Winter is coming, and I’m not just saying that because the temperature finally dipped below 78 degrees and I was forced to switch my iced Dunkin’ pumpkin latte order to a hot pumpkin latte order. With the end of 90+ degree days, rooftop season, and my general will to live, comes the beginning of
the end cuffing season. For those of you who weren’t aware: cuffing season is the time of year when you must balance the desire to not shave your legs for the next 6-9 months with the desire to not die alone in your apartment with no one but your beloved dog to find your body. It’s tricky. But is winter like, actually a good time to meet people? Or am I shaving my legs for nothing? Well, as it turns out, if you want to digitally exchange small talk with a guy who thought showing his personality meant saying he likes The Office, then you’d be right! Winter is the best time to meet people… while online dating.
A recent survey conducted by Dating.com found that not only is there a rise in online dating use during the winter months, but that the chances of meeting an actual human being IRL drops by more than half during that same time period. This tracks, as the only person I like to converse with when the temperature drops below 50 degrees is the guy at Trader Joe’s checkout counter where I buy wine in bulk. And even then, I would really appreciate it if Marcus kept his opinions on bulk alcohol orders to himself, mmkay?
The survey also found that 67% of people were less likely to attend a social gathering during the winter versus the summer, and that there’s a noticeable 30% uptick overall in dating platform activity between November and February. Again, this tracks. But just because people are using online apps during the winter doesn’t actually mean they’re going on any dates or making any genuine connections, right? I mean, I once spent two months talking to a guy who thought seeking human connection meant asking for your Snapchat handle. Are you trying to tell me, Dating.com, that these are the types of people who will be swiping on me this winter? Just because more people are on apps during specific months doesn’t necessarily mean that your chances in finding a long-term partner will increase (if that’s what you’re looking for).
So, who are these people flooding dating apps during the winter, you ask? Well apparently they are
me the loneliest of sad sacks! According to the data collected, 60% of surveyors said they turn to online dating as an effective and quick fix to their anxiety and/or sadness. I feel like exchanging endless small talk with strangers online can only do more harm to a person’s anxiety and depression, but then again I’m just a girl who considers watching eight hours of television in a single sitting “self-care”, so what do I really know?
But back to the sad sacks! It feels like the data from this survey is trying to tell me that, yes, more people are on dating apps, but this newfound dating pool is coming from a real place of laziness and desperation. Like, when the Seamless guy shows up before you’ve had a chance to put on pants so you just settle for wrapping yourself in a couch blanket and hoping he doesn’t notice, you know? And is anyone shocked by this information? Because I’m not. So, people are sad and lazy when it’s cold out? What other earth-shattering truths is this survey going to tell us next? That the sky is blue?
However, what did surprise me is that over 90% of those surveyed said they found someone online that they had a strong connection with. NINETY PERCENT. That’s like, almost everyone! Even the guy who said that Marvel movies and liking his dog are the way to his heart! I’m actually floored by this number. Not only are people on the apps but they’re—dare I say—connecting? Going on dates? Requesting to follow the other person on Instagram?! This feels like a real breakthrough. Tbh, I have not felt the odds were this much in my favor since Selena Gomez announced she was releasing new music. The stars are aligning, people.
So there you have it! According to science, winter is the best time of year to meet someone on a dating app, especially if that someone was driven to the app by pure loneliness and desperation. I guess we better start shaving our legs now, ladies!
Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (1); @sarafcarter /Instagram (1)
Here’s something we all know: Instagram is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you’re
looking at all your old selfies thinking about how pretty you are sharing memories with friends, the next you’re sent into a rage spiral because your-man-who’s-not-really-your-man commented the heart eye emoji on some thot’s belfie and it reminded you that you haven’t gone to the gym in three years weeks. So yeah, while the highs of a 100+ like beach pic are pretty high, the lows of a vulnerable selfie that never even hits the double digits are pretty fucking low. All of this is to say, Instagram can be depressing as fuck, and now we have the science to back that up. A new study from Harvard University (what, like it’s hard?) found that your Instagram posts hold clues to your mental health, and I’m not just talking about how we all know you’re fucking depressed when you post a picture of you looking longingly out a random window and caption it with some emo song lyrics from the early 2000s. But that too.
