CHICAGO — Local software developer Gabe Williamson spent nearly the entirety of a recent first date scrolling through Google results on his phone trying to ascertain the best ending he could get, nosey restaurant patrons confirmed.
“He was on his phone practically the whole time,” said Melissa Schneider, Williamson’s patient date. “I would ask him a question, like, ‘What do you do for a living?’ and it was, like, boom, straight to the iPhone. I thought he was ignoring me, but after a few minutes, he would look back up, smile, and answer me. I don’t know why it would take him so long to remember that he was an investment banker who loved dogs and had a great relationship with his mother.”
Williamson explained that this behavior was not a nervous tic, but rather a conscious strategy.
“I just wanted everything to go well,” said Williamson, who added that he hadn’t heard from Schneider since the date. “I didn’t want to say the wrong thing and accidentally get locked out of any future content. I read a guide earlier in the day, but there’s a ton of dialogue options, so I couldn’t remember them all. When I searched for individual questions, most of the stuff I found was blogspam, so I had to scroll for a while before I found the right answer. I just wish I had made a new save file before I got to the restaurant so I could explore the other paths. I’ll never know what I missed out on.”
Experts have noted the proliferation of instructional romantic content on the internet over the last decade.
“There’s all sorts of dating advice online, and a lot of it can be useful if implemented wisely,” said Audrey Fischer, a relationship guru and self-help author. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of junk out there, too. Less scrupulous outlets will steal content from other publications, copying and pasting it without context. Even worse, some websites are using AI to write completely nonsensical relationship guides. Sadly, computers are incapable of love.”
At press time, a review of Williamson’s search history revealed inquiries into how to “100%” a fulfilling and loving relationship.