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14-Mar-2018 11:00

But “it really is sifting through a lot of crap to be able to find somebody.”Sales’s article focused heavily on the negative effects of easy, on-demand sex that hookup culture prizes and dating apps readily provide.

And while no one is denying the existence of fuckboys, I hear far more complaints from people who are trying to find relationships, or looking to casually date, who just find that it’s not working, or that it’s much harder than they expected.“I think the whole selling point with dating apps is ‘Oh, it’s so easy to find someone,’ and now that I’ve tried it, I’ve realized that’s actually not the case at all,” says my friend Ashley Fetters, a 26-year-old straight woman who is an editor at The easiest way to meet people turns out to be a really labor-intensive and uncertain way of getting relationships.

“But on the other hand, Tinder just doesn’t feel efficient.

I’m pretty frustrated and annoyed with it because it feels like you have to put in a lot of swiping to get like one good date.”I have a theory that this exhaustion is making dating apps worse at performing their function.

Are dating apps exhausting because of some fundamental problem with the apps, or just because dating is always frustrating and disappointing?

“We have people in for focus groups all the time, and we do surveys, and since probably like 2014, it seemed like there was this sort of declining satisfaction over time in these services,” he says.

“And I think it’s really hit a low point.”Whenever using a technology makes people unhappy, the question is always: Is it the technology’s fault, or is it ours?

When the apps were new, people were excited, and actively using them.

Swiping “yes” on someone didn’t inspire the same excited queasiness that asking someone out in person does, but there was a fraction of that feeling when a match or a message popped up.“So it’s almost like the only recourse other than just sort of sitting around waiting for luck to strike is dating apps.”But then, if you get tired of the apps, or have a bad experience on them, it creates this ambivalence—should you stop doing this thing that makes you unhappy or keep trying in the hopes it might yield something someday?