Looking at how dating applications like Bumble, Badoo and Tinder have changed the game of relationships, we spoke to Dr Skye C. Cleary, a philosopher & lecturer at Columbia University.
Sputnik: Is the swipe culture of dating apps dangerous, as instinctive judgments are made so quickly?
Skye C. Cleary: I think they can be dangerous because they are encouraging us to make snap judgments, and it's usually based purely on a very fast fleeting response to a photo, or at least very little information, which is usually highly curated, or photos are usually airbrushed. There are studies that show that people often lie on their profiles, and Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th century philosopher, says that 'impulsiveness is decadence, hedonistic and animalistic.
That's fine if you're interested in short term relationships but for longer term relationships you really should be focusing more on intellectual attraction, which is much harder to judge on apps, and focus on trying to get a deeper understanding of who the person is and whether you'd enjoy talking with them over the longer term.
Sputnik: Would it be better for people to be genuinely authentic, and talk about negative traits? Or would that be too much?
Skye C. Cleary: It's really tricky because you don't want to put people off in the very beginning but I think it is better to be authentic, and not necessarily to focus on negative traits, but maybe just be open and honest. I think then you'll get to a more comprehensive understanding of one another a bit more quickly.
Sputnik: Do dating apps, in your opnion, kill or encourage romance?
Skye C. Cleary: Well, I mean they do encourage romance in the sense that they open up more choices, maybe too many choices sometimes, but also more possibilities, more opportunities for people to meet each other but I mean, the unknown is whether those relationships last and you know, the evidence of that is mixed. The thing is romance is risky no matter how you meet the other person, so it's hard to tell.
Sputnik: Is it a problem that, in Western society, it is expected that romantic love is supposed to culminate in marriage and last until "death do us part"?
Skye C. Cleary: This is one of the most problematic ideas in love relationships because this narrative of finding the one, falling in love and living happily ever after, it's based on a delusion pretty much because passion dissolves. Love gets tired, people get tired of each other, people get kind of bogged down with everyday habits, and Nietzsche says it's like an engraving that fades when you touch it too much. Nietzsche was saying what neuroscientists are finding now, that those kinds of passionate love hormones like cortisol tend to last maybe up to two years if you're lucky, but I think the most important thing is to know that those lusty feelings of romance don't last and it's important to know that so that we're not disappointed, and so that we can learn to manage that kind of transition from the honeymoon period to more stable long term deeper relationships.
I mean, romance is good fun, but I think if you're looking for long term relationships it's better to look for friendship.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.