Whoever said “never say never” was probably very right. I publicly promised to myself on this very blog to never register on Tinder, never ever in my life – and it took me just approximately two weeks of loneliness in a new place to throw all my principles over board.
Yes, you read correctly – I did use Tinder. For an entire span of 4 full days I was registered and actively using the app. It was earlier this autumn, and after a short while of being slightly traumatized, I finally find the courage to admit and write about it. The good news is: Now no one can accuse me of judging the unknown anymore. The even better news is: I was right all along. It does suck very much.
On way more levels than I initially assumed, though. My preliminary conclusion of the app, namely that it creates false expectations and thus an expectation-gap with a subsequent disappointment-dilemma – I still totally stand up for that. I have to withdraw the gender-assumption, though, as my second Tinder match started the conversation with planning our common holidays and questioning me about my preferred amount of children. However, I can add many more insights now!
First of all, it makes you very picky. Not picky in a healthy, self-protective way, but more in the spoiled-little-brat way. Imagine you are in a supermarket and there are millions of different shampoos, and they probably all fulfill the purpose of cleaning your hair, and probably all equally suck at all the other promises they give (stronger, shinier, fuller, less grey hair; walks your dog and gives you a fulfilled sex-life) – but you still can’t decide. So you walk out of the store, without having bought any shampoo, after all.
This is exactly what taking a decision on Tinder is like: That one has a weird smile, swipe left. That one chose a lame picture, swipe left. Why is he wearing a blue shirt? Swipe left. Swipe left, swipe left, swipe – wait, that one was cute. But too late. Oh well, there will be more.
But this is just the beginning. If you do swipe right, you – oddly enough – match with approximately 90% of those confirmed ones. Or more. But then they don’t talk to you. Transferred to real life, that would be like walking up to someone at a bar and then just staring at them without a sound. Which might or might not be better than what actually happens if they do talk to you:
“How are you?”
“I’m fine, thanks. And you? :)”
Maybe, in rare cases, some chitchat about where you are from and what you are doing in this city will follow (let’s regard the ones desperately in need of common courtesy as outlier, shall we?). I already hate such conversations in real life (seriously, who cares or remembers?), but typing them into a phone keyboard is just so much more tedious. And, honestly, what else could you expect? If you just walked up to a random stranger on the street, how would you start a conversation? Exactly. With one guy I made up an imaginary horror scenario of us roaming some underground zombie world, feasting on human flesh. I had fun times, but besides wondering what that might possibly say on a psychological level about my choice in guys, nothing else happened after this one conversation.
Which brings me to the next flaw of the system: It is not so much about the fact that those empty small talks are annoying as that they are time consuming. In most of the cases they don’t lead to anything. Chances are high that you will either never meet, or meet and not have anything in common. And, in the worst case, not even find each other attractive.
To sum it up in a nutshell, this app is supposed to support dating. But here come the major flaws:
- It won’t increase the chances of you meeting someone you like, or meeting someone you can hook up with, relative to real life – you will just meet more people in total (but if you ever wondered how many people are actually out there you could dislike, go ahead!)
- It makes you picky in a jerky way, and it is so much easier to ‘unmatch’ people that annoy you than to politely ‘ghost’ them in real life
- It consumes loads of your limited time that you could rather spend chatting with people you actually already like
- It distorts reality, expectations and your self-image – and jokes are a lost cause
So, given the fact that it won’t increase your chances of meeting someone interesting, you can as well continue living your life, knowing you probably will be accidentally running into someone interesting sooner or later anyways. And this is the best about it: if you run into them in real life, you will know it immediately without having to waste time on stupid blabber. Isn’t it a good thing that we seem to be more complex in choosing our (mating) partner than just relying on visuals?
In the meantime, I convinced my friend to register on Tinder and thus benefit only from the entertaining part, without the time-consuming chatting part. So I totally support this app in an indirect way. Now, who still wants to call me a hater!