Unless you’ve been living under a rock, a phenomenon that goes by the name of Tinder has come in, downloaded itself onto almost all of our phones and taken over the dating game.
Gone are the days when you would actually venture outside your bed and go out to meet someone because, well, that requires effort.
Tinder allows you to scroll through the various people available for the taking, with minimal effort required. Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
On the whole, there seems to be nothing wrong with Tinder. In fact, it’s actually a great idea. The app recognises your location and gives you the option to set your search for people based on how far you want to venture out of your area.
Your profile comprises of an obligatory witty bio, like Twitter, with your personal selection of photos which you feel encapsulate you the best.
So with these hand-crafted, filtered and perfected profiles, you come face to face with other witty, filtered profiles that you can choose to swipe left if they don’t seem your type, or swipe right if they do.
Swipe left, swipe right. The two golden rules that you must never forget unless you want to accidentally miss out on someone who is just so perfect for you, judging on his six pictures.
Like I said, at a glance Tinder seems like a revolutionary dating tool for us 21st singletons. If Tinder were a person, we’d swipe right because of their bio which shows how intelligent they are. So intelligent, in fact, that we don’t realise that they’re not our knight in shining armour, but actually the one who supplied our prince with his sword.
Tinder, almost unbeknownst to us, capitalises on society’s newly created short attention span, which has been specially trained to look out for certain traits; the right amount of emojis, the perfect ratio of group selfies to selfies on our own and a carefully crafted bio, which leads us to believe that this person would make a great life partner.
With the huge onset of social media, we find it harder and harder to focus on one thing for a long time. Watching a film on Netflix cannot be done without the compulsory refresh, just to make sure we don’t miss anything. We refresh, again and again, because we are on the hunt for something new constantly.
Tinder knows this, and uses this disappointing trait to its advantage. This is why there’s a limit in what we can say in our bios and how many pictures we can put up. They wouldn’t want us to get bored now, would they?
Not only do they know that we make our decisions based on a glance, they give us the perfect means to highlight how vain and superficial we have become.
If my eye isn’t caught by something interesting or funny in your bio, then sorry, but I’m going to swipe left. If your first picture does not appeal to me, bye-bye.
Tinder is just like all other forms of social media; the persona we put up does not necessarily represent who we truly are. We know this. Yet, we expect to swoon, or be swooned, by all of the fascinating and best aspects of someone’s life that they put on their Tinder profile.
Now I don’t know about you, but trying to summarise my life and my interests into a few sentences is near impossible. I still struggle to come out with a competent answer in an interview when I’m asked, “tell me about yourself”. I mean, there’s just so much to say. Do I start with my unnatural obsession with my cat? Or my unhealthy tendency to Netflix binge?
Social media gives us a way to portray our lives the way we want to; you can choose what, and what not, to divulge. However, if you want a relationship, you want to know everything about that person. The good and the bad. Tinder only shows the good, what we deem attractive, funny, acceptable and suitable for viewing and matching.
The ease in which we scroll through people like we do tweets might give us some weird sense of power. We think we have power over our love life and are making the executive decision to swipe right for someone who really deserves it.
However, we also seem to forget that other people have that exact same power over us. We are viewed just as harshly as we view others and are put under scrutiny just because we put up one too many selfies.
But we can’t swipe in real life. If someone came up to us in real life and told us they’re interested, we can’t just shove them to the left and hope they get the message. Allowing us to physically put people into categories is, in all honesty, just rude.
Tinder allows you to give people the judgement you would in clubs, but without the alcohol. It lets you be as bitchy as you want, without hurting anyone’s feelings to their face.
It lets you swipe through countless people until you find someone who fits the image of the person you want. Everything is a touch, a scroll, swipe and a click. Yes, it makes things easier for us, but in turn it has made us more judgmental and superficial.
I propose a change to Tinder. I feel it would make the world of dating and the world of Tinder a much better place if everyone who didn’t meet someone’s standards got a little message saying, “Hi. I appreciate the effort you put into your profile. You seem like a lovely person, but you’re just not quite right for me. Don’t take this swipe left personal. Good luck with everything else and may the force be with you. P.S. I like your cat”.
A touch of manners would make our society of scrolling and swiping that bit easier to swallow, and the realisation that Tinder is a manifestation of all that we don’t want to be; superficial, vain and judgmental.
Swipe left on Tinder guys and press delete. There’s better ways to find love, I swear.