November 23, 2018 Fabian Raith

It’s time to take over! Friedrich’s time on the weekend reading spot is over (for now) and now we students are in charge. Me gusta!

I thought, it could be nice to introduce myself before I write my first blog post on this blog, so: HI! I am Fabian, formerly finished a Double Master Degree in Frankfurt (Oder) and Istanbul, wrote my thesis about migration narratives in German pop music and also worked a little in the political field, before I decided that I would rather like to work in a theatrical context. And to add something more private: The last concert I went to were those lovely people.

This week, I saw Simon Stones piece “Griechische Trilogie” at Berliner Ensemble, which focuses on the role of women in Greek dramas. This reminded of the amazing Zündfunk Generator (which is a recommendation in general) podcast episode about women in Tech- maybe because we also had a daily coding task on our schedule. Nonetheless, all of that came together as I read Kate Julian’s longread Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?where she looks at almost every aspect of the topic.

At least among people who don’t use dating apps, the perception exists that they facilitate casual sex with unprecedented efficiency. In reality, unless you are exceptionally good-looking, the thing online dating may be best at is sucking up large amounts of time. As of 2014, when Tinder last released such data, the average user logged in 11 times a day. Men spent 7.2 minutes per session and women spent 8.5 minutes, for a total of about an hour and a half a day. Yet they didn’t get much in return. Today, the company says it logs 1.6 billion swipes a day, and just 26 million matches. And, if Simon’s experience is any indication, the overwhelming majority of matches don’t lead to so much as a two-way text exchange, much less a date, much less sex.

How is this connected to the other topic, one may think. The pioneer of online dating was a woman
called Joan Ball. Yet- only a few people know about that fact, so go ahead and read that wonderful story of how she came up with the idea and already realized the problem about online dating:

She needed help bringing people together in a logical way, at a large scale, so that they could go off and do illogical things at a small scale. She needed to balance the personal and the impersonal, the rational and the romantic, in order to make it work. So she started asking people to write down what they didn't want—this time in a more rigid format that could be quantified. The rest, after all, remained negotiable. Despite the idea that computer dating was somehow “revolutionary” or only for the young, it was divorcees, widowers, and older unmarried people who mostly answered her call.

Maybe games could help those people and their desires at well, at least it might work in Kurdish regions. There, public games seem to be a common tradition, in which everyone can participate, as Gelawêj Ewrîn describes:

Nobody had to play in the same manner or with equal physical strength. Everyone contributes to the game according to their ability. After all, joy and excitement in life are the most important aspect of these games. Most of the time, women contribute to the aesthetic beauty of this social phenomenon with their skilfully embroidered dresses. If women do not participate, but only watch certain games, they nevertheless beautify the moment with their songs and ululations.

I wanna be part of that gang. And to my digital gang: Happy reading, happy weekend!

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