As I read it, the explosive Vanity Fair article on what sexual hookup apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Happn have done to dating has two messages, not one.
1. Sexual practices are becoming more meaningless than ever, even in the view of the participants.
2. We had better get used to it, because this is how things will be from now on.
One would think these two messages are inconsistent. Because men and women can’t live without meaning, things can’t go on like this. The only question is whether cultural change will come through change of heart, or through conquest by some other culture.
But the sexperts the author quotes don’t see it that way: “‘We are in uncharted territory’ ... says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. ‘There have been two major transitions’ in heterosexual mating ‘in the last four million years,’ he says. ‘The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,’ leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract. ‘And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.’”
Never mind that we have no evidence whatsoever that true human beings have ever lived without marriage. Focus instead on that blather about evolution. In order to find it convincing, you have to believe two things at once:
1. Because nothing endures forever, the sexual wisdom of the past is not valid any more.
2. Because they are next stage in evolution, the bizarre customs which have arisen during the last fifteen minutes of human history will endure forever.
“There's no use trying," said Alice. “One can't believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven't had much practice,” said the Queen.