Guys, maybe you matched on Tinder with a great girl, and it started off well. She was responsive and fun. You suggested you meet for a date, and she hesitated a little, but eventually she agreed, and you went out to a quaint place by the river. She ended the date by kissing you on the cheek, and even put you two on her snap story. You felt that this could “the one!”
You added her on Snap Chat to see the story, and noticed you weren’t alone. A few nights earlier, she was sitting on a guy’s lap, who looked a bit like you. Her Instagram was largely the same, every day a new selfie posted, with an array of of likes and “your beautiful” (sic) comments from eager guys. Eventually her messages slowed, but the excuses increased: she was just too “busy” to meet you again.
Or ladies, maybe a great guy approached you at a club. He opened with a great joke, and the hours you spent with him seemed like minutes, as you devoured his charm. His “good morning” the next day sealed the deal. You texted him for a few days and then he asked you to meet for drinks and a walk through the downtown park, filled with blossoming cherry trees. You tried not to get too excited, but your weekly date with him was becoming the highlight of your week. But one day your best friend called you out of the blue, announcing that she matched with him on Tinder. When you asked him about that, he calmly explained that he dates around and likes to talk to a lot of different girls.
The modern digital age gives a lot of people dating options, more options than throughout any time in history. And, it’s really easy for this to create monsters who live off of the attention and extreme variety. It causes some people to view the people in their lives not as part of real and meaningful relationships, but as a part of an ego-stroking collection, often one that is regularly publicly displayed for all to see for attention.
I call this attention collecting “scrapbooking.” People scrapbook in many ways.
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Some go on Tinder just to collect matches, or to see how many cool pick-up lines they can get (or give).
We all know people who collect texting buddies, Snap Chat connections, or Twitter followers.
Some of us love going out on a date every few nights, because collecting dates (and then proudly displaying ourselves with the people were with) is easier than developing a deep relationship with someone.
Some scrapbookers collect “belt notches” of their numerous hook-ups.
And let’s not forget using people to collect travel experiences, where the person with them is merely an accessory for their heavily filtered travel photos.
Some of us are scrapbookers. Others have been scrapbooked – showing up in people’s lives as a feel good moment, preserved in photos and memories, alongside scores of others who have also been scrapbooked.
For scrapbookers, it is all about emotional collections and public displays, and it becomes about the next ego stroke. Scrapbookers don’t view people as real humans with feelings, but means to an end, and that end is often a burst of dopamine in the brain.
In fact, if you look at surveys related to online dating, many people aren’t even there to get into a relationship. The vast majority of people don’t even know why they are there!
I’m not blaming scrapbookers. It’s easy to turn that way. Imagine you’re a girl getting 100 matches in a week on Tinder, or 200 likes on an Instagram photo, just for looking pretty. Or put yourself in a charming and athletic guy’s shoes; all he has to do is turn on a little charm and make solid eye contact with a few girls in a night night, and he’s got a number, or even a quick hook-up.
Social media allow us to connect – and stay marginally connected – to hundreds, even thousands of people. So, it becomes easy to start “collecting.”
Many reading this have probably been scrapbooked, and it doesn’t feel good to be treated that way, but let’s also look at the downsides of scrapbooking itself.
If you’re a scrapbooker, one day you’ll wake up and realize that 400 likes on a photo doesn’t keep you warm at night. Twenty matches in a week won’t be there when you’re in the hospital alone. And, having traveled the world with ten different people doesn’t make you happy when you go to bed alone at night in the city where you live.