Tinder came out after I found myself already in a committed relationship. My best mate came back from a holiday and told me all about it. An app that allows you to ‘check out’ eligible bachelors and bachelorettes from within your vicinity.
I was instantly curious, not for the fact that I want to put myself up for availability to the neighbourhood behind my boyfriend’s back, but to see if there was any hope in this kind of way singletons meet now.
Growing up with social media means that is has become more and more the norm to meet people through it. Facebook, Twitter, Plenty of fish, Instagram (an app that didn’t even start with an IM service) made it increasingly popular to meet new people and eventually ‘hook up’ with them just by judging them by their profile pictures.
And now Tinder. An app where you can swipe or like based on the first impression of a profile picture and if you happen to take a fancy to each other then you was in luck and could then start chatting in private. If the conversation flows to your satisfaction then you are able to then set up a ‘date’ and be whooed into oblivion.
Easier said than done.
The closest I have ever been to Tinder was through my best friend’s account. Looking through the pictures of singletons. For a joke I would like the hairiest, beer bellied, yellow toothed man, a far cry from the tall dark, handsome, bright eyed looking type she preferred. Needless to say she would be appalled at what I would try to set her up with and ignore any IM she received from them.
Another friend actually did meet up with a match on Plenty of Fish (PoF) in London, who turned out to be a crazy militant ex- serviceman with hell of an attitude from Azerbaijan who was looking for a long and committed relationship . I was surprised since she is a sweet, lovely, kind and caring woman who must have been traumatized by his aggressive nature. After that she told me she said she would be giving online dating a break.
The interesting thing that came out of this experience she mentioned was ‘We connected so well on the internet, but not at all in real life, everything about him was nothing like I expected from the moment I met him in person.’ Is it possible to only get on with someone over the internet and not in real life?
I suppose it is because when you do chat to someone over the internet you are probably miscommunicating any signals that can only be met by being in each others presence. Their attention is solely on you when you are in the realms of the chat box, so undivided it becomes a luxury, which then leads you to believe that this person is everything you wanted. It becomes easy to paint the perfect picture of them in your imagination that even though you believe looking at photographs of them makes you want to believe that you can live with that image, it does not compare to the reality of it.
One relationship that did come from Tinder was matched between a successful woman in her 20s who was working in medicine and got matched with an unemployed playboy of London in his 30s. You know those men who wheel and deal in the upper society of London, do a bit of work here and there, but probably aim to find a woman who will financially secure them? Yes that guy.
Their story is still alive today and they are still together, however, no one likes the man and she doesn’t tell people she met him on Tinder. I sense the embarrassment of her being with him, or he is some kind of guilty secret she has managed to kept hidden from social media since she has never made it public that she is with him. Which is kind of ironic in a way when you think of where their relationship sprang from.
This man had created this whole virtual world of his own that he believed would make women find him irresistible. It is something psychologists look at called the Hay-lo effect and works for both men and women.
On Facebook and Instagram a man can bring his status up to that of a celebrity by simply making friends with as many beautiful women over the internet, building up a portfolio of a ‘friend’s list’ that can make others think that you personally know each and every one of these individuals. Then every picture is littered with the ‘perfect life’ money, cars,, classy restaurants, designer clothes, beautiful women posing with him, expensive holidays etc. However none of these experiences may necessarily belong to him, he could be just at the right place at the right time, similar to the friends list of women he may not actually be friends with.
The hay-lo effect here comes from the women who added this playboy thinking he is what he has tried to make others perceive he is, the idea he has a hay-lo glowing above his head like that of an angel. Therefore women become attracted to him believing that everyone is after this man and it becomes a competition over who will be the next woman standing next to him in all his lush photographs captioned with some quote of wisdom he wants you to believe he made up himself. In actual reality though, he is nothing more than your average human being, who may not have a clue of what to do with his real life because he is always living for what he can show others on the internet, yes living for his followers, everything is done to impress hundreds and thousands of people he may never meet.
Love is blind
I myself would never participate in Tinder or PoF if I was single and looking for a relationship (never say never though!). I’m not against those that do, because love is blind as they say and sometimes it can be genuinely hard to find the time to go out and meet new people. My reasons are because I feel as if we have lost touch with reality in so many ways now. Why should the one thing that is meant to be sacred in life be associated with something which is so highly disposable? I don’t like to think that the person I am destined to spend my life with was able to click like on my photograph with me in mind for a split second then move onto the next image and maybe click like again? But the reason we ended up together is because we were a match and I foolishly gave them my time of day when no one else would?
I wish everyone out there good luck on Tinder, I just hope that no one really does take it too seriously. I’ve never had the chance to find out how serious it can be taken and for that I am truly thankful!