As you may know, I’m on my third week of a phone detox. Today was extra hard. I spent the day at home, with only house chores on my todo list. I found myself wondering how many people had sent me messages on KIK, FB messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, but especially Bumble. Was I missing anyone special who had swiped for me? Was I missing the opportunity to start a wonderful conversation on a lazy Sunday? Was I missing the opportunity for a cute guy to ask me out for a drink, or a quick lunch? I came so close to turning on my phone and opening the app.
The reality is, I’m not missing anything. In fact, in the last three years, Bumble has only introduced me to men who were unavailable, well I take that back. That’s not true, I did meet men who wanted something serious but they just weren’t good enough for my taste. I know that I’m supposed to join groups of things I enjoy. I’m supposed to become part of a community where I want to be part of. For that method will help create friendships and stronger connections, rather than connections based on looks and profile intros. But even though I know what I should be doing, where I should be looking, it’s still so easy, and accessible to rely on meeting people online.
This past week, I met a friend of a friend at a bar. There was a fluid conversation and felt very natural but the longer I spent with him, the more I felt a friendship vibration. Just because one can intellectually connect with someone doesn’t always guarantee chemistry. I found myself wanting to get back on Bumble today as if I could find someone better but then I started remembering the guys on there before and ehh… online dating is not the answer.
I’ve come to realize that Bumble, Tinder, and any other dating site addiction isn’t about the guys or girls we want to meet. It’s about the psychological effect our brains experience. We get a shot of dopamine when we see notifications of likes, comments, and messages. This reward system is called the Mesolimbic Dopamine Pathway. The same reward system people addicted to alcohol and drugs are affected by.
Therefore tonight when I was wondering about these online guys, it wasn’t really about them, it was just my mind craving old habits that were supplying dopamine to my brain. In reality, I don’t even have time for guys. I have a never-ending list of things to do but my brain and body struggle fighting the craving for that little shot.