Industrial Enlightenment

Industrial Enlightenment

Originally Appearing in "Midnight" (Abstract 8)
Text by Jackie Perreira

According to, Hawai‘i ranks number one in the nation when it comes to looking online for love between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., beating out top contenders Las Vegas, Brooklyn, and Long Beach. Their study isn’t the most thorough system, but it does say a couple things about us in a time where apps like tinder and grindr are commonly used.

On one hand, though there has never been a more efficient way for those who are new to the island to meet people. For example, my roommate moved here from California a year ago and didn’t know anyone. Within a matter of weeks, she was already meeting guys from tinder that would accompany her to restaurants and parts of Oahu that she had never been to before.

I met all of them (rather, I DEMANDED to meet all of them before they left to go out), and they were guys in situations just like hers: new to the island and looking for people to meet and adventure with. Of course, that’s not to say that you should run off with every guy or gal you meet on tinder, but it can be the solution for people who don’t know where to start when moving here.

With Internet access (and a proclivity for convenience), it only takes minutes to create a dating profile and maybe minutes are all we’re willing to spend to find someone for an evening. On another level though, perhaps there’s something about being isolated on an island that makes us want to reach out to those around us. Stranded in the Pacific, there can be a sense of tension, which coincidentally can spark arousal.

When Europeans visited Tahiti in the 1700s, they perceived the Tahitians as wild, sexual creatures and were in awe of how different their world was compared to the conditions in Europe after the Industrial Revolution and the “Age of Enlightenment.” This newfound interest in aesthetic experience helped inspire the birth of Romanticism.

In a strange similar way, online dating sites are exciting—I can’t tell you how many times my roommate has sent me screenshots of ridiculous profiles. Meeting someone new for the first time is mysterious, and can lead anywhere. As a generation raised with tablets and smart phones and other revolutionary new technology, maybe we’re also in a place now, ready to explore our wild sides? Like a pent-up beehive of wanton individuals ready to take the night, one profile at a time.