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“His nose is too big”, “Ew what is he wearing?”, “Wait, is that his wedding photograph?!” You’d be forgiven for thinking that these are words uttered during the auditions stages of America’s Next Top Model (the cycle where they entered boys), but in fact it’s not – it’s just the typical things that are said whenever someone stumbles onto Tinder; the new dating app that everyone seems to be talking about.
In case you don’t know what it is, I’ll give you a quick lesson. Tinder is an app where you upload a photo, decide which gender you want to be shown, decide an age range/location range to your current position and off you go – looking through photographs to find the love of your life. Left swipe for no, right swipe for yes. Once you’ve left swiped someone you can’t go back, they’re gone from your Tinder forever. If you right swipe someone and they have done the same for you, it’s a match and then you have the option to start chatting. Sounds simple, eh?
Well, it is simple but it sure as heck isn’t romantic.
I think whenever I go onto the app it takes me approximately 0.04 seconds for me to decide either way. A friend of mine says that I should spend time looking at our shared interests, potential shared friends etc. before making up my mind. But to be honest, if someone is orange, wearing a backwards baseball cap and their polyester football shirt is slung over their shoulder, showing off their magnificent abs, they’re probably not for me. I don’t need to know that we both enjoy Dr. Who and fishing on the weekend. So I guess in that sense it is very ruthless, there’s very little thought involved in it. Even if you do get a match and begin chatting, conversation usually devolves very quickly; I get bored. I have nothing in common with these people other than a brief spark of “Oh they’re hot” when I looked at the picture for a nanosecond. It’s the same sort of thing you might experience in Sugar at the weekend, that feeling that if you experienced it you’d probably just grin and walk on, rather than try and spark up some dodgy conversation.
For me, it’s a way of passing the time. I know that sounds intensely harsh but to be honest I don’t expect anything to come out of it and more than anything I don’t really want anything to come out of it. I can’t imagine that the best way to start any sort of liaison with someone is because you judged them almost instantaneously on their profile picture. I once asked a friend whether he thought anyone had ever started a long-term relationship through Tinder; his response was “well a mate of mine slept with someone twice”. Charming. I just don’t really see the point in it except as a tool to pass a little bit of boredom. It’s the equivalent of people watching, except with the option to Jedi people out of the way if you don’t like their hair, or if their nose is crooked. In that sense it’s great if you want to be a little bit judgemental without actually doing anyone any harm/being nasty!
As to whether Tinder is cold I’ll leave you with this thought, when I asked another friend of mine as to what his opening line is on Tinder once he’s got a match, he replied that it’s in two parts, the first being “I had a dream about you last night…”, she replies usually with a “?”, then his response is “just kidding, I dreamt I was a DINOSAUR!”
We thought romance was dead…