“I don’t want to date you ’cause I didn’t feel a spark.”

Our attention spans are dying.

We’ve trained ourselves to skim. We can’t even bring ourselves to read posts if they’re long (and by long, I mean more than a couple paragraphs). Most of you will navigate away at the end of this sentence.

But if most of us only can skim the surface of content, why would we be good at doing more than skimming the surface of the people who create it? We tell ourselves “when I meet the right person, I’ll want to go deeper. I’ll be interested. I’ll want to commit.” Really?

The onus for your ability to go deeper is on how “right” someone else is? So you’re telling me you can see whether a person is right for you before you’ve gotten to know him or her deeply—that what you can see in somebody in one or two encounters is all you need to know (excluding encounters with people whose dealbreakers are evident).

Or maybe you’re saying that literally just meeting the right person suddenly makes us feel able to commit (and that there couldn’t possibly be any other reasons you’ve been unable to commit so far).

I get that you need to be attracted, that you have to like a person. Truth! But is it actually on the other person to motivate or excite you into getting to know him or her? Are we all just closed off to each other until merely being in the presence of the “right” person unlocks an ability we couldn’t access before?

Or are these just things we tell ourselves so we don’t have to admit that there may be other reasons we don’t like people or want to commit even when we like them? Like how so much of what shapes us shapes us to be shallow. How pornography, social media, video games, and texting are supernormal stimuli that rewire the brain until normal stimuli don’t stimulate, satisfy, or interest us anymore—like people and our physical, social, and emotional interactions with them.

Are you sure you can’t date him or her because you “didn’t feel a spark” or you “don’t feel what I think I’m supposed to feel” or because “in order to want to date you, I’d need to be unable to get you out of my head” (all real things real people I know have said)? Or did you really mean “I don’t want to date you because you aren’t a supernormal stimulus?”