Social, Secretly Human

So I’ve been checking out some of the popular Dating apps recently. I was intrigued by Tinder, my interest part professional and part personal. The friend who told me about it also mentioned OkCupid, a service whose blog (with charts based on users replies to answers) intrigued me years ago.

My first impression echoed that of women across the globe. Men were falling over themselves trying to connect in some manner, many of them uninteresting, boorish and outright offensive. Despos, I decided and cut down my activities, even deleting a profile. This I’m told, is not unusual either, for women.

Recently though, I got onto the other app-of-the-season: Secret. Now this one intrigued me for other reasons. I started as an anonymous blogger, a state I tried to maintain for many years before having to ‘come out’ before I was outed more unpleasantly. Would other people finally get the lure of the shadows, I wondered. And the voyeur in me wanted to know what secrets people would share.

Secret turns out to be not at all like its almost namesake PostSecret. Or rather, it has the ‘dumb’ secrets that occasionally show up on that site in between horrific stories of rape and touching ones of unrequited love or physical disability. It also has the Twitterisms like slytweeting (slySecreting?), short form jokes and self-promotion. And finally after all that, comes a secret or two that gets lots of hearts and comments.Β The one I’ve been following says,

“I think I just went on a first date with my future wife.”

That secret actually went up weeks ago. But people showed up and offered support, empathy and interest. The author posted a little later on the thread with an update on how he (I presume) was feeling and about the girl. More comments. A few days later, more updates about waning interest. Commiseration and shared stories.

It made me think, what is it that reaches out and touches people uniformly world over? We are looking for companionship, for validation, for support, for empathy, for appreciation. We give it different names. We personalise this uniform need with our own individual nuances by defining rules for how we look for it and where we get it. But we are all looking for it. I don’t want to call it what I know you’re thinking. That’s an overabused word. You know it. And we all want it.

This was the first secret that I wanted to comment on and here’s the comment I left. I know it’s a secret but it is mine and I’m sharing it, in the way I shared my secrets years ago when there wasn’t an app for it – as IdeaSmith.

“Sigh. I wish this secret had come up a fortnight ago. Because that would be the date I went on and I’d say ‘I feel that way about you too’.”

Oh well. I’m looking as well. πŸ™‚

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