The thread has come off. Morgan reveled in the feel-good vibe of seeing people come together – “I love love!” someone who was thinking of taking a plane to meet someone in New York because of the wire; even a short relationship. Even today, people continue to add their photos to the feed, seeking love all over the United States.
If this sounds a bit like old school matchmaking, it is. But that’s far from the talkative grandmothers of the neighborhood who organize dates. These operations are often ad hoc, based on platforms like Twitter and TikTok, and, unlike dating apps, with their endless menu of eligible suitors, hyper-focused on one person at a time.
Play by mail
Randa Sakallah launched hot singles in December 2020 to solve his own dating blues. She had just moved to New York to work in tech and was “fed up with sweeping”. So she created an email newsletter using the Substack platform which had a seemingly simple principle: apply through Google Form to be featured, and if you are, your profile – and only yours – is sent to an audience of thousands of people.
Yes, each profile contains the required information: name, sexual orientation, interests and some photos. Most importantly, it has an ironic editorial focus that comes from Sakallah’s questions and the email presentation. This week’s single, for example, we ask her what animal she would be; the answer falls somewhere between a peacock and a sea otter. (“My main goals in life are to snack, hold my hand, and maybe splash around a bit,” she writes.)
Sakallah says part of the appeal of Hot Singles is that a single person’s profile is emailed on Friday. It’s not a stream of potential faces available on demand, she says, that really savor the knowledge of a single person as a human being and not some statistic offered by an algorithm.
“I’m trying to tell a story and give them a voice,” Sakallah says. “You really want to think of the whole person. “
Dating apps can be quick and easy to use, but reviewers say their design and focus on images reduces people to caricatures. Morgan, who started the longtime Twitter thread, is a black woman who says the dating app experience can be overwhelming because of her race.
“I have friends who just put their picture and an emoji, and they would ask someone to ask them for coffee so quickly,” she said. Meanwhile, “I should put more work in my profile and write paragraphs.” The results of his efforts have either not been read or have drawn a plethora of uncomfortable racist comments. “It was frustrating,” she says.
Scratch a different itch
The fatigue of dating applications has several sources. There’s the paradox of choice: You want to be able to choose from a wide variety of people, but that variety can be overwhelming and debilitating. Additionally, the geographic settings typically set on these apps often worsen the dating pool.
Alexis Germany, a professional matchmaker, decided to give TikTok videos a try during the pandemic to introduce people and found them extremely popular, especially among people who don’t live in the same place.
“What makes you think your person is in your city?” Said Germany. “If they’re a short drive or plane away, that might work. “