In the year of 2022, many happy relationships have been fostered through finger-swiping.
In 40 years, grandchildren will be regaled with tales of the 'super like' and that seminal slide into the DMs. Dating apps are now the norm, and for many, a message left unanswered is a far less crushing blow than a failed attempt at meeting a fellow human in real life.
Which is exactly what one US woman tried to do - but it didn't quite go as planned.
Sick of the trials and tribulations of online dating, Angelica Peck pledged to put down her phone and take her quest to find love into the real world. Documenting her endeavour on TikTok, Peck vowed to swap her apps for solo adventures in the hope of meeting a special someone - without a swipe.
"This year I decided I'm going to go the full year without using any dating apps. However, I still want to meet people, so tonight it's Friday and I am gonna go out by myself," she said in the viral video.
But Peck's dreams of her very own fairytale meet-cute were dashed when reality set in.
In the clip, Peck shared footage of her night out on the town. She filmed herself walking past one bar that was "full of people with their friends" before she stopped at a jazz club. After leaving the venue, she explained she found the experience too "embarrassing".
"Okay, that didn't go well and was a little embarrassing. I’m gonna see if I can find another place to go," she told the camera.
Peck later came across another bar where she filmed herself enjoyed a drink, but the video quickly cut to her holding back tears in the bathroom.
"It's not going as planned," she said.
Peck ended the video with footage of herself back at her home, visibly emotional.
"I don't know what I thought, like, I genuinely thought I was going to meet people. The jazz bar was too crowded, there wasn't even anywhere to sit. I am going to go again and keep trying, but that was really hard," she said through tears.
In a follow-up video, Peck explained that she hadn't set a clear "intention" for the night, and instead went out assuming she'd meet people - but also assuming that she'd enjoy her own company.
"I went out thinking I was going to meet people, but I also went out thinking I was going to enjoy my own company - and those are two conflicting ideas.
"I could have started conversations with people… but I was too nervous and I felt too embarrassed being out by myself to talk to other people. I thought people were just going to come up to me and start a conversation," she admitted.
"But I also could have just sat at the cute little bar I went to, had a cocktail by myself and enjoyed my own company."
She added that she wants to continue doing more things alone, such as attending shows and other events - regardless of whether she has someone to go with.
"It ended with tears, but I think people should cry more. I'm not actually sad, I'm pretty fine with the night. I won't say it was the best ever, but it was fine. Even though I was a little embarrassed and I felt like it was not how I planned it, I'm going to do it again and do other things," she said.
The video, which has since amassed more than a million views, received a warm response from viewers, many of whom applauded Peck's attempt to meet people the old-fashioned way. Others praised her courage for braving bars alone.
"This is actually remarkably brave. I'm sorry the night didn’t end the way you wanted but I am genuinely proud of you for trying," one person responded.
"So proud of you. It's not easy. Hang in there. You can do this. It requires a lot of… effort and pushing yourself to say hi to others," said another.
Others shared their own similar stories.
"My first solo night out I had the exact same experience. Cried as soon as I got home and felt so alone. We're so conditioned to be in groups," one said.
"My recommendation is to become a regular somewhere. Get to know the bartenders. That's always how I do it and it works," a second advised.
"The key is to avoid busy bars for obvious reasons, try a small cocktail bar or a dive bar on the weekdays," another suggested.
Another seconded that, saying: "Go to a dive bar and bring a book! Sometimes I do the crossword puzzle on my phone and [if] I want to talk to someone, I ask them to help me."
One person added that venturing to hotel bars could be a good way to meet people who are travelling for work - and are more likely to also be alone.