“TIME Can Predict Your Perfect Marriage Date” reads the title, quickly followed by an article that proceeds to talk about how Facebook makes us so unhappy, what with all that wretched “compare and contrast” business going on. Jim Bemis’ posh life in London, Jackie Gabriel’s nearly enviably “job” as a groupie: It’s impossible to not notice where other people are in their lives and where you are not. Facebook is the canvas with which we paint self-portraits, largely in mistaken relation to other people and signed agreeably in our own blood.
Still, all of these things – noting my younger ex-stepbrother’s engagement, seeing a post about my middle school boyfriend’s house purchase with “the love of my life!!!!!!” — are vague, internalized discomforts, an inkling of a notion that you might be getting left behind. What does TIME do? Put a number on it, confirming my very suspicion. I’m running out of time.
With this app, TIME would like to make it appear they are doing you a great service, assuming that you’re in a functioning relationship and are just too bloody chicken to pull the trigger. Their app tells you at what age your friends are typically ball-and-chaining each other “and when it might be time for you to take the plunge.” As if I have any control over that! It’s not like I’m sitting here expiring by choice.
My results? The median age of my 71 married friends is 31.1 years old, which, as TIME so eloquently puts it, “leaves me” 1 year, 2 months, and 16 days. Knowing their app might be the cause of subsequent suicides, it attempts to console me with a comment about how half of my friends were married after that age. All hope is not lost, see? However, I can assure you with app-like accuracy that the older parts of this equation are the men marrying my friends themselves. Which makes me still Grade A spinster material.
Generally speaking, this experiment was an unpleasant experience, one that I rank up there with peeing in a cup at the doctor’s office and having to hand it to the nurse or telling your friend you accidentally ripped her favorite leather jacket. I did, however, take solace in the comment section, where people expressed similar grievances, like one Andy Fisher, who remarked, “’Your target date was 1 year, 1 month and 24 days ago.’ Forever alone.’”
I feel you, Andy Fisher. Thanks for nothing, TIME.