[Marxism] Fwd: Why Is Dating in the App Era Such Hard Work? - The Atlantic

Craig Butosi cbutosi at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 07:01:16 MDT 2016

"What dates like these remind me of is job interviews. Everything is riding
on your initial appearance.... Everything in capitalist society, including
people and nature, are seen from the point of view of their exchange value."

Weigel's observations reminded of Eva Illouz's *Cold Intimacies: The
Makings of Emotion Capitalism;* in particular, where she says that the
entire dynamic of online dating is completely reversed from previous forms
of Romantic interaction: "If attraction usually precedes knowledge of
another person, here knowledge precedes attraction ... [P]eople are
apprehended first as a set of attributes and only then ... do they
apprehend the bodily presence of another". The idea here being that online
dating is a sort of marketplace of commodified personalities (profiles),
which are nothing more than readily computable, idealized representations
of the self  that happen to be measurable, machine-readable aggregates of
discrete attributes and variables (the profile structures themselves
configured and predetermined by the dating service).

If alienation is the loss of the bond to reality, as Marx suggests, then
the superstructural manifestation of the online dating world is a pretty
compelling example. *Cold Intimacies *comes highly recommended, by the way.


Craig Butosi, MA, MLIS, BMus Hons.
Website: craigbutosi.ca
Library: library.craigbutosi.ca

More information about the Marxism mailing list