The Tinder Files (Part 1): An Introduction

 Millions of people have Tinder on their phones and there are billions of swipes and matches made every day. Sounds impressive, right? And that’s just an abstract statistic, I’m sure you can name at least ten people in your social circle who have the app on their phone. So if the statistics don’t lie, why are there still so many single people in the world?

Because, you know, that’s the question I keep asking myself. In theory, Tinder is the solution to the singles epidemic. It brings dating to the comfort of your own home with the ease of finger swipe. Imagine that, technology has managed to reduce dating to the swipe of a finger after a cursory glance at a very carefully constructed selection of 6 photos and if you’re lucky a witty pick-up line. Without even leaving your couch you can see a selection of every potential mate within the range of your phone and even, if you so desire, call them to you for some ‘fun’, as easily as if you were ordering a pizza.

Yet, it all comes back to the same question, if dating is as easy as ordering a pizza then why is everyone still single? Here’s my take on the issue - Tinder isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. Every time I open the app and look at messages I’ve received or begin to swipe and inevitably come across yet another ‘F*ckboy’, I get a queasy feeling and a voice screams in the back of my head that this isn’t the way its supposed to happen; this isn’t how I’m supposed to meet my soulmate, not among rude messages sent under a false veil of anonymity

 I’d wager that for every five people taking Tinder seriously as an app to meet their soulmate there are twenty using it for fun. Ask anyone with Tinder why they downloaded it and a large portion of them will admit that they downloaded it for the sake of a contest with friends over who could get the most matches, a source of a quick hook up when in a pinch, or simply because everyone else had it (in other words for fear of missing out). Tinder has made it so easy, so fun to ‘date’, that people have trouble taking the concept seriously. I can’t deny that there have been successes in Tinder’s history, the Tinder website places them front and centre, but to the rest of us it’s just a game, something to keep us mildly occupied while we binge watch a TV show on Netflix and maybe a convenient source of companionship.

    But this isn’t a rant about the sorry state of dating in today’s society, or how Tinder has single-handedly played a role in the destruction of dating as we once knew from our favorite Rom-Coms. This is a social experiment. A social experiment that involved a test subject (who was willing to sacrifice her Tinder ‘rep’ for the sake of journalism) and a carefully curated list of every ridiculous, outrageous Tinder game, joke, or existential question about using the app. I mean, haven’t you ever wondered about the answer to questions like; “How much can you really get away with on Tinder?”, “What makes someone swipe right?” and more. In the words of a very wise friend, ‘the limits of Tinder are vast’ but we want to know just how vast. This experiment is dedicated to every girl (and boy) who received an outrageous response, rude pick-up line, and was the victim of a game and left questioning society and to what levels Tinder wouldn’t stoop.

   So here’s how it’s going to work, each week my trusty test subject (who will remain anonymous) and I will answer a new question or push Tinder’s limits just a little bit farther than the week before to see how much they’ll give. Then we’ll post out findings for your future use, or entertainment. We’ve gone deep into the world of Tinder to answer your (and our own) questions about dating, society and above all to test the very limits of Tinder and its user’s patience. Because haven’t we been the butt of enough Tinder games and jokes? Isn’t it our turn now?

Coming up next week: What artist’s lyrics make the best pick up lines?