I feel it’s about time I wrote this piece. I think I tried to several times before, but it’s now due time I got everything out. Here goes.
I hate Tinder.
Tinder will fuck you up.
But I keep using it every once in a while.
I have spent more time than I’m willing to admit on online dating sites. Sometimes, I’m genuinely hoping someone will message me (or message me back). Other times, I’m curious as to what exactly it is the site is trying to achieve. Is it the formation of strong, durable relationships based on the probabilistic factor of your relative compatibility? Is it the sprouting of new friendships? At least, OkCupid and eHarmony achieve both these goals in some way.
They achieve this by asking you psychology-based questions (at least apparently) that ultimately try to tie you off with someone close to your answers. Of these two, eHarmony gloats having the highest level of success (Even though I have not gotten a match yet. Which bears the question: Am I incompatible with the entire human race? Or does nobody in Mexico use eHarmony? Will I ever find true love?)
Tinder strips away the compatibility fraction of relationships and instead bombards you with an almost never-ending (depending on how far you want to go, distance-wise, from where you are) parade of pictures of girl after guy after girl.For those of you who have never used Tinder (Well-done, btw) the mechanics are simple. Either you want to do them or you don’t. Swipe right if you do. Swipe left if you don’t.
A brief description and your friends in common, coupled with quick facebook interests are everything you apparently need to know about the other person, but it boils down to one thing: Either you’re hot, or you’re not.
Which is awful because I have had meaningful relationships with people that were not the common perception of “hot”. “Hot” should not be the proportion between your breasts and your butt or your biceps to your six-pack. “Hot” at least to me and many friends I know, is a mix between how you look, coupled with how you use how you look and the things you know. “Smart is sexy” as they say, but also sense of humor, leadership and conversational tactics are sexy.
The message of tinder is all about how cool you look on the beach. This is a message buried in propaganda about being yourself. Meghan Trainor singing about not worrying about your size. Grand advertising campaigns against photoshop. Plus-size models. Increasingly defiant principles of attractiveness.
A friend of mine once said that if he could sing the way i sing, he could have every girl he wanted. He borders on misogyny most of the time, but the point is elsewhere. The image of the long-haired hippie playing the guitar in the park or beneath a tree outside the dorms has been put-aside in favor of the baseball cap and excessive drinking.
The point is that my voice would do him absolutely no good should he decide to use Tinder as his go-to place for meeting the opposite (or same) sex.
Then again, one of the bigger problems with Tinder as a dating platform is the country I’m using it in. Online dating has not escaped taboo status in Mexico yet. The US, where Tinder was originally piloted and launched, seems to be slowly moving to a broader acceptance of this method. There are eHarmony ads on prime time TV and on many internet sites.
Mexico seems to have jumped all the way to the “Let’s meet up and fuck” side of online dating. Sites like badoo are filled with all kinds of sexually frustrated users waiting for that one line to give them an entrance. Score, as they say.
One of the most unnerving and difficult parts of the online dating is the messaging part. In Tinder, this is ruled by a “you like me I like you back” rule. If the other person did not swipe right with you, you can’t message them. Ever. Plain and simple.
I have matched six times in Tinder. I sent a message three out of those six times, and got one response. After that one response, I got no more messages.
There are already theories going around the internet about what your first message should be. Keep in mind, this is unexplored territory. This is not the “Can I buy you a drink” cliche of romantic movies. This is a whole new thing. there are new boundaries and principles to take into account.
The wonderful instagram account @tindernightmares is a good example of how these conversations can go horribly wrong. Even with an honest opening line, the other person still doesn’t know who you are. They know what you look like, but not who you actually are. What constitutes an “honest opening line” anyway? What does that mean?
Personally, the conversation section drives me insane. The possibilities are endless. I find myself weighing the negative and positive outcomes of every possible comment. It’s too much, I know, stop.
The word on the street is that if you message someone with a “hey” you’re immediately deemed boring. It’s an exclamation, for crying out loud (get it?). It’s explicitly meant to garner attention at the communicator. Check the definition out.
I’m of course not the first one to write an outraged, strongly worded article about this. Here’s one of my favorites, by one of my favorite people on the internet, and another one that i found by googling “tinder sucks”.
It’s funny how they both mention the addicting factor of Tinder. You find yourself swiping away at night. Coming back after cursing it down. If it does work, one day, my opinion will probably change. Meanwhile, it sucks.
Tinder will fuck you up.