A few months ago, a friend told me about this little-known app called Tinder. The premise sounded strangely reminiscent of the AOL Hot-or-Not game, which was weird as hell, so obviously I was intrigued. I am relationshipped to a wonderful NJB, but I always want to stay “in-the-know” as the youngins’ may say. So to his knowledge, I downloaded Tinder for a hot sec to see the mild fuss. All that came up were a bunch of college acquaintances that definitely knew I had a boyfriend. I immediately deleted it. Bai 4eva, Tinda.
Except now, Tindering is the rage dot com. Recently, all my single friends are getting in, and I get delight in assisting them swipe to the left or right (deciding HOT or NOT, in AOL terms). My friends are all extremely divisive on the Tinder phenom- some are super into it, Tind-dating like it’s the 2012 Mayan apocalypse (do you guys like my word blends?) Yet, some loudly deride its existence the moment it comes up. I see the pretty and the ugly, and I have a few thoughts about it.
The ugly: yes, it is an app completely based on looks. 100%, it’s undeniable.
Tinder-ers are literally swiping real people into the theoretical ugly dumpster, and that makes me think of the ones on Tinder who aren’t getting any ‘Yes'” back. However, this idea is hardly new – people who join Tinder know what they are getting themselves into. I’ve always admired those who put themselves out there and online date, and Tinder is clearly the same premise. In this online-dating culture, people are going to judge based off of first virtual impressions; if you can’t handle the heat, don’t Tinder. Plus, Tinder uses your Facebook information, and everyone looks good in profile pictures.
Now that I think about it, I had a picture of Meow, the 39-pound cat wonder, as my profile picture when I downloaded Tinder. All the boys want me.
On a deeper level, Tinder appeals to my feminist wiles.
Here is an app clearly about hooking up, and it’s just as appealing to women as it is to men.
First of all, Tinder puts the power in the hands of both sexes, meaning that women don’t wait for men to contact them, as has become unfortunately typical in online dating. And second of all, and super importantly, it gives women the right of wanting something casual and maybe purely physical. Tinder challenges the notion that men like to hook up and women like to relationship. After all, it takes two to casual-sex tango, and Tinder realizes that and makes it cool, accessible, and egalitarian as hell. Hooking up is fun, even if the furthest it progresses is a BFMO (Bar Floor Make-Out, a step up from the college Dance Floor Make Out. I really need a lingo upgrade.)
Tinder, functioning solely by giving both parties the right to decide who is HOT or NOT in order to facilitate communication, is pretty damn progressive. Whether or not you decide to take that risk and put your (Facebook) photos out there is up to you. Just make sure to have a photo of you and my boy Meow and trust me, you’ll be really successful. I know from experience.