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It's If you use dating apps, you may have seen one of those opening lines, but Jaclyn Brown has definitely been on the receiving end of all three of those messages — texts she's worked into paintings she's produced over the last few years. And for many people like her, life involves swiping — and all the good, bad and just-plain-trash that comes with it. In just three years, the of North American adults using dating apps has doubled, jumping to 30 per cent according to the latest Pew Research Center study , and if you're young or young-ish i.
People in their 20s? Half of that demo's doing it. And as for what to try, the options are endless, even if the viable dating pool is not. There's Tinder , the industry juggernaut, whose latest marketing campaign leans into its rep as the app for "something casual. Or Bumble , which works more or less the same, but brands itself as the lady-like alternative. Unlike the competition, straight men can't message first. Hinge promises more monagam-ish romance, selling itself as the app "deed to be deleted. For those who loathe the cycle of match, chat, meet up, flake, they might be candidates for Hater "the app that matches people based on what they hate" — but really, they're just the norm.
Roughly half of users feel "more frustrated than hopeful" about their adventures in people-browsing, according to that ly mentioned Pew study. There's a major lack of trust that's simmering online 71 per cent say that everyone's lying "to appear more desirable". And among users' big complaints? The threat of harassment 35 per cent report unwanted messages and images, and that — big surprise — skews higher for young women. But for those seeking love, companionship or an awkward grope over a couple episodes of Seinfeld , frustration is simply reality.
To date is to use a dating app, and while you could technically meet someone anywhere, right now, your chances are better online. When Brown made her first dating profile, she was trying to get her head around the experience. Some people would just start a WhatsApp thread with five of their closest single friends. She paints. At 30, Brown was a widow.
Her husband, also an artist, died of cancer in Dating again was enough of a challenge; meeting people online felt even more bizarre. It helped me deal with getting back in there," she says. Her pieces are usually packed with cutesy hat-tips to internet culture — kittens, smileys, poo emojis. It was a self-care strategy, she explains. Adding "happy things" takes her attention off reality a bit. Dick picks are swapped for cactuses. So many cactuses. Like, I've had to deal with these texts. Alison Kruse and Erin Williamson totally have, too, and to Feb.
All the works are emblazoned with messages that'll seem creepy or familiar or both. Like the show's title, You Up? In the centre of the room, Williamson's piled an antique couch with satin pillows. There's a hand-stitched phrase on each one — things like: "come over and I'll treat u nice" or "I didn't mean to string you along. All the texts were sent to Williamson, and they're the last messages from long-evaporated matches. Like Brown, the somethings were swiping on Tinder and Hinge when they started working on the project, struggling to make sense of the situations they kept repeating.
The show's particularly interested in hookup culture, they explain. Is it possible to actually get what you want on an app? And in their observation, those are hard things to build when you're using an app. That's not just a fact, it's a strategy. Adds Williamson: "Making art about it has definitely helped to kind of cope and kind of grasp what is going on. Among the notables, there's Danish artist Marie Hyld , who recruited Tinder matches for her series Lifeconstruction.
In the photos, Hyld convincingly plays house with a rotating cast of strangers: they cuddle on the couch, share a bathroom, spoon in bed. The project was about investigating the nature of intimacy, and the "ease of deceiving on social media," and as she writes on her website: "Throughout this project, I learned how surprisingly easy it is to paint a delusional picture of a life. It made me realize that we, in this digital age, are communicating more than ever — although we're not spending as much time cultivating true meaningful relationships. Tinder or Grindr, or whatever hookups are so mainstream you can build a massive playlist on the subject , and other app-enabled phenomena — like the anguish of an unanswered text — are equally effective subjects for a Top 40 smash.
Some people react by sobbing into a sack of Cheetos. Florence Welch wrote this. And then there are the endless meme s. But the artist behind it is also exposing all the racism and fetishization she experiences online as a woman of colour. Audrey Jones's Tinder Diaries is more of a web comic, but she's just one example of someone who's spun sketchy text thre into grotesque portraits of Tinder dudes.
Hell, even my own OkCupid frustration drove me to doing something similar. Way back when, posting doodles to Tumblr felt more productive than wasting every night on the app even if the drawings were objectively janky. But not everyone has the same weary attitude. In Joanna Skiba 's experience, online dating is pure jokes. It's just interesting how people try to distil who they are into a couple of images and maybe one or two sentences. It kind of makes people into a bit of a commercial product," she says. An action figure of the Incredible Hulk, for instance, is "just a dude with a big heart and even bigger personality.
Skiba might be going for LOLs in a different way than, say, Brown and Kruse and Williamson, but even those three artists are having a laugh about their dating experience. After hand-stitching a list of emotionally loaded texts, Williams says the messages lost their meaning. Even if the jokes are hiding a complicated mix of emotions, comedy has a way of making one person's dating experience instantly relatable, as confounding and individual as it might be.
And it's been a successful formula for Tinder Tales , a storytelling event that's expanded across the country since launching in Toronto roughly five years ago. This February, the show hits 17 cities, from Victoria to St. Adelade LaFontaine created the format, which she describes as "comedians sharing their real and ridiculous stories live. Like, 'I don't get it? Everything seemed so awesome and then this person just ghosted me! In , couples were ashamed to say they met on Tinder, says LaFontaine. Now, "it's almost a shock when people say they met in any way other than through an app.
Still, the Tinder Tales storytellers are dealing with the same essential anxieties every year, she says — though they have some new vocabulary to describe recurring hazards: breadcrumbing, catfishing, cuffing. And so we don't feel alone in this process of figuring out this new way of dating. And isn't that what everyone's looking for online: some kind of connection? Says Brown: "I want the viewer to take away their own stories and their own humour. I like how you've put it into art. In the hunt for human connection, is art a safer bet than Tinder? CBC Arts Loaded. Arts In the hunt for human connection, is art a safer bet than Tinder?
Like half of the people on dating apps, these artists were fed up with swiping. Social Sharing. The following people 'r' up In just three years, the of North American adults using dating apps has doubled, jumping to 30 per cent according to the latest Pew Research Center study , and if you're young or young-ish i.
Looking for love, finding frustration Roughly half of users feel "more frustrated than hopeful" about their adventures in people-browsing, according to that ly mentioned Pew study. Leah Collins. Related Stories The look of love: invented in Toronto? The unexpected Canadian history of Harlequin romance covers She infiltrated the world of pick-up artists, and this art show is the result These objects spark joyDating profile drawings
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