Like almost every other thing to ever hit social media, I was late to jumping on the Tinder train. Part of it was because I didn’t understand what the hell it was; part of me thought it was desperate; and part of me didn’t want other people knowing I was on Tinder. As time went on, I started seeing that it really isn’t all that bad. I couldn’t figure out why some people would give you this snark of, “You’re on Tinder?!” or why I would bury it in application folders so that, God forbid someone used my phone, they wouldn’t find it so easily.
Regardless of what you’re using it for — one-night stand, friends with benefits, relationship, etc. — Tinder serves its purpose for all parties involved. Now, whether or not those parties find their match is another issue. Maybe it’s because the app was always talked about like it was something dirty that made me hesitant to join (as well as eventually download it), but I feel like some people look at it like prostitution or something to the effect of whoring yourself out. Those of you who read my “Why I Hate The Hook-Up Culture” article know that I’m not a fan of just bouncing around from bed-to-bed, but that’s not all Tinder can be used for.
Now, do I want to explain to my kids one day a la Ted Mosby-style about how I met their mother on Tinder? Not exactly. But why close the door? Obviously a face-to-face introduction would be the best way (and certainly the more socially-acceptable way), but if Tinder provides an option to meet someone, why not take it? You’ll get to see what the person looks like, see if you have any mutual friends or shared interests and, depending on what their bio says, get a small feel for what the person may be like. It’s better than a blind date set up from your friend who thinks you’ll “hit it off” with one another.
Part of me goes on Tinder to meet someone, part of me goes on because I’m bored at night, and, honestly, part of me goes on just to read some people’s bios. I’m done pretending that I reluctantly downloaded the app and that it’s now just another click on my phone. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m on Tinder. If someone I know sees me, guess what? They’re on it, too.
The most awkward Tinder experiences I’ve ever had include seeing high school students I cover(ed) (I’m a sports beat reporter in “real” life) on the app claiming to be three or four years older than they are. I’ve never swiped right, but now part of me wonders if I should just to see if they swiped right, as well. Now that would be an interesting story.