So I did it. Late one night, suffering from insomnia and with about a million worries buzzing around my head, I caved and downloaded the Smartphone app which I’d heard so much about.
So I did it. Late one night, suffering from insomnia and with about a million worries buzzing around my head, I caved and downloaded the Smartphone app which I’d heard so much about. Yup, you’ve guessed it—Tinder.
I’d first heard of Tinder a couple of weeks previously, when a girlfriend was telling me about a Turkish sex pest that she’d met for a date and ended up arguing with before telling him where to go and spending the rest of her Friday night drinking alone. Possibly not the best advertisement but I was intrigued by the very concept of Tinder.
For those of you that don’t know, Tinder is a dating app that lets you rate people on whether they’re hot or not. It uses information from Facebook to tell you if you share any friends or interests in common, as well as providing you with a little sample of their best photographs.
If you “swipe right,” that is, decide that they are worthy of your time, and they have also done the same, then Tinder declares you a “Match” and you’re able to message the person (or not, depending on how much fun you’re having rating the hundreds of other potential suitors).
In theory, it’s great. It’s quick (there is no need to spend hours agonising over creating the perfect profile), efficient (you have the absolute guarantee that only people you find attractive can communicate with you), and possibly one of the most socially acceptable forms of online dating yet (although to all of my friends I am adamant that it doesn’t count as online dating).
It’s also addictive. That fateful night that I downloaded Tinder, I literally could not put my phone down. “Just one more,” I’d think to myself. And then “Just until the next hot one comes along.” Tinder is something that you can use sat in a lecture, waiting for the bus, or even to occupy yourself with during ad breaks on television. Plus, what could be better for the ego than having an absolute dreamboat acknowledge your desirability?
However, there are a few negative sides to Tinder. First of all, everyone you’ve ever met has it. And now they know that you have it. That weird guy that sits in class smelling of fish? He’s on it. The guy you hooked up with at a party and never spoke to again? He’s on it. Your ex’s best mate? Ditto.
Basically, everybody that you don’t want knowing you’re on a dating site. Plus, there’s the temptation to swipe right just to see if they have a secret crush on you, leading to lots of potentially very awkward situations.
The app’s oddities
Then there are the archetypes of Tinder, proving that, in the online dating world at least, certain stereotypes ring true. You know the skinny white guy with neon face paint, wasted in a grimy student nightclub? He’s there. So are the black guys with their muscles and six-packs prominently on display so that you can enjoy a little sneak preview of the goods.
It’s kind of like trying before you buy. Then there are the Asian gangsters, posing next to their cars in their cool trainers with their arms folded and their heads cocked to the side arrogantly. There’s the occasional overweight mosher who hasn’t washed in a while. There are a lot of gym bunnies, flexing their biceps as they take cheeky mirror selfies in the weights room.
And the random girls, whose friends thought it would be funny to change their Facebook gender to “male.” Oh, and tigers are in vogue when it comes to posing with a cool prop as well. You have been warned.
Oh, and let us not forget “the one that got away.” You know the one. You’re bored of seeing the same generic faces time and time again, lazily swiping left with one eye on the TV and the other vetoing every guy that comes your way. And then, before you can even work out what’s happened, your soul mate appears, as beautiful as if he were crafted by God himself, his razor sharp cheekbones and golden skin making you melt. And then he’s gone.
Your thumb is so used to swiping left that your future husband is lost forever, doomed to float around on the internet waiting for some other girl to snap him up—heart-breaking.
If Tinder has taught me anything it is that I have a type, a type that is so rigid that it has left me with a contact list of clones. Trust me, if you’re a boy living in Manchester and you’re skinny with dark hair and tattoos, you’ve probably matched with me on Tinder.
I guess one positive was that I went for a drink with someone that didn’t turn out to be a weirdo. That’s always nice. From the moment he joked about suffering from premature ejaculation, I knew it was going to be a good date.
Other than that though, I can’t really say I’m a very experienced Tinderer. I’m terrible at texting, and so after exchanging a couple of messages with people, I usually forget to reply for three days and have to spent much of our exchanges apologising for being so rubbish at communicating.
On the whole though, it’s fun. It’s the kind of thing that you laugh about and pretend you hate, when in reality it’s like a new puppy that annoys the life out of you but that you wouldn’t change for the world. It’s trashy and shallow and popular culture at its very worst, but where would we be without it?
As for me, I need to go. I have Tinder messages waiting for me…
What do you think of Tinder? Have you used it? Have your say in the comments section below.