Ask yourself a question: do you put more thought and effort into buying a pair of shoes online or whether to swipe right?
It’s okay, we’re not judging you for it. A good pair of shoes can last years, while you might only get one awkward date out of that internet love connection. To be honest, if Amazon Prime could deliver us a soul mate like brand new sneakers – free shipping, free returns – we’d probably take that offer. Yet with the rise of dating apps, we basically have turned love into another online marketplace for leisure goods. So, um… maybe we should be worried about this
BUYING LOVE ON THE INTERNET
Believe it or not, there’s some history behind the idea that love has the same transactional nature as buying new clothes, finding the best deals on airfares or, yes, investing in cryptocurrency. In ye olden days, there was a strong tradition of arranged and/or negotiated marriages, which included (usually very sexist) dowries in the form of land, property or straight up cash; this practice continues in updated forms in some non-Western societies today (hopefully with a little bit less misogyny). Still, whether the aim was to keep the farm in the family or prevent all out war between two kingdoms, romantic relationships had more to do with goods and services than finding true love.
INTIMACY IS A 1-CLICK PURCHASE
We can’t blame the internet for turning love into consumerism. Society has functioned this way for millennia, especially for the middle and upper classes that technology and economic progress have helped expand worldwide. Of course, as with most trends the internet didn’t actually create, it has accelerated the pace to insane levels via fiber optics and touch screen capabilities. In other words, we probably can blame the digital age for transforming modern love into viral zombie consumerism.
TOTAL REFUND OF THE HEART
Outside of joining a survivalist cult or living completely off the grid, there’s probably not a whole lot we can do about this other than trying to be informed consumers. After all, if you put in more time than you’d care to admit learning everything there is to know about a new pair of shoes, consider how much time should you invest – and yes, that’s a loaded, free market consumerist word – into finding out about someone you might spend the next few nights/weekends/months/years/ rest of your natural life with.
Then again, if you don’t want to think about shopping for your potential soulmate… maybe she’s got something to say about this. Stay tuned for another post on this idea as part of HV’s LOVE & SEX PROJECT!