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Expectations that either we project on others, or expectations we hope to set through the profiles we carefully craft.A lot can be discerned from photos, and apps like Bumble give you the option to reveal information like where you went to school and where you work. As a result, I had preconceived notions of people based on their profiles, and I was primed to view each person through the lens of my own expectations.

In the case of online dating, it would mean meeting someone without having context of who they are.

For instance, approaching a stranger in a coffee shop or a bar.

After half a day of dating app shenanigans, I realized two perturbing aspects of online dating: the calculated act of self-presentation when creating a profile and the carelessness with which we regard other humans when swiping "yes or no." While technology doesn’t change the superficiality of people, it does enable us to indulge in it.

Most people tend to create portfolios that portray their best self.

If your intention is to attract someone, it’s natural to want to look your best.

You wouldn’t choose a photo where you have a leaf of spinach between two incisor teeth, or one where your cheeks are red and your eyes unfocused from too many drinks.

On the flip side, it enabled me to indulge in narcissistic behavior, like spending time searching through photos I thought I looked best in, or suddenly having the urge to take a better photo of myself that would boost my profile.

The carefully crafted online encounter I created felt both misrepresentative and misleading.

In Walker Percy’s, , he explores the idea that objective reality is obscured and lost to systems of education and classification, or in other words, our expectations.

Percy uses the Grand Canyon as an example in which the modern-day sightseer only sees the canyon through the expectation that has already formed in their mind.

That is, unless you’re an untamable creature who roams the earth doing whatever they please, in which case, bravo.

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