Brooks calls this “the enchantment leap”—when “something dry and utilitarian erupts into something passionate, inescapable and devotional.” The algorithmic relies on the measurable, and thus most often depends on the physical, as Brooks points out.Through apps like OKCupid and Tinder, we’ve learned to emphasize the temporary and the sensually gratifying in our pursuit of love.It’s about taking the great leap of enchantment: seeing the other, and prizing them for who they are, in all their mystery and imperfection and potentiality.It’s about choosing to love a person, not an algorithm.Thus, we do not see Andrew or Carl—we see Andrew, the 70 percent match, or Carl, the 94 percent match.We do not see them as human beings: we see them as objects.
We use Yelp to check every restaurant, pick movies via Rotten Tomatoes, use wine apps to purchase the perfect bottle.
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In a Friday column, David Brooks reviews the data presented by the book People who date online are not shallower or vainer than those who don’t. They have access to very little information that can help them judge if they will fall in love with this person.
They pay ridiculous amounts of attention to things like looks, which have little bearing on whether a relationship will work. When online daters actually meet, an entirely different mind-set has to kick in.