I’ve only been on Tinder for two weeks and I’m already disenchanted. While initially it held promise as the hot new app on the block in the online dating world, in my opinion, Tinder fails on too many accounts to really deliver as the ultimate match-maker. Here are the reasons why I think Tinder is tedious.
You can’t judge a book by its cover.
Unlike other dating sites (like OkCupid) where they ask their participants to answer a set of pointed questions so as to carefully organize and encourage suitable matches, Tinder is almost entirely a ‘looks’-based exercise. Firstly, this is just boring. After a while, scrolling through random pics of complete strangers becomes a ‘watching paint drying’ exercise and you quickly lose your ability to discern the ‘look’ you’re actually into anyway. Secondly, pics can be way too deceiving. For example, you rarely get an accurate impression of the candidate’s height and people rarely seem to volunteer this information (my friend recently rocked up to a Tinder date only to discover that her date was a whole foot shorter than her! They were doomed from first (in-person) site.) Also, people naturally choose to promote themselves with pics that are more favorable to them; pics that were taken when they were a few years younger, a few pounds lighter or from that perfect angle. This is all well and good, but with little else to go off, save a few “about me” sentences that usually indicate little more than the fact that he likes to “drink whiskey”, is “confident, employed, and funny”, or “isn’t looking for a hook-up”, the very idea of ever taking the leap and actually meeting up with any of these strangers is kind of ludicrous.
Any chance of romance is lost on the meat market method of “swipe right, swipe left.”
Of course, the nature of all online dating defies the ultimate magic of accidentally meeting the man or woman of your dreams, that force of fate that we all read about as teenagers and fantasized about in Hollywood movies where that ‘special one’ happens to cross your path and light up your world. But if there was any chance of romance in online dating, Tinder swats the crap out of it. The “swipe right, swipe left” method totally cheapens the practice of finding “the one”. It goes like this: “No, no, no… hmm… maybe… ahhh nah-no, y-y-yes, big boobs so yes, absolutely no, not really but I’m bored so I’ll give it a whirl, yes-no, yes, yes, no.” Yep. I’m in love.
How are you meant to feel special when you know that he has 7 other options in his inbox?
Once the match is struck and you actually start “chatting” via Tinder text message, you’re well aware that the guy that’s asking for your dog’s name is likely poppin’ the same question to 7 other girls that very minute. This becomes evident on the first date. You already told him that your pooches name is Peanut, that she’s 3 and half years old, and blind in her left eye (details that an ordinary suitor would be sure to remember), and yet there he goes getting the facts wrong and (no doubt) confusing Peanut for that other girl’s dog, Lulu. This also introduces a feeling of competition. In a most unromantic way. Kind of like how in a job interview, mid vodka cranberry, you find yourself wondering how much better the brunette with the blue dress last night fared.
When everyone’s intentions are so ‘out there,’ the mystery dries up.
Now, my attitudes on this matter may well be informed by my Australian background since we Aussies tend to prefer a less ‘forward’ approach to dating; restraint and mystery will always be looked favourably upon. But regardless of where you’re from, when looking bad on a relationship, often one of the most memorable times is that very early stage when everything was unknown. When you felt you were floating in a cloud of possibilities but also uncertainty, and every time you saw that special person you were overcome with a sensation of wild butterflies in your stomach. Much of the wonders of this magical period are born from the ‘mystery’ factor. You don’t really know what the other person’s intentions are and they don’t really know yours. That’s scary but also exhilarating and sexy and fun. It’s the power of mystery. On Tinder, however, everyone’s intentions are exposed. They’re on Tinder because they haven’t met that special someone in the real world and they’re looking for a date. Or a fuck. They may as well be wearing a name tag that says “Hi, I’m Bruce, I’m single and I’m looking for a date.” How, in any way, is that sexy?