Swipe right, or swipe left? Will I ever learn to accept Tinder and online dating?

In the wake of a recent online article by Vanity Fair journalist Nancy Jo Sales, entitled ‘Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”’, there has been a huge backlash from the Tinder Twitter account, with the mobile phone app insisting that the vast majority of users are searching for “meaningful connections”.  Whilst I can’t speak for everyone, I can firmly say that as a single twenty year old female falling into the Tinder demographic, this is a load of rubbish and Sales has hit the nail on the head with her exposé.  Notoriously named the “hook-up app”, there is about as much chance of discovering your future husband whilst scrolling through a sea of endless torso pics, as discovering an unbruised apple at the bottom of a skip.  Although there are a lucky few – and here, I stress the few – who manage to unearth someone not entirely motivated by sexual desperation on the app, I find it impossible to dress it up as anything other than what it appears: a prime opportunity for a booty call.  Perhaps I am being a little too harsh.  I have always had an issue with the idea of online dating in any form, whether that be through Tinder or any other site, because the process of trawling through a set of generic profiles didn’t match my romantic ideals.  To see, therefore, whether I have unfairly written off this turn-of-the-century form of dating, I accepted the challenge posed by a couple of friends to create my own dating profile.

 

Sitting down with my laptop and a cup of tea, I began the process of signing up to Match.com.  After typing in a few pieces of basic information and deliberating over my username – I toyed with the idea of naming myself something particularly provocative, LasciviousLivy perhaps - I was confronted with the more personal side of the profile.  Almost immediately after typing in my date of birth I was asked about my ‘imperfections’ and ‘bad habits’.  Now I don’t know about you, but revealing to a potential suitor that ‘I hog the duvet’, ‘snore’ or ‘often laugh too loudly’ aren’t the first things which spring to mind.  In fact, I would rather they never knew that I snored.  I also wasn’t a fan of the basic quiz which asked me to select one personality trait: apparently I can’t be both ‘reliable’ and ‘funny’.  The part which really had me taken aback involved detailing your body shape, one option suggesting that you weigh ‘a few extra pounds’.  Unless you’re super confident with your size, I can’t think of any female who will happily reveal on the internet that she is a larger lady.  By the time it came to finalising the profile, selecting a picture and waiting for authorisation, I had already been emailed a selection of chaps whose profiles I could peruse at leisure.  Perhaps it was the grainy profile picture vaguely reminiscent of a serial killer’s image in a newspaper which deterred me from further investigation, or the cheesy bio which accompanied said picture, but I almost immediately wanted to close my account and forget I had ever entered the world of online dating.

And I’m not alone in this view.  Speaking with some friends, there is an almost unanimous consensus that online dating, and particularly for us, Tinder, is something to be avoided at all costs.  I regularly argue that we are too young to be worrying about singledom and can delay the fearsome journey into online dating until we are all a) divorced b) divorced for a second time c) living alone with four cats and a budgie.  Admittedly, I have a few friends who have bravely taken on the superficial system that is Tinder and have even managed to play the players to their advantage.  One friend has recently begun a regular hook up with a man who goes by the name of ‘Hot Jesus’ among our group (I know, it creates a very stirring visual picture) and a couple of friends have even found themselves in relationships.  But at the end of the day, I would rather wait around for someone who wants to do more than lazily swipe right for me whilst also watching footie with the lads.  Not even the promise of a ‘super like’ stroking my ego will encourage me to play with that Tinder flame.  I’m not willing to be reduced to a product on the shelf, selling myself with a couple of pictures and a bio which reveals little more than my age and name.  Quite simply, I deserve more.

Edited by India-Jayne Trainor

Sources:

http://www.mumstheword.me/2014/02/24/dating-2014/

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http://giphy.com/gifs/woman-as-notes-8ZXi1is2crB3a