I had expectations of what he would be like before I even had a digital conversation with him—expectations that he helped create.
That’s why choosing a photo for my own profile was so hard.
My freshly minted Bumble profile read, “I’m writing an article about online dating for work.” I used work as an unoriginal excuse for dabbling with a dating app for the first time, but I won’t lie—I was morbidly curious.
Yet, when the first profile popped up and I had to decide which direction to swipe, my mind dissented from itself, vacillating between curiosity and repulsion. Dating apps and modern romance unsettle me, (relationships are complicated enough without technology), but I never understood why—not until I plunged into the depths of a virtual world where only single people (hopefully) reside.
“It’s all based on looks.” My friend had a point about superficial attraction and subconscious evaluations—but she wasn’t completely right.The sightseer in Percy’s article doesn’t appreciate the Grand Canyon on its own merit, the sightseer regards it based on a pre-existing image or review, whether it be from a postcard, a similiar experience, or a fellow friend—or in the case of today, Google Earth and Yelp. A person’s happiness usually depends on their expectations, not the conditions.Whether we mean to or not, we appreciate something based on how well or poorly it conforms to our pre-existing perception.Percy’s solution to expectation creation is to go off the beaten path.In the case of the Grand Canyon, it would mean going somewhere that is untouched, or somewhere you have no preconceived ideas of.