At 49, author Nancy Jo Sales was recovering from a breakup when she downloaded Tinder on a whim. Why not, she thought, this sounds like fun. What ensued was quite an adventure across the online dating world.
She never intended to write memoirs – “and certainly not about my sex life!” she said laughing. But she felt obligated with her latest book, “Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Inferno Dating App(Hachette Books) – if only to reassure thousands of young people, mostly women, that they’re not the only ones who find online dating sorely lacking in substance.
“I think there are a lot of people who don’t like [online dating], who think it’s their fault. They want to be reassured that they are not doing anything wrong. And I know this is not normal. That’s not right, ”says Sales, referring to the aggressive posts, unsolicited nude photos, or the kind of exchange that can become verbally abusive the minute a woman says,“ No thanks.
“Many women feel lonely in their feelings, as if they are in an impossible situation. Dating is such a big part of the lives of young women. And I felt I had to share and be personal about it. ”
Her personal experiences and the research she did for the 2018 HBO documentary “Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age” convinced her of something: the medium itself is the problem, encouraging people to see themselves as objects rather than individuals.
“I don’t glorify the past at all. But there was a truer connection. There was more courtesy, ”she says of old-fashioned dating. “There is something to be said about having a social contract where we actually show up in a bar at 8:30 am. A promise to – not to marry, but to actually show up. ”
One of their biggest takeaways: the fact that Big Dating doesn’t care if you find a partner – in fact, they would rather you didn’t.
“These companies don’t care if you go out at sunset,” she says. “They just want you to stay on the app.”