August 25, 2013

Musicians Don't Join

As August draws to a close I ponder the sweet mystery of summer lovin, which allegedly happened so fast, and the wonderful music made specifically for us to savor those romantic moments. A summer soundtrack, filled with the latest pop songs, classic love ballads, and of course the one song whose lyrics "perfectly describe our relationship, like seriously." It may be miserably hot and humid, but 80% of love is in the air!

Why the statistical qualifier? Because according to 1 in 5 relationships are born online. In other words, 20% of love comes from your internet service provider. For all the sketchy, creepy, and downright unsafe possibilities that online dating offers, matchmaking sites do present a tempting offer. Several sites cater to specific cultural and social interests (i.e. Christian Mingle, Black People Meet, Date Hookup) and provide multiple matches--because, you know, why not relax the rules on the whole one true love element? 

Look I get it, we work longer hours, join fewer community volleyball leagues, and watch more Netflix shows (usually alone). Who wouldn't be excited about trading their email address for the chance to find their soul mate? Still, I remain unconvinced that online dating is the future of relationships for one simple reason:

Nobody writes love songs about

Music is a central element of the human experience. It is beautiful, sad, solemn, frantic, fantastic, and everything in between. Emotions are complex and hard to describe--music is not. Somehow, a specific succession of notes and chords can capture our deepest feelings. How do I know this? There are way too many love songs on the radio and in the iTunes store. There is skinny love, burning love, one love, tainted love, same love, bad love, and a few hundred other adjectives to boot. But there is no online love. Nobody composes a melody for dating profiles, inbox messages, or cat-fishin' floozies. You can't make a mixtape for a relationship that started online--well, not a good one.

So we're left with one of two options here: Either musicians just don't go on, and thus aren't able to compose these chart-topping tunes OR despite what the statistics say about success and efficiency, there's just something impersonal about the whole process of trying to make a personal connection through a computer. 

Does online dating work out for some people? Absolutely. But here's the thing that people dating is an opportunity to meet new people, not a solution to your chronic loneliness. It takes the very best effort to find somebody compatible, to go out and risk failure at a bar, concert, or wherever you want to go on a date, and to take the time and sacrifice to do it all again next week, or month, or whenever. It's a lot of work.

Even the best song about love falls short of the experience itself.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for referencing Grease. I think the closest we've come to a song about online dating is "You can't text message breakup." And that's not close at all. You make a valid point, Jim! Who wants a relationship they can't compare to the latest Taylor Swift song?