Thursday 17 April 2014

The Weekly Read: The world of app dating - discovering Tinder

Happy woman with smart phone
Of course you have to be 'good looking' for Tinder to set you up with your one true love. If you weren’t worried about your appearance before, give Tinder a whirl.

I played with this lazy man’s chat room for a week.

For many people it’s not about starting a relationship or even a conversation with someone because there is still a stigma over online dating. Can you trust people you’re not meeting face to face?

Would you trust someone who starts a conversation with: “Hi I’m so and so, I’m only in Dublin for the weekend. Any idea what I should do? Maybe you could show me around?” If that’s not a Barney Stinson move then I don’t know what is.

The phenomenon has swept across the US and UK with reports of marriages coming about for couples who met through Tinder.

On the Scott Mills BBC Radio 1 show, the presenters talk about the vast amount of dates that their friends are going on because of the app.

This all seems lovely and it is being sold as the “Eureka” moment of dating, where the technological sphere has matched with the modern world and has made dating more accessible to everyone.

Of course you have to be 'good looking' for Tinder to set you up with your one true love. If you weren’t worried about your appearance before, give Tinder a whirl.

Despite its anonymity, at the core of the argument, the app is quite cruel. Swiping someone to the left (indicating that you’re not interested) is the equivalent to you saying that you’re ugly because let’s face it, you’re not turning them down due to a lack of a personality or spark.

Swiping to the right (indicating that you think that they are majestic looking) is not quite the same as meeting someone in a pub, at a house party or anywhere in person.

It takes the romance out of the idea of dating; you’re choosing someone who nine times out of 10 has thoroughly gone through their profile pictures on Facebook to choose their best angle and deciding that you’ll have some of that.

There’s something to be said for the shared interests aspect of the app. With a minute amount of information given about the person you’re leering at, it generates the tiniest of connections when you can see that you both like How I Met Your Mother or Kasabian etc.

I’d love to blame the creators of this app for bringing the concept of vanity to a whole new level. Morally, I could go on with the pitfalls of Tinder, but if I was really that disgusted by it I’d delete the app.

Instead, I spend about 30 minutes a day swiping through people’s photos, giggling when I see someone I know, and giving a triumphant little “Awhhh yiiih!” when I see that I got a match.

As far as I can tell, Tinder is a way to kill time, boost (or drown) your ego, stare at pretty people and possibly start an awkward conversation with someone you don’t know... who’s only chatting to you because they think you're worthy of being swiped to the right.

And they say romance is dead.

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