Are We Still Tutting Over Tinder?

Last week I overheard a conversation on the bus between two girls (if you don’t eavesdrop then please do occasionally – it can be inspirational). They were discussing Tinder. Yeah. That app. It proved very riveting and made my bus journey a lot more entertaining.

For those of you that have genuinely been in hibernation, Tinder is a location-based dating and social discovery app, using Facebook, that facilitates communication between mutually interested users. It was one of the first ‘swiping apps’ where the user ‘swipes’ to choose between photos of other users they are presented with – with a swipe right for potentially good matches (decent cheekbones) and left to move onto the next one (in search of decent cheekbones). It launched in 2012, and by 2014 it was registering around one billion ‘swipes’ a day. That’s a lot of swipes. Does Tinder remind anyone else of Dora the Explorer? (‘SWIPER NO SWIPING’)Let’s go back to the girls’ conversation – one girl, let's call her Girl 1, mentioned that it was the anniversary of her close friend and that the couple had met on Tinder. She got a reply from Girl 2 along the lines of: “I can’t stand Tinder, it’s so tacky - you’re basically asking for it”.

I thought this was a tad blunt and I’m pretty sure that Girl 1 wasn’t happy with it either. But when I arrived home later, I began to ponder – did she actually have a point? If we take the ‘it’ she referred to as sex, is this true? Is Tinder a search (swipe) for a relationship, or a booty call? And are reasons for downloading it the same for men and women?British Journalist Hannah Ellis Petersen makes a very convincing argument. She criticizes “humanity’s universal enjoyment of passing aesthetic judgement” and the fact that dating apps focus mainly on physical attributes. She also asserts the misogyny associated with them: women receive a ‘constant stream of creepy, uninitiated and often abusive messages from men’ that, if said without the anonymity of the internet, ‘would see you instantly shunned as a pervert’. Petersen also addresses that, according to one Tinder Developer, ‘dating sites and apps still make most of their revenue from men.’ Surprise, surprise.But we all knew that anyway. Tinder is an app where men go to see if they get lucky. Realistically (don’t sue me if you think differently) but Tinder is never going to be a place to find your husband. Equally, I don’t think that men get Tinder to ‘wife’ the girl they have just swiped right for. But that doesn’t mean it can’t lead to a relationship! Of course it can. My friend made a very good point – Tinder is a dating app for the younger generation. It’s the only dating app that people of our age group can use and not look desperate and this probably explains its popularity. Sorry ‘match.com’.Tinder is a bit of fun and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it does hold a certain stigma. We secretly grit our teeth when a friend tells us she’s ‘just got Tinder’ - even when we smile and tell her ‘that’s great’.

If I was single, I don’t really think I would get Tinder . For one, I’m lazy and I genuinely can’t be bothered (I’d rather read than go on the internet) - but I’m also a traditionalist. Something doesn’t seem right about swiping a person away based on their looks. If you met that person in Starbucks, you might fancy them for something other than looks – and then there’s that age old concept of ‘chemistry’. Where is the chemistry in Tinder? So I’m not a fan. Sorry.

If Girl 1 ever does get Tinder, I don't think she'll be telling Girl 2. They got off at different stops.

 

Edited by Sarah Holmes

Image sources:

Image 1           giphy.com                 http://giphy.com/gifs/tinder-OYJF31Nx4jGgM

Image 2           www.mtv.com http://www.mtv.com/news/2720838/online-dating-apps-secrets-tips/

Image 3           www.mtv.com http://www.mtv.com/news/2720838/online-dating-apps-secrets-tips/

Image 4           yougotputon.com http://yougotputon.com/2015/03/09/tinder-gets-better/

Sources:

theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/12/bumble-dating-app-women-call-shots-whitney-wolfe

nytimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/fashion/tinder-the-fast-growing-dating-app-taps-an-age-old-truth.html