why doesn't facebook want me to have a casual hookup?

Zuckerboi has stressed that Facebook's new dating app, which is still in the late development stages, will aim to facilitate “real long-term relationships -- not just hook-ups”.

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May 5 2018, 1:00am

The other day a colleague said to me, “They’re doing Tinder weddings now.” He didn’t mean the launch of an extremely contractually binding extension to the app, but that people are marrying as a result of meeting on online dating sites -- which has actually been happening for a good while. But according to Mark Zuckerberg, the newly announced Facebook Dating app is gonna make those wedding bells a priority for you.

Zuckerboi has stressed that the app, which is still in the late development stages, will aim to facilitate “real long-term relationships -- not just hook-ups”. Just take that in.

Media coverage suggests the app will be used mostly by the over 35s, because millennials are pretty much done with Facebook (we just need to psyche ourselves up to actually delete the account, but the mindset is there). Presumably Mark-bot ascribes to the belief that the youth of today are heartless sex-machines, and only those over 40 know the true value of life-long monogamy and a nuclear family.

Apparently the app will exclude existing friends from potential matches, which is kind of a relief. So if you want to bash bits with an old acquaintance you met four years ago at a yoga social you’re gonna have to slide into their DMs the old-fashioned way.

However the algorithm will take into account “dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends”. I know I can’t be the only Tinder user who felt a cold sickness descend upon realising you’d been messaging someone who you have mutual friends with. What if they tell the friend? What if we’ve dated the same people? WHAT IF THEY SOMEHOW KNOW MY MUM? Frankly I could do without that stress, but at least Tinder made it clear when it had happened.

It will also presumably be much easier for your date to Facebook stalk you and ruin any attempts you were making at self-reinvention, because they’ll know you are very definitely a user of Facebook. And if you and your Facebook Date don’t hit it off, the pre-ghosting excuse of “I’m not on social media” isn’t gonna fly.

But why so down on hook-ups, Z-man? Why is long-term more 'real' than short-term? When I started dating, I put on my profile that I didn’t want anything ‘serious’, and initially specified I only wanted short-term romances. But then I realised I didn’t really mind how long or short-term the relationship was as long as it was on my ‘non-serious’ terms (something my early-20s naïve self struggled to define and execute, but it’s the principle of the matter). You can have short and meaningful relationships, just as you can have long but frivolous relationships.

I can’t help but feel it will be hard to forget the negative connotations of receiving unsolicited Facebook messages from strangers -- usually it’s just randos from Florida messaging to say 'I like your smile’ in a tone so creepy that you can hear it through the internet. Now we're supposed to view FB as the portal to eternal marital bliss. It's going to be like Guardian Soulmates for the soulless.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.