In The Future, You Will Fall In Love With A Robot
I used the dating app Tinder once, a long time ago.
People who write about dating apps are either proud about never using them or are addicted to swiping past photo after photo of available singles who are DTF, which is an acronym that means “down to fuck.” I’m assuming everyone knows this now but — once upon a time — I had to Google those three letters
When I used Tinder, I thought I was DTF, but I was, in fact, DTCA, an acronym I made up that means “down to cry, alone.” Because I was alone. Alone in a hotel room in Portland, Maine. Alone since I was freshly single. Raw, really. Peeled.
So here’s what is interesting: One day, our technology will gently hold us as we die. This is what I learned when I used the dating app Tinder.
But before I get to that and why I installed and uninstalled Tinder on my iPhone in under an hour, I’d like to go over a few things. First, the only other app I regularly use is Seamless, the food service app, and in a way, Seamless is like Tinder, only I’m guaranteed to hook up with an order of pad Thai. I used to meet women the old-fashioned way, which was drunk. On the internet, you can pretend to be whoever you want, and when I was loaded, I could also pretend to be whoever I wanted to be, which was, more often than not, a sweating, socially awkward panic attack wearing the skin of a man who was good at smirking.
Second, I was alone in a hotel room in Portland because I had just been dumped. Why did she break up with me? That’s an entirely different personal essay titled “You Won’t Believe What Happens When You Have Intimacy Issues.” But the truth is the human heart is an ocean — vast, unknowable, deep, and filled with squid. Anyway, the story of what you lost isn’t about the why or even the how, but what you eventually find.
Third, robots. I just learned about the Turing Test because I finally streamed that movie about the brilliant mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing starring dapper otter Benedict Cumberbatch. His story is sad and proof that humanity can’t have nice things. The Turing Test was an experiment developed in 1950 by Turing, who claimed that advanced computer intelligence could, one day…