As a soon to be university graduate, there is an obsessiveness around me and my colleagues to graduate with accomplishments in hand—a “serious-ish” partner or a full-time job waiting for us. It’s a way to boast, that look, after these four transformative years away, I have something to show. Luckily my generation has become more inventive if these don’t come naturally (which they often don’t), and we’ve got an array of internet tools to help us focus in, just before it’s too late.
The implementation of technology in the middle of all of our essential relationships has given us some interesting results, ranging from ridiculous love stories, scary pathways for new types of crime, and just about everything in between. And it’s this strange in between that is on the rise everywhere around us.
One of the possibly weirder trends to come out of the digitisation of the tools for our wildest dreams steams from the unanticipated (and unintended) use of these applications. As Tinder and Linkedin age, the tools these platforms offer are becoming more intersected with other needs. People are getting dates off of job websites, and finding job references and job opportunities off of dating apps. In a world which is becoming increasingly competitive within the job market, the incoming workforce is constantly looking at ways to differentiate themselves when searching—whether that be in job or boyfriend hunting.
A quick Google will bring you to an array of blog posts written by recruiters and the shortage of talent that seems to be growing. One of the main alternatives is suggesting recruiters use alternate channels that aren’t as saturated, like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. You reverse the Google search, and you similarly find a large group of people, tweeting and writing about the competitiveness of dating applications, and the love stories that sprung from a simple LinkedIn message. “I used LinkedIn as a dating site for two months. If you’re into having some dirty fun with partnered professionals and are willing to play the long game, LinkedIn is your next great dating app. You can find an affair AND the possibility of a better gig.” Wrote Sarah Miller in The Bold Italic. Adding that LinkedIn profile pictures are almost always a “clear shot of someone’s face”, unlike the usual blurred, group pictures you’ll find on dating apps. And she has a point.
We are continuously learning to connect in different ways, so it’s not surprising that original business strategies for these apps are being muddled. The parallels and similarities between dating apps and networking apps are clear, and moving forward, the structures of the two will most likely becoming more intertwined. Location-based, resume flaunting, and interest sharing are both commonalities in these different worlds; both making it easier for you to find whatever it is you’re looking for. These applications are taking notice of their similarities of course, with applications such as Bumble creating Bumble Bizz, a networking tool.
The basic components of our everyday lives have slowly become more and more digitised. Food, sleep, our homes, our relationships and our jobs. Some more than others have innovated at an incredible pace. Our food channels are completely globalised and commanded at the touch of a button. We can now track our sleeping patterns, and connect almost any and every component of our homes to remotely controllable software. Arguably though, our love lives, and work lives have been most impacted, because each new technological advancement in these field appeals to our deepest desires: love and success.
Once again, the internet and all its many tools have created different paths for us to meet, lurk and interact with people around the world. Tinder, Bumble, LinkedIn—whatever the platform, it creates a (questionably) safe space for us to create our versions of success. Who cares if we can’t keep ourselves from mixing work and pleasure, as long as it works right?