In mid 2014, I was touched by the cold hand of reality when a promiscuous partner and I decided to part ways. I stepped out of an 18 month committment and took a long, deep, and unwilling breath into the world of single-life.
In an ironic twist of fate, the digital building blocks for the foundation of my new self-esteem were the same thing that brought down the house in the first place. Of course, i’m talking about Tinder. The newest dating craze i’d heard of since telling ‘that girls’ mate that you fancy her during Art class. (Which admittedly was 0% successful)
Not being one for effort; you’re reading the musings of a man who completed a degree without ever attending the library, I decided to find a way to cheat the app during a 4 hour lull, stranded at Helsinki airport.
Misguided by a sense of arrogance, caffeine, sugar and impending departure, I got to work photoshopping my profile with a ‘match of the day’ banner. I’m talking about a fake Tinder accolade and not the football re-cap show.
My excuse was that it was a ‘social experiment’ (You know, that thing youtubers do by exploiting the homeless with generosity to get a video to go viral) and I had complete anonimity knowing that any ‘matches’ I was lucky enough to receive would be lost during my 7 hour journey home.
After 1 hour of this profile going up, I had 107 matches. An unfair and unrepresentative response, and a number too high for both my libido and proximity to fulfil. My morals got the better of me, and I decided to go legit, and lose my con-man profile before touching down in the UK where any misled women would be able to hold me accountable for my social experiment/desperate attempt at a confidence boost.
Tinder relies on two things, mutual visual attraction to get a match, as well as mutual visual attraction to sustain the match. This brings me onto my list of the things I love, and the things I hate about this new dating craze. Strap in, and enjoy…
LOVE – IT’S EASY!!!
The simple concept of a thumb gesture to cast fate on someone hasn’t been this overused since Ancient Rome, and instead of the death of a slave, or gladiator, it now signals the potential life or death of a digital partnership.
Shallow, simple, sinister…perfect! The busy lives of people too engrosed in Facebook feeds to make small talk in an elevator, on a train or over dinner, ensure that Tinder is slotted into our lives more suitably than a round peg is slotted into a round hole.
It’s simplicity gives it power. You love the gesture, don’t pretend it’s just me, and “I’d swipe right on ‘er” has joined the lexicon of boys and men up and down the country when spotting an elusive female in the wild. (Not that I myself have ever used it)
It’s hard to hate the animalistic nature of keeping those you’re attracted too, and bypassing those you’re not. Much like a romantically charged game of guess who, but with more strangers and less bald men called Bill.
HATE – THE INFAMOUS TIGER PHOTO
Whether it’s an innocent commonality, or whether it stands as a metaphor for their ability to tame a beast, i’ve seen more dosile tigers on Tinder than I’d care to count. The animal rights groups lead us to believe there is a shortage of Tigers on earth, that they’re almost going extinct. Yet the true numbers have been underestimated because a few of them have been busy taking profile photos with girls. (Or guys if you’re a lady reading this who’s noticed a similar trend)
Probability suggests that due to the small amount of Tigers in captivity, i’ve probably seen that SAME tiger more than once, which makes me laugh. It’s funny to think that I’ve seen more photos of the one Tiger than I have of one girl. Maybe me and the Tiger would have more in common. Who knows?
LOVE – IT’S A CONFIDENCE BUILDER
“IT’S A MATCH!”
The cursive font dances across your screen, unbroken like your excitement. Reminding you that you’re not too ugly after all 😉
An instant gratification, like a romantic sugar coursing through your veins during that rush. It’s impossible to ignore the added confidence you receive, and it turns you into a ‘match junkie’, constantly chasing your next fix.
Who cares about love when you’ve got 4 matches in a row? A life of loneliness is entirely possible, but at least you’re still in with a shot. Right?
HATE – THE NEED FOR CHEESY CHAT-UP LINES
There’s no wonder less-experienced, chauvanistic men have resulted to a ‘dick moment’. Which as i’m told, is a picture of their dick sent to all of their matches on Tinder. Poor girls; and honestly ladies i’m sorry you have to go through that… but why make it so hard just to start a conversation?
“Hey, how are you?” is too boring, so men are forced to whisper sweet nothings to their creativity to see what is eventually spurted out. Thankfully i’ve been lucky in this department, and i’m going to share a few of my favourite openers to you, officially retiring myself from using them, and giving you a better way to say hello.
“18 miles away! That’s soooo far. I hope you own a helicopter 🙂 x”
“Hey, look at us being impulsive. Me messaging you, and you replying with your number 🙂 People could learn from us x”
The reason lines work is because half of everyone’s ‘about me’ section is empty, so it’s impossible to build rapport with someone on your opening gambit, and the other half of Tinder accounts are Spam, and respond with an offer of sexual favours for 125 roses. (I’ve checked the prices of Roses lads, it’s about £30 for a dozen from a nice florist, so it’s DEFINITELY not worth it!)
Some girls ask for creative and original openers. Some girls need it to trawl through their copious number of matches to find the true fruit in the forest. It’s a necessary evil.
In conclusion it’s not perfect. It turns a man who just wants to go out on some well-planned, cute dates to get to know someone, into a characuture of their former self. Like a thumb-happy Julius Caesar, looking into a digital-pit of women and tigers, racking his brain for the most creative way land a date.
My advice to all men is, get out into the real world, have some real conversations, and even though i’ve met some of the most beautiful, funny and caring girls via Tinder, those women do exist on the other side of your screen. I promise.
Swipe left on Tinder, and swipe right on real life.
DISCLAIMER : This blog post is my round up of Tinder. I’m not perfect, I don’t think I am, pretend to be or aspire to be.
My opinion is based on my interpretation and a lot of this blog post is hopefully self-deprecating enough to make you laugh.