March 4, 2024


Feeding our data to that insatiable beast called an algorithm produces monsters. One of them is how we manage in the networks in general and in the dating applications in particular. The way we build personality into our profiles and how we interact with other users – which is a bit like playing Russian roulette but with emoji, a whole risky sport– creates new categories and terms that end up transforming our vocabulary inside and outside the network. Surely a recent, absurd and addictive phenomenon sounds familiar to you, which has been echoed by many articles in recent months: the famous beige flag, beige or “alert you bored guy” flags.

Last year the tiktokera Caitlin MacPhail had the brilliant idea of ​​lumping together all the boring aspects of a person under the term beige flag: If the red flag warns of the qualities of a toxic person to be able to avoid it and the green flag is a warning of the virtues that that human being possesses to be able to embrace him without reservations, the beige is a full-fledged “meh”. It’s the equator, the extreme center of the flags, wow.

Examples of deadly boredom? generic descriptions in the bios of the “full-time letter-junta” type profile; “I like the movies, reading and traveling”; “refrain Hawaiian pizza lovers” or “Scorsese is God”, all accompanied by redundant emoticons. So far, very good, but now the term has been denatured to become a TikTok trend that exposes peculiar behaviors of our couples, eccentricities that catch our attention and that, despite the fact that they worry us, we let go: that boyfriend who He is the best at listening and giving you advice, but he always lets you read the whatsapp, For example.

The problem is that the label has become a mixed bag for aggressive normalcy to run wild: does my girlfriend like to go to the movies alone? Beige flag. Coffee without sugar always? Beige flag. It’s the world upside down: beige flag carriers are now the ones to denounce what they find strange, which is often… beige flag too. And, of course, this is not possible and we die of boredom.

All this invites us to think about the paradox of overanalyzing and discussing the boring or unremarkable aspects of the Internet, at the risk of becoming simple prompts for ChatGPT. I remember that in 2010 the Scottish singer Momus told me in an interview: “I try to make the internet as boring as possible, so that small and discreet things can attract more attention.” Since then it seems like we are stuck in a boredom loop online. Is this column dedicated to beige flag itself an example of uninteresting content? Irrelevant white noise? Is summer the beige of the contents of magazines and newspapers? Yes and no. The only thing that is clear at this point is that we will never stop feeling the need to find a new way to say that the emperor is naked again.

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