The pitfalls of dating apps like Tinder have been clearly established, yet millions of people continue to use them to this day. With the common knowledge that Tinder tends to lead to more superficial connections than real ones, it can be difficult to understand why so many young people maintain their profiles. Luckily, singer/songwriter Minke has summed up millennials’ complicated relationship with online dating perfectly in her new single, “Maybe 25.”
Minke is an up-and-coming indie artist who released “Maybe 25” in late July of this year. She said the song was originally about online dating before becoming a more general observation on connection in the age of technology. As a young woman beginning to make a name for herself in the music industry, Minke is in a unique position to talk about social media, which now plays a large role in how musicians expand their popularity.
Despite her perspective being slightly different than that of the average millennial, Minke’s lyrics remain extremely accessible to anyone who has dabbled in social media or online dating only to find themselves disappointed. The relatability of “Maybe 25” stems from Minke’s ability to balance humor and sincerity, thus not taking the subject of online dating too seriously while also not dismissing it out of hand.
Trying to find love on Tinder or other apps can often feel silly, and Minke embodies that feeling through lyrics such as: “Searching for a sign / Baby not a Virgo / I think I should’ve defined / I’m on the right in the photo.”
Anyone who has used Tinder is likely to find the thoughts expressed in these lyrics all too familiar. Sometimes the smallest detail will turn you away from a profile that otherwise seemed perfect, and sometimes you realize the person you were messaging thought you were someone else. The speed at which Tinder interactions can deteriorate can help keep the triviality of online dating in perspective.
On the other hand, sometimes the disappointment experienced on dating apps can be truly devastating, and Minke makes room for those feelings as well. In the song’s chorus the singer repeats the words, “Cause I can’t wait no longer / To know / Not getting any younger / I know.” For many people who have had limited success with meeting people in real life, an app such as Tinder can seem like their last chance to find a connection. While Minke’s lyrics show that she is not a fan of online dating, she does not discount the hopes that people place in meeting someone online.
People enter the world of online dating with a wide range of motives and it can often be difficult to tell whether or not a person’s aims match up with your own. Some people on Tinder are looking for casual sex and others use the app merely as a form of entertainment. If you go into online dating looking for a genuine connection, but all you encounter are people with different motives, the whole endeavor can become discouraging.
Minke experienced the range of emotions that come from online dating firsthand. In talking about her own experiences she said, “It’s kind of silly, and it stressed me out, and it was frustrating, but there was a lot of humor in it.” While the feelings she lists all seem to contradict each other, she nonetheless manages to capture all of them in “Maybe 25.” Her mellow guitar and vocals allow her to seamlessly shift between lightness and gravity, ensuring that no matter your personal experience with dating apps, there is a part of the song to which you can relate.
Even if online dating is a world you have never explored, the song will likely still resonate. Minke sees dating apps as a microcosm for how people connect through the internet in general. In one interview, the singer opened up about the anxiety she feels in trying to communicate and be confident in an online world. Presenting a cultivated image of oneself on social media can be stress-inducing and confusing, as trying to make the world see you in a certain way can lead to you losing sight of who you really are.
It is this sense of superficiality that is at the heart of Minke’s message in “Maybe 25.” When taken as a whole, the song’s lyrics are all about searching for something meaningful and coming up empty. While social media does have the potential to lead to genuine connections between people, all too often it becomes a substitute for those connections instead.
Millennials tend to take a lot of flak in the media for being obsessed with their smartphones and social media. Because the general assumption among older generations is that having an online life is of utmost importance to millennials, it can be difficult for young people to express how social media and dating apps can lead to real anxiety or frustration. When speaking out against generational stereotypes, it can be difficult to be taken seriously.
Minke’s ability to express herself so clearly through her song lyrics is therefore very important to an age group that often struggles to do so. By showing that she understands how trivial dating apps can seem, Minke accepts the critiques that are leveled against her generation’s use of social media. However, she also sings with conviction about the dissatisfaction she feels with being so connected to technology. “Maybe 25” succeeds in addressing multiple aspects of the debate around technology while still being a catchy song as well.
At the end of the day, Minke is singing about something that is extremely universal: a desire for connection. She just happens to be talking about relationships through the lens of online dating, a phenomenon that tends to be embraced more by younger generations. Thus, she has written a song that expresses the frustrations many millennials feel while also being accessible to anyone who has longed for something real.
The depth of “Maybe 25” promises that when Minke’s EP is released later this year, it will allow listeners to feel even more genuine connection with the singer.