About a week ago, I downloaded Bumble, a dating app. I did it both begrudgingly and with anticipation. Swipe Right for Yes, Left for No doesn’t seem to fit my vibe, but I was hopeful. Maybe there’s someone else out there looking for me?
I narrowed my search: men ages 27-36. In the New York City/Long Island area. I filtered them for political preference: “liberal” or “moderate,” but not “conservative.” And nixed anyone who was “looking for something casual.”
For full disclosure, my bio is a list (there’s not much room for full sentences) that includes, “Writer,” “Social justice advocate,” “Green smoothie aficionado,” and “Library enthusiast.” There’s also a reference to “Pilates,” and “entrepreneur,” and “Trevor Noah” is listed as one of my dream dinner guests. When asked whether I prefer nightclubs or Netflix, I wrote, “Netflix, for sure.” I’m not winning any cool points.
After a week of swiping, it’s time to report back.
This is what’s out there:
About 7 out of 10 men quote The Office in their profile, and this quote is often the only information they leave in their bio because, clearly, that explains it all.
When writing what their last meal would be, about 90% say “pizza.” “Tacos” are a close second.
A good 5% have a bathroom mirror selfie as their main picture. You can see their phone taking the picture and the mirror and the bathroom in the background. Classy.
For those who choose to list their “pet peeve,” nearly 100% of them say, “slow walkers.” Apparently, we have no compassion—or patience—any more.
Here is one of my favorite bios:
Male, age 31: “netflix and pizza are life”
Really? Of all the things that are important in life, you thought Netflix and pizza are the apex?
And, now, may I introduce you to some of my favorite responses to Bumble conversations:
Male, age 36, award-winning journalist for his book reporting from Kashmir:
I asked him about his work—what drew him to Kashmir?—and the name of his book.
He replied with the book’s title, his phone number, and “Hit me up when you’re in the city.” Hit me up? How old are you? I will not.
I asked a civil rights attorney in NYC, age 35, what inspired him to go into that field and he wrote, “Those were just the cases I got initially.” I wanted to respond with, “Where the f*ck is your passion?” Have you nothing to say about MLK, Jr. or Thurgood Marshall or anything that’s happening today? I pressed him, further, asking if he’s seen any changes in his day-to-day work since the Trump administration came to power. “Not really,” he replied. “maybe at the supreme court.”
There was the Legal Aid lawyer who seemed unmoved by his work. Why’d you get into it? “Because my professor gave them my resume.” And the aide to the mayor who links resources and nonprofits to the mayor’s office. He couldn’t seem to list a cause from the many he works with that he really cares about.
And, finally, the journalist who spent time in Iraq. I asked him, “What’s your biggest takeaway reporting from there?” “Lol,” he responded, “a lot of questions to answer for something on bumble I think.”
“The state of men,” I texted a friend this morning. “My heart literally hurts from all the disconnection out there.”
“I think you mean the state of overgrown boys,” he wrote back.
And, so, when I saw this message from a guy this morning, age 27, who was trying to tease about why I should date him and clearly doesn’t know about the work I do—“I still haven’t been convicted of any felonies so I’ve got that going for me”—I laughed to myself and thought, “You’re talking to the wrong girl.”