The visual spectacle is mildly amusing, if not for a crystal ball preview of a future bereft of families, and dominated by a menacing pack of dog moms and canines armed with smart devices in hunting a token drone male to maintain the human species, barely. A petite thirty something professional is literally being walked by a trio of big dogs down the sidewalk through the affluent and trendy neighborhoods of suburbia, and doing a fair impersonation of multi-task failure in attempting to manage the beasts and a tangle of leashes, while chronicling the experience on a smartphone, and holding onto a plastic poop bag for dear life. Yes, but these are “city dogs”, the apparent proud canine owner would proclaim on a first date, with at least one of the animals present to chaperone the arduous and surreal navigation through the single’s scene.
Though fundamentally misguided, the successful entrepreneurs of the tech industry are closer to brilliant than most in meticulously softwaring the hell out of an idea, and when an idea person is added to that promising dynamic, let the billions flow. As disgusting and troubling the scenario of the parent of barking children is from the perspective of a reasonable person, the business opportunities in reaching this colorful, if not passively insane demographic, have proven munificently lucrative across the entire pet retail industry. While the prefix of “Pet….” storefront worldwide giants are geographically synonymous from medium-sized municipalities to a viral outbreak of countless locations in bustling metroplexes, the online presence rivaling mini-Amazon empire distributors of everything from gourmet doggy chow to hemp-infused chew toys is simply daunting by offering consumers an unbeatable selection of products and price points. While the box store model faces the wrath of the Jeff Bezos army and Walmart, salvation certainly exists somewhere in the digital expanse, and the business minds of Silicon Valley have been able to successfully model the emotions and unconditional loyalty of the unbreakable bond between human and animal in a profitable software environment, an innovative algorithm that is not simply confined in matching shopper and mineral water flea baths. Why stop with the base dynamic between owner and pet, when the complete lifestyle of the animal lover can be targeted and monetized? Welcome to the realm of the digital cupid doghouse, where the ancient ceremony of courtship and intimacy includes baby talk, petting and games of fetch, but unfortunately it is directed at the pet and not the person.
It’s no longer enough that a woman and man can be introduced organically in a population gravitating towards the tediously awkward and helplessly introverted.
Type in “Dog Dating App” (or “Cat Dating App” if willing to take the risk) on one of the popular search engines and over 90 million results instantaneously reveal an undocumented and strange world founded codependency and the abundance of fur, where chivalry is measured by the amount in which one scoops, rather than in disingenuous and ego-building utterances of sweet nothings verbally spewed at crucial junctures during the interlude. The children of the future cry out in vain as the guy has virtually no chance to score, other than living vicariously through his prized pooch, an alpha male at the dog park teeming with a non-human traffic melee of pheromones and Joe Biden-infused polite dry humping, his progeny doomed to the confines of a test tube racked carelessly in a cryogenic freezer somewhere in the back room of the strip mall. The $50 easy money earned for ten minutes of work cannot replace the irreparable damage to the human race in failing to father at least one child during a lifetime.
Surprisingly, dog parents engaged in “traditional” online dating sites have responded tepidly to the wealth of canine-friendly platforms and other than the “Dig-Dog” app, low traffic numbers and limited revenue growth, are at least staunching the next wave of anti-social behavior needlessly societal engineering the generations from X and younger. However, the suffocating magnitude of pet selfies and memory required to share in direct interactions and across social media, has engineers concerned as to the sustainability of utilizing a device as a visual journal to the mundanities of everyday life, not to mention the dire consequences of implied self-gratification in snapping 100 images of dog next to a pig.
While it has come to a consensus in some circles that “we met online” is a satisfactory response in polite culture to the origination of a successful union, the world is not ready yet for “Bozer and I met Java and Shoshone on the Chasing Tail app, and the dogs really hit it off in the elevator. Take a look at these 338 images”.
For the rest of us, let’s keep it outside where it belongs, and be aware of what is developing and transpiring in the crazy digital universe.