From January 14th until Valentine’s Day, Alexa will offer dating advice to those who ask. Matchmaking company Three Day Rule put together 30 dating tips that Amazon Echo users can summon by saying, “Alexa, ask Three Day Rule for today’s tip.” Three Day Rule’s advice runs the gamut from swiping fatigue on apps to encouraging you to talk to strangers in real life.
TDR’s advice is meant to get you out of your comfort zone and away from habits that could be “negatively impacting” your dating life. “Today, you are going to walk up to three strangers you find attractive and strike up a casual conversation,” Alexa chirps confidently in one clip. “Remember what it was like to actually interact with another human, before the days of swiping and social media?”
What Alexa doesn’t mention in this particular tidbit is a necessary caveat about how you approach this attractive stranger. Such as: are you properly reading their body language? Is this person wearing headphones or indicating in some other way that they do not wish to be bothered? Are you making sure to talk to them in a setting where they feel they can safely leave the conversation, and not a packed train or other enclosed space? There’s something dystopian about accepting dating advice from a virtual assistant. Tips sometimes lack nuance, even when written by a team of real humans.
And, of course, Alexa’s tips don’t account for personal preferences. Telling someone to swipe yes on five people for every one person they reject is insanity, given that precaution is part of the very process that keeps douchebags from sliding into your DMs in the first place. In another piece of dating advice, Alexa spikes the idea of coffee dates with the voracity of an all-star volleyball player. “Daytime coffee is not a date,” Alexa declares. “Daytime coffee is a business meeting.” But under the right circumstances, any coffee date can be romantic. A friend and I pondered this ourselves after she was asked on one such date; we concluded that coffee was more authentic than a dark bar and less excruciating than a dinner.
It’s best to view Alexa’s dating tips like those of any friend’s: suggestions to be taken into consideration, rather than gospel. A little nudge from your Amazon Echo is fine for the daily self-esteem boost, but Alexa’s best advice can still be summed up thusly: be confident, be kind, and don’t judge a book by its cover. Everything else will waffle depending on the person you’re trying to date. My best advice? Avoid using “hey” as your pickup line.