Ain’t no shame in the algorithmically optimized love life. If you and snookums matched on OkCupid, I already like you better than those obnoxious, self-satisfied couples who met “the real way.” (Good luck, IRLers—some number crunchers at the University of Vienna suspect your marriages aren’t as joyous.) The internet excels at matchmaking, widening my circle of potentials and forcing the articulation of specific desires. Then there’s Facebook’s contribution to the game of romance: its new Secret Crush feature. Hold my hair back while I retch. Continuing its conquest of modernity, Facebook now assumes I want to find my soul mate within its janky corridors. The new dating tool, which Zuck is threatening to roll out in the US this year, will let me select up to nine of my friends—a preposterously large number that encourages unhealthy mass crushing—I’d like to bang. If one of them picks me too, bim bam boom, it’s fate. Feh! Do you think I’m some trembling, lovesick dweeb incapable of asking out somebody I’m already friends with? Adam didn’t need social media to make googly eyes at Eve—she was right there, all nakey and available. Let’s also acknowledge the squick factor of giving FB even more intimate data than I already do, not only about who I’m interested in but also about who’s (not) interested in me. They’ll process my triumphs and rejections, then inevitably repackage them for targeted advertising. Will the models in ads I see feature men who look like my crushes? Will I get discounts on wine when none of my nine fantasies reciprocate? Worse still, imagine if I did meet someone on Facebook—Facebook, the uncoolest mall in America, full of parents and junk. I think I’d rather go it alone.
This article appears in the September issue. Subscribe now.
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