In a world where love and affection are expressed through “<3” and random text messages throughout the day, it’s no wonder that dating has become an easy way to speed your way through the piles of men and women just yearning for your attention and love. Short paragraphs and questionnaires tell us whether or not we are perfect matches for one another.

Tinder, a popular iPhone and Android app, allows you to swipe left or right to indicate whether you like a person or not. Users beware, because if you accidentally swipe left when clearly you wanted to swipe right, you are left wondering whether or not that person you can never see again was your one true love. Tinder is an app where you are pretty much focused on the superficial, judging quickly whether or not you are attracted to this person enough to read their very short biography. If the guy/girl you swiped right swiped you right as well, there is an instant love connection. You can message them and find out quickly whether or not this option of swiping left or right is legit in finding your one true love.

Another popular favorite is the free and ever-popular OkBootycall I mean, OkCupid app. With more in-depth questions to answer, because a guy/girl just needs to know what type of dirty business you would or not be willing to do, you are definitely sure of contracting something, and it just may be love, ladies and gentlemen. Girls, be prepared for those great opening one-liners of “Hello (insert crude reference to your looks).” You will be flooded with them daily. Luckily, OkCupid comes equipped with a block-or-hide feature that almost never works for those extra-special people who seem intent on messaging you every day.

For those of you who are willing to pay for dating to be just at your fingertips, hoping that the prospect of actually shelling out money will keep all those sleazy people away, there are apps for eHarmony and eHarmony’s app allows you the further-dumbed-down version of eHarmony, which glitches more than its matching does. When you want outdoorsy females, it will most likely match you with a female who predominantly spends her time in front of a screen, inside, away from the sun.

Sounds like I have a jaded perspective on online dating, and I do. I feel like I’m in the meat section of the grocery store, apprehensively poking and prodding the roast in front of me, wondering if it’s a good idea to buy it. We are all so stunted by this online idea of dating that we fail to miss that person right in front of us. If only you got away from our screens and our devices and realized that boy or girl sitting right next to you would probably be more real than that person who is just an 8-bit personality that they hoped would appear more interesting than they really are.

We still do it, though, me included. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We sometimes have a need to feel connected to another human being, and the instant gratification online and app dating give us is paramount. It’s also easier to hide behind a screen. If it doesn’t work out, at least you didn’t have to get rejected to your face. Online dating and apps split you up into things you cannot compromise on. “Oh no, I cannot date him, he’s doesn’t attend church.” I’ve even heard someone can’t date someone else because they are afraid they’ll try to get them to go to church.

How about we all just get to know each other before we judge on whether or not we could deal with the fact that they aren’t our perfect match just by insignificant facts? Maybe you’ll find out that the guy who has tattoos makes you laugh and will treat you better than any man has ever treated you before, or that churchgoing girl fulfills more parts of your life than you could have ever thought possible.

So let’s get outside our comfort zones and look at the person walking down the hall and truly contemplate whether their smile may be worth a conversation.

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