You just downloaded Tinder. You select four photos that illustrate the different personal qualities that you want to convey (My photos demonstrate that I am flirty, fun, intellectual and DTF–in that order). Soon, you’ll have hundreds of Tinder “matches,” but only a few matched will message you first. Some will neglect to message you because they are just curious users, while others are too nervous. Because of some fucked up power play, dozens of users will wait for you to message them first.
But some won’t message back because they are, quite simply, addicted to Tinder. Some Tinder addicts only hurt themselves, or at the very least waste their own time. Others, however, will waste your time. And maybe even hurt you.
Are you concerned about your own addiction? Worried you may have matched with an addict? Is your friend an addict? I’m no doctor, but this list should provide ample symptoms for an accurate diagnosis:
1. The Micro-Dreamer
If I were a Tinder addict, this would be me. The Micro-dreamer doesn’t have a “type” they like. Rather, each potential match is a mini, short-lived, trivial dream. That guy with the man bun wearing Birkenstocks? Think of the weekend backpacking trips we’d take! The sharply dressed guy with the unruly, curly hair? Imagine our Pinterest-worthy barn wedding pictures! That balding guy with the smile worth a million bucks? He will probably be such a great dad.
The Micro-Dreamer will initiate many conversations, but the dream ends after the first few messages are exchanged and they are onto the next dream. Mister big biceps… with a sports car.
2. The Insta-Spammer
The Insta-Spammer’s Tinder moments are almost always screen shots of their own Instagram account. Their profile includes their Instagram username. They won’t often follow you back on Instagram, but they will like three or four of your photos as a sort of half-assed thank you for the follow. The Insta-Spammer can still be a prospect for dates, but they aren’t ready to get serious or intimate. Why? Because they still rely on social media engagement to determine their own self-worth.
We should all know that social media fame is sort of like being rich in Monopoly money. Still, many of us long for this fame. What’s even scarier, is many of us measure our desirability based on social media engagement. So if their account is 90 percent selfies, abort.
3. The Power Addict
They know they are hot. They know that your heart jumped when you both matched. But the worst part is that they know you’re probably too nervous to message them first. If you do message them first, you might be as hot as them, so they won’t message you back. The power addict wants to be wanted. Like the Insta-Spammer, the power addict gets their personal validation from external sources.
If they Power Addict is interested in you, they may be unfaithful. Any attention is an opportunity for personal validation. The Power Addict is not evil, they want to be desired.
4. The chatterbox
In junior high, the Chatterbox used to write “somebody text me im bored” on their Facebook at one in the morning, often on a school night. These users are completely content continuing conversations about nothing that go nowhere. They also might say “hi” several times–in a row–if you don’t respond. They probably don’t want to meet up, and they probably don’t want to get to know you–they just want to talk. To the chatterbox, not communicating with someone feels lonely. Even mindless, pointless conversations about how bored they are is better than being disconnected.
If for some reason you do befriend with a chatterbox, they’ll expect constant communication. Even worse, they’ll communicate nothing.
Tinder is fun. Fun is a part of life. But, that does not make Tinder life. If you don’t take anything too seriously and you are confident in yourself, you should be fine. Marina & The Diamonds said it best: “I’ll chew you up and spit you out, ’cause that’s what young love is all about.”