammers’ Advice for a Week

At first I am taken aback by how many guys seem to be looking for The One, but when you think about the nature of Facebook it makes sense.

In fact, when Mark Zuckerberg announced this new feature, he described it as a tool to find “real long-term relationships—not just hookups.” Because why not find love in the same place that your friends share baby pics and internet trolls get off on comment section arguments?

I can think of many reasons not to find real long-term relationships on Facebook—one being the fact that saying “we met on Facebook” is possibly the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. Another is the fact that Dating is a massive waste of time since it lets anyone start an conversation with you regardless of mutual interest.

Pretty much immediately after I start using it, I begin getting those unsolicited messages on the “interested” page. Unlike the short, simple messages I’m sending to dudes, the ones I get are like the creepy messages that women find in their “other” inboxes from creeps and weird friends of friends. Plus, they’re all from guys I haven’t shown interest in.

On the other hand, I do get some genuine messages that aren’t creepy and kinda nice from guys that I probably would not have swiped right on on Bumble. For a split second, I tell myself it’s refreshing that Facebook is letting everyone shoot their shot. In the past, I’ve had guy friends tell me that they don’t get as many matches as women do on dating apps, so levelling the playing field like this does give people the opportunity to connect with anyone they want.

But if we’re being honest, the point of dating apps is not for it to be an open playing field—they function on the basis that you can be superficial and selective with your preferences. For example, at one point in the week, I haven’t checked Dating for an entire day and when I return to my phone, I have upwards of 30 messages from dudes who I haven’t shown interest in, nor are all of them within my preferences. If women wanted random men to approach them unwarrantedly, we could just walk down the street and reply to catcalls instead.

Since most of the men don’t fall within the preferences I’m looking for, I am frustrated that I’m wasting so much time doing the work most other dating apps would’ve already done for me.

I chat with a few guys but for the most part our conversations don’t last longer than a day or two. That may be in part because notifications for Facebook are confusing—I legitimately can’t figure out how to turn mine on for Dating messages. So I find myself checking back into the app to see if there are any updates and as a result, I forget about conversations all together.

One guy I end up talking with who we’ll call Sean* fits into my age, height and location preferences so, with this app, that means it’s already off to a good start. We have a mutual friend so before I reply to his initial message, I creep his Facebook profile to make sure his photos aren’t totally deceiving and his Facebook wall is relatively normal (i.e., no inspirational quotes or too many shared memes).

I find out that he lives a two-minute walk away from me and we’re practically neighbours so I ask him out for drinks that evening at the bar across the street from us. He agrees, but in classic dating app fashion, he bails on me an hour before because his bed is “really comfortable.”

I write him off and continue using the app with even less hope than before because it seems it’s already slowing down. I get less notifications that men are “interested” in me as the week goes on and a few of my conversations go into inactive mode because the other person already deleted their Dating profile.

One night that weekend, Sean asks me if I’m free. Despite being annoyed by his lazy bail earlier that week, I have no plans after 10pm so we grab a couple drinks at the local bar. Again, in classic dating app fashion, the dude is 10 minutes late despite living literally across the street.

When he arrives he apologizes, joking that he’s worried I’ll write an article about him because I’m a journalist. Ha.

The date actually goes alright and we have a lot in common. He’s not standardly my “type” but it doesn’t seem like he’s looking for The One either. Plus he agrees that the app is flawed and, in comparing other dating apps, we decide that Facebook’s is trash.

I’m literally yawning once we’re a couple hours in and I try to hide it to no avail. Not because he’s boring, but because I’m exhausted. Perhaps Dating has taken a bigger toll on me than I thought. We agree to part ways and he tells me to let him know when I get home from my two-minute walk. Later he says we should go out again and I agree, partly because I don’t want to seem like the asshole who went out with him just to write an article about it.

At this point I’m feeling less inclined to go back on the app altogether because I frankly don’t want to chat with anyone on that godforsaken forum ever again. At the end of it all, it actually makes me miss Bumble and I consider downloading it again for the seventh time. If all else fails, right?

So if any Facebook reps are reading this, please fix your dating feature because my fingers ache from pressing “pass” over and over for the past week and tbh it seems like you launched this one before it was ready for real life humans.

Overall though, it’s hard to imagine that those who’ve already given up on Facebook (i.e., a majority of your users) are going to actively put the fate of their relationships official statement into your hands. A better solution may actually be to let this sink along with the rest of the ship. Thank u, next.

*Name has been changed for privacy

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