The actual study found that people who are depressed (aka you all winter), “tended to post photos that, on a pixel-by-pixel basis, were bluer, darker and grayer on average than healthy people.” So basically, your grainy-ass black-and-white food pics aren’t just fucking up the flow of my feed, they’re actually revealing to the entire world (assuming your account is public) that you’re depressed.
Researches came to this
very obvious stunning conclusion by identifying participants as “depressed” or “healthy” based on whether they reported having been diagnosed with depression in the past.
Side note: Who are these healthy, non-depressed people? Where do they live? What is their secret?
Researchers then “used machine-learning tools to find a pattern in the photos and to create a model predicting depression by the posts,” which is basically fancy science speak for “We taught a computer how to scroll through Instagram.”
So what exactly in your posts reveals that you are depressed? Well, they found that depressed IG users tend to use “fewer filters,” which supports my strongly held belief that people who post
#nofilter selfies are seriously disturbed. When they do use a filter, they tend to use Inkwell aka the fancy Instagram way of saying black-and-white, whereas healthy people use Valencia because…IDK. I guess the greenish hue brings people joy? Unclear.
Depressed participants were also more likely to post photos of just their face, which means that someone needs to drive to Brentwood and check on Kylie Jenner ASAP. I’m seriously concerned.
One thing these researchers found that I def could have told them myself is that depressed users tend to post more frequently. I mean, fucking duh. Anyone on Earth can tell whether or not I’m going through a breakup based off my daily post rate. Two or more selfies a day and you are fully justified in sending me a “U OK?” text. (I’m most definitely not okay.)
They also found that depressed people also tend to get more comments and less likes, which is really unfortunate because, as I previously stated, there’s nothing better to get you out of a funk than a fire candid with 100+ likes. If they could find a way to turn that feeling into a pill, depression would be a thing of the past.
All in all, this study is, for lack of a better word, depressing. Mainly because all the things they said are signs of depression describe the social media use of literally every human person in my feed, including myself. That being said, I think the moral of this story is clear: Inkwell is just not an acceptable filter anymore and using Valencia is the same for your health as like, a really good cardio workout.
You know that feeling you get that you’re better than everyone else? Well, you’re actually right about that. It turns out the ability to social climb is embedded into your genes. So you literally can’t help it that you’re so popular. Sorry for letting you fall, Gretchen. You were right all along. A new study by Kings College in London found that your genes actually determine 50% of whether or not you will be socially mobile. The other half is basically determined by being rich which like, yeah duh we knew that already. According to the study, children who were born with the popularity genes tended to score better on all of their tests, regardless of how educated or wealthy their parents were.
This probably explains why even when we don’t want to do work, we still succeed at everything we do. Think Elle Woods in Legally Blonde just casually taking her LSATs and getting into Harvard.
This study was the first to find substantial proof of “genetic influence on children’s social mobility” aka, what we’ve known all along, that some people are just born popular. Using a sample of 6,000 twin families (it’s always twins, isn’t it?), researchers measured whether or not children were able to measure up to the education status of their parents. So like, if your kid scores high on their tests even though you didn’t go to college and just run like an Etsy shop or whatever, that child is upwardly mobile. If you’re rich AF and went to an Ivy but your kid failed their tests, then your kid doesn’t have the popularity gene and isn’t upwardly mobile. Honestly, this test seems kind of mean, which I guess is perfect for popular people.
Unfortunately, this also means some people are just born to fail, which explains the trust fund bro we dated who had everything handed to him yet still ended up arrested for selling oregano to a police officer. Even when their parents were already educated and successful, the kid could still end up becoming a DJ or street magician so like, thank god we were born with the right genes. Can’t help that things come so easy for us!