If you think back to the days that MySpace was relevant, it was perfectly acceptable to reach out to an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. Unless someone was being overtly disgusting the receiver would happily respond and a conversation could be had. In the days of Instagram those messages are hidden away without ever alerting the receiver. On top of that there’s no option to change that, except to not allow those hidden away messages at all. Features in software are built based on user feedback – people asked for this.

It makes sense how it landed in such a place. Instagram for many is about farming likes and follows. It has built a sense of worth for many, at the expense of community. What’s worse is that that sense of worth has transformed into a fragile ego that many depend on. It’s a bubble of elitism, but in smoke and mirror form. At best followers are receiving a curated reality. It would be fair to say such a portrayal is dishonest, but it does get worse. Their pictures are fake. Their smiles are fake. Their followers and likes are purchased. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out, but no one wants to break the silence; it would expose the thin veil protecting the shallow and fragile egos they have worked so hard building. So the content is still made and consumed. And so it makes sense these people do not want to hear what a random person has to say. What if they question the false reality that was fabricated? The horror. But what’s just as likely is people have asked to hide away those messages, because they want to feel like they have their own exclusive club, further feeding the ego.

Bubbles are formed and no one wants them popped. So many of the people that create those accounts live alone in a huge luxury apartment… by themselves. All of their energy goes into the illusion. The jealous eventually figure it out, but instead of exposing it or being a better person, they do the same. And we ended up with a ton of people who have made it into their career. An endless sea of bubbles, as fun as that might sound to our 5 year old selves, it’s not. It’s become such a problem that everyone does the same and a few lonely people look in with disgust or at best disinterest.

These same people and the people negatively affected by the wake of the disaster that has been created end up clogging up the dating apps. Most of them don’t even want a relationship. Well they do… but they are too afraid a toothpick during a dinner date might pop them. So most of them ask to send them a message on their IG. Spoiler alert: they will never read your message, they will happily accept your follow though. That’s what they really want, to further prey. To further inflate their ego.

So we’ve landed in this place with dating where the pool is as follows: bubble people, broken people, and ugly people. The same people that used to network on MySpace and Aol Instant Messenger don’t even bother responding in their 30’s. What happened?

It’s hard to say, but it’s changed the dynamics in a huge way. Instead of the 9 male to 1 female ratio that is already a problem, it skews much further in favor of the women. Between the people there just to advertise their thirst traps and completely dysfunctional ones, my wild guess would be it’s closer to 150:1. This is so far away from what nature dictates that saying it’s a broken system is a gross understatement. It’s not working for anyone and you are forced to pay high sums of money on a regular basis to tip those odds (another wild guess) to something closer to 100:1. And that’s just to filter it down to the few functional, barely functional, and ugly people.

The result of all of this was that everyone bought dogs. Really, yes really. The consumer market for dog related purchases recently broke one hundred million dollars. 75% of young adults have dogs, which is unprecedented. Millennials and Gen-Z’ers officially are the loneliest generations of all time, congratulations; at least you have your IG followers. It’s not the only evidence of course. 90% of boomers got married and the current numbers are sitting at about 70%. Marriage is out and dogs are in. Relationships are dead on all fronts and isolation is the new king. Blowing bubbles are no longer just for kids, so long as you can step into your own.