Hello! Not only is Her a movie with Joaquin Phoenix, but it’s also a dating app for queer women! And it is terrible!
Let’s backtrack a minute, because maybe some of you are reading this going, “Jeez Louise, Megan! Where have YOU been? Living under a rock or some shit LOL?!” First of all, no, I do not live under a rock, and I resent the fact that you even implied I did // that would be very uncomfortable, and I am not that poor yet. (YET.) Second of all, I have known about this app for a while now, but seeing as a large percentage of the BYT staff semi-inexplicably operates on an Android cellular capacity, I was physically unable to download it for a test drive until yesterday, which is when I realized it had finally been made available for devices other than iPhones. And boy do I regret ever hitting the “download” button!
HERE IS WHY:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if someone threw Grindr, Pinterest, Craigslist and friendship into a digital blender? Well, Her is exactly the kind of depressing smoothie that would result from that combination!
For starters, your profile is essentially a “mood board” which can be decked out with photos or text blocks that are supposed to give other users a feel for your level of vibe-iness. (Or lack thereof.) The app’s creator (who I don’t mean to objectify in any way but wow v. good looking and smart minus the whole designing a dumb app part!) claims this is a less awkward way of saying who you are than having to write a blurb on rival internet dating setups. I would argue, however, that if anything, it just makes the user experience incredibly creepy // turns everyone into a suspect in the game of “AM I BEING FUCKING CATFISHED RIGHT NOW?!”
You also have the option to very specifically tell the world how you identify in terms of gender and sexuality, which I guess is nice for the sake of transparency, but also seems weirdly restrictive? Not necessarily what I’d deem a keeper of a feature. And if you’re in a relationship, you can disclose that information, too; the app aims to foster queer friendships in addition to potential dating opportunities, but like…do we really need that? (I mean, does Tumblr, the electronic home of queer ladies, not exist?)
That being said, assuming you scroll through the single queer masses and stumble upon someone who you’re more or less convinced is not a serial killer, you have the option to like that person and/or add her as a friend. From there, she will receive a notification that she’s struck your fancy in some capacity, and she can choose to either ignore the fuck out of you or accept your weird digital advances. And while I find most of the features annoying and/or unnecessary, this one I find TERRIFYING. Two things I hate in life (out of many) are rejection and rejecting, both of which you will subject yourself to if you plan on using this app. I have ignored every single person who has requested messaging privileges from me (because again, everyone seems like an AI), and I have not liked or friended anyone because I don’t want to seem like a desperate psychopath. (Because I’m mostly not one.)
So having ruled out THOSE features of the app for myself, what was left to do? Troll the message boards, that’s what! Before I get into that part, I would like to explain that this Craigslist-esque component allows users to post status updates, whether those are questions, random thoughts, photos, links, or event info for potential meetup value. And it is depressing as fuck! Here are some examples of statuses (verbatim) that are from tonight (which, by the time you read this, will really mean LAST night) alone:
- “Just want someone I can call mines an spoil *love eyes emoji*”
- “Honestly I just want to meet some cool ass lesbian, bi, whatever girls and just chill out and have fun….but if your under 21 there isn’t much we can do I’m 24 I like lounges and bars. Shit I like alcohol in general.”
- “Guess I’m too ugly to be talked to *blushing and crying emoji* hmu let’s talk *smiling emoji*”
- “Stop adding me if you live far. Like you’re either gonna be real and want to go out or just like my stuff but not message.”
- “How the fuck do you work this?????”
- “I’m tired of temporary people please don’t bring that fake love shit my way *100% emoji x 2*”
- “i hate when i lead people on”
- “Use my code to join Mercari and get $2 off your first purchase!”
- “Pasta and wine for one…”
- “i dont do half ass & iont chase nothing but this bread #understandit”
- “Never open doors for a hoe”
- “Need a smoking buddy I’m so tired of smoking alone”
- “I”m old school…I prefer giving my time and attention 100 percent if I’m talking to you. It’s just YOU. And if I’m working I’m just working. Tbh I would change nothing in me. I don’t like multitasking. One thing at a time I enjoy cherish and love. I prefer 100 percent over 50/50 or 20/30/50. If you understand what I’m talking…”
(I did not understand what she was talking, but ten people liked the status, so I guess maybe I’m just not hip!) As you can see, this is basically what the social situation is on Her. I repeat: DEPRESSING AF. (Also a virtual grammar graveyard, but that’s neither here nor there.)
So after all that sunk in, at first I was like, “This is bullshit, DELETE!” But then I was on the train today and thought to myself, “WAIT A MINUTE…this is the perfect low-risk arena to ask very bizarre things just to see what will happen! I AM INVINCIBLE!” So as of right now, I am not using Her to find dates or friends or anything like that, but rather to find the answers to life’s deep mysteries, like, “do u guys think steven avery did it i don’t”, aka something I asked at 9:39pm and as of 12:21am (the time of this writing) had not elicited any responses, which I consider to be a hilarious victory!
In sum, yes, Her is the worst app for queer women ever to exist, but it actually might end up being my favorite place to harsh some vibes in situations of mild to severe boredom. Only time will tell!
This has been the opinion of Megan Burns // maybe you think Megan Burns’ opinion is incorrect in which case feel free to air your grievances in the comments below!