Dating apps are a great place to test out ideas – By @hollygordonn

Dating apps are a great place to test out ideas

Like many others, I found myself swiping aimlessly through Hinge a few weeks before shit hit the fan, and we all got told that we couldn’t leave our houses. For obvious reasons, this meant dates were off the table and we soon began to see the influx of virtual dating jokes, memes, tweets and zoom backgrounds. All in the efforts to recreate the awfully anxious feeling we get when we decide to meet up with a person we swiped right on, or in my case, reply to a question about Australia. 

That was three months ago and now, after a string of fizzled out lockdown conversations (there’s only so many times I can tell someone how I’m ‘dealing’ with lockdown) I figured I should put my focus elsewhere. As an alumni coming back to SCA, the feelings are mixed. Some of my friends have compared it to mild PTSD and I can’t disagree. However, it’s a wonderful opportunity to refresh the skills I have and dust off the cobwebs on the techniques I forgot all about (sorry). These reminders of creative skills and craft are so useful and this is how my accidental experiment began.

We always get encouraged to share our work with our friends inside and outside SCA. People who work in advertising will understand the creative process and see our ideas one way, but someone who knows nothing about what we do will respond from the consumer perspective, essentially the person we are trying to communicate with. However, I still hold some anxiety when it comes to sharing ideas with friends so I figured I’d go one step further and ask people I’ve never met before. So I opened up Hinge again.

After the usual introductions are made, a quick joke about lockdown or how badly Boris is handling the situation, the question of what I’m doing with my life is asked. Now, last year when I was actively attending SCA, I never knew how to answer. This time round, I still don’t so I go for the easy route and tell them I’m at University and I’m busy building a portfolio. I’ve noticed that this usually gets one of three responses.

  1. Oh nice! What is going in the portfolio?
  2. What is a portfolio?
  3. (If I’ve mentioned advertising) What kind of advertising do you do?

Number three always stumps me a bit. Anyway, after a brief explanation to give them some context, I tell them one idea from my book. I try to condense it to a line, because it’s good practise, but also because I don’t want to overwhelm them with strategy. If their response is positive then I know the thinking behind an idea works. Bonus points if they decide to input their own thoughts as well, but then this quickly goes off topic. Obviously there is a limitation because I can’t show them visual work and I’m not about to hand out my number to every guy who laughs at an SMP, but it’s been a fun thing to do and surprisingly helpful. As learning and communication has all turned to online, texting an idea to another person doesn’t feel the same as quickly sharing a thought over a pint or showing a friend a crudely drawn scamp, but we are learning to adapt to this way to keep learning, working, teaching and connecting with others so I figured one other way wouldn’t hurt.

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