Pendarvis H.

Cyborgs of San Francisco, our ongoing series of street-side interviews with people in San Francisco about the way they use technology, is back. This time, we interviewed a handful of Cyborgs about how love (and the pursuit thereof) has been impacted by technology. This is what they had to say:

Nisarg

“I guess (technology) has kind of hindered (the pursuit of love) actually, because, I’m not really sure. For me it works out, actually, technology has been good. Because my girlfriend is in India, and I talk to her, and we don’t feel the distance. At the same time, what my friends are doing here—what other people are doing here: they meet random people and they fall into love, but they don’t quite make it through the entire way. And there’s that sad-sad story again.”- Nisarg

Christine

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“I have a boyfriend. We met through a mutual friend…But then, he kind of like, Facebook messaged me and that’s how it started. Before we started dating, I judged him by his Facebook. I think you would check out their Facebook and see their pictures and their friends and what they’re interested in.

I think (technology has) hindered (the pursuit of love). Because people jump to conclusions by looking at a Facebook post or looking at an Instagram.” - Christine

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Drew

“Online, no. Mobile, yes. I’ve never done online, I prefer in person. But of course, the wave of mobile dating came around, so I tried a few apps. The Tinders, the Hinge, The Wyldfires of the world; but I still prefer in person.”

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“If I were to ever meet somebody, I would want to Facetime or Skype—so as to see that the person is who they say they are.”

“I initially say yes (technology does help the pursuit of love), because you hear of all of the people—good friends of mine who have met online, through eHarmony or Tinder, and actually finding people who become married. But that was my initial thought. And then I back stepped, because you hear of the catfishing of the world… But I’d still say yes. Because, in this area of the world, you have so many busy people who don’t have a 9 to 5 job, when they wake up, the first thing they do is check their email. They’re not showering, not making breakfast, the first thing they do is check their email. And then if they get a call from their boss at 11pm at night, they’re working. I’d say for that, you don’t have many opportunities to meet new people—the mobile can help in that way.”- Drew

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Beza

“When I moved to San Francisco, I didn’t know too many people. So, of course I tried to get out there and meet people. I signed up for a couple of websites online to find my match: on Match, on Tinder, OKCupid… Yeah, none of them worked. Some were more reputable than others. Some had more substance than others. I just realized that it wasn’t for me, and I was just going to try it the old fashioned way. Like get out of my house. Get off the computer.” - Beza

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Brian

Just when you feel lonely, it’s easy to hop on the Internet and try to find a friend or a girl. It’s a lot easier to connect with people, easier than in person. I’m a shy person. But not too much, but I’m not going to go out of my way and talk to people. I let people come to me.”

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“That’s the thing that I don’t really like, because if you have trust issues to begin with, and then they might get worse with things like technology— such as like texting, or Instagram or Facebook, ‘who’s that message from?’, ‘what guy did you like that picture?’, you know, stuff like that."

“I think (technology has) hindered (the pursuit of love). It’s weird, because, it can help… Let’s see: personal experiences? If I have a girlfriend who is really insecure, technology can ruin a relationship. Facebook will ruin a relationship—if she’s insecure. All social networks that I’ve experienced the girls don’t like them if a guy has them. A lot of girls are insecure. They feel like, when a guy sees other pictures of girls, if they like your picture on Instagram, and then they get mad at you—it ruins your chance of falling in love, you know? Back in the day, that thought of what we think of, of a status, or that picture that she liked or you liked, that was nothing back then. So it must’ve been so much easier.”- Brian

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Mike

“It depends on the definition of love, but I think [technology's] helped me, personally, a lot. In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s beneficial… Me personally, I’m a very shy sort of reserved person, so I find it hard to engage in conversation in real life, usually. And this provides a shield of anonymity, sort of a barrier. I can think about my responses, I don’t have to be charming in real time. I can think about what I’m going to say, type it out, read it over. And make sure whether or not I’m being as cool as I think I am.

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There have been times, where that wall, that same wall that I think is helping me, has made me feel too anonymous. So I’ve maybe gone too far with the things I’ve said. Which has surprised me, in this notion that I could even say things like that, which is interesting. In many ways it has hindered me, I think with the words that I say.

It’s all about the opener. I think that’s even true outside of virtual dating. Online, those girls, you know they’re going to have all these lines thrown at them all day long, so if you can make yours standout, I think you have a better chance of initiating conversation. And from there, it should be pretty easy.

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My best opener is, I don’t know if I can say this: ‘Wow you’re fucking gorgeous.’ I don’t know how or why, but it seems to get a response pretty typically.” - Mike

Nicholas and Ray

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It’s a lot of misconceptions. You see a photo, they’re hot. See them in real life, they’re not. It’s uh, not what you expect them to be. And now I think with Tinder it’s even worse. Because, before you had warning flags. Like, the girl would be like, ‘I love God-God, God, God’. And I’d be like ‘ok, skip!’. But now, with Tinder, it’s just a photo! There’s no warnings, no red flag! How about you, (Ray?)” - Nicholas

“Mine is actually kind of embarrassing. I was going through a bad breakup and I was drunk, and I went online one night, and I make a profile and I do all of this stuff, and um, I forgot about it. I forgot it was even there. And it was the day that Johnny Cash died. And my profile became the profile of the week, and it was on a skyscraper ad on the side of like CNN, or whatever the online news. And all of my friends were like, ‘hey, wait a second, isn’t that Ray?’ And then they go into the profile and there’s all of this super embarrassing stuff on there, and a goofy photo. And then I get all of these, ’hey, uh- so?’ My handle was super embarrassing. I don’t remember what it was, I’ve blacked it out. But it became like the featured- featured one because it got so many hits. And I couldn’t get them to take it down. I was like, please take it down. They were like, no way, it’s getting too many hits! It had a spike. Like 150 views in half an hour."

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"It’s gone now, it’s buried. It was super embarrassing, completely cheesy. The type of thing you’d do when you’re drunk and looking for love. I was putting myself out there, but I can look back it now and laugh.”- Ray

"I write about the future (Associate Producer at @ThisIsFusion).

I write about the past (publisher of #OGToldMe).

Oakland, CA raised me."