If we see someone we like across a bar, we're more likely to unlock our phone and start swiping to see if they crop up on Bumble or Happn than we are to go over and talk to them.
The feds didn't step in, for instance, when dozens of cops were under investigation for sexting and having sex with an underage girl in Oakland, California. prosecutors have been big lately on exercising jurisdiction over both social media and sexting, and these have also been the subject of much attention in Congress lately.Or when a Chicago cop was arrested for trafficking a 14-year-old. All of this helps suggest the decision to make this a federal matter is based more on opportunism and political agendas than the severity of O'Kimosh's crime or his threat to the public. I was sat at a table piled with Aperol Spritz in a North London bar where the queue for a drink was a revolving door of attractive young people.But when I suggested approaching one of the girls around us, Tom - my single, nice, male friend - laughed at me."I wouldn't go up to a stranger," he explained, "You just look weird." And with those few words, the crossroads we are at with dating suddenly appeared before me. It has produced over 10 billion matches and been responsible for everything to disaster dates to weddings to one-night stands all around the world.
In four short years it has completed the journey from novelty app to the new dating norm - but I wonder, what are we losing from the old methods of 'matching' with people in the process?But we shouldn't forget the romance of randomly meeting someone who hasn't been vetted through swipes and pre-approved photographs, the excitement of looking at someone and not yet knowing if they are single or whether they like but feeling compelled enough to find out.I started to ask other men in my life about going up to talk to women they didn't know.No adult, especially not one sworn to uphold the law, should be sexting with a teenager, let alone propositioning one.But considering the kinds of things that cops in this country frequently get away with—murder, sexual assault, physical abuse, actual sex with minors—the severe concern in this case rings either a bit paranoid or a bit hollow.Because if you think our mobile phone addictions have ruined mealtimes, think about what it is doing to the ancient ritual of the IRL chat-up.