Tinder: Sizzle or Fizzle?
Tinder is probably one of the most game changing bits of technology of the 21st century. Whilst people marvel over contactless payment in phones and other little tidbits, this particular one slips by largely untalked about. Yet it has fundamentally changed society to it’s core. Love and relationships will never be the same again. A pandora’s box has been opened, one full of hookups and pictures, one where you can hunt for a new boyfriend on the train ride between yoga and work, one where a sizzling night of passion is just a message away.
The question most of us are trying to answer now though, is whether or not this is a change for the better or if it’s going to be a real thorn in the side of dating. Here we present to you differing opinions from both sides, recounted to us by the people that have experienced them and written up by us.
The Case Against
- Tinder has somewhat ruined bars and nightspots. Those public spheres that were once for flirting, slow dancing and generally getting into the flow of things have now been transformed. When I’m out with my girlfriends on a night out, I don’t really appreciate the attention of guys anymore. Sure if they’re cute enough i will make an exception but in general I just don’t want it. Clubbing and pubbing have become about relaxing and that’s fine in many ways. The thing is though, what if you like talking to people face to face? Where do you really go? There’s not a whole lot of options left really. There used to be a dynamism to it: you would read the room, read the girl and if she seemed like she might be interested, you went in for it. Now, if I’m interested in finding a man then I’m not out downing shots, making bad decisions, I’m at home with the smartphone and a box-set of Grey’s Anatomy.
- It make things so needlessly ambiguous. I once matched with a girl that wanted to new friends. I’m not being funny, but what the hell? At first Tinder was the app for hookups, for steamy one nighters with a random that didn’t have the same element of STD infused danger that message boards did. Then the relationships started creeping in. People wanted brunch buddies and something short term. Now people look for friends, long term relationships and probably babysitters on there: it’s gotten insane. Tinder itself encourages this and that is honestly it’s biggest flaw for me: that greed. They want every slice of the pie, to the point where their brand is so diluted I’m not sure what the point of it is anymore.
- Tinder photos suck. I know it, you know it and, without wanting sound like Trump, we all know it. It’s just a fact of life. The deception that goes on is breathtaking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a snob. A good personality, decent looks and that is normally enough for me to get to know you better. But when I turn up and you’re 4 sizes bigger than your photos, when you look so little like the images on your profile I wonder if you photoshop images for a living, that’s an issue. The looks I can deal with, but the dishonesty is truly awful. Trying to trick me into meeting up is not “giving you a chance”, it’s lying to me deliberately in order to try and make me settle for someone that you think I wouldn’t normally give a shot to. Offensive on so many levels and honestly just a massive turn off. Why do people even do this? It’s infuriating.
- Getting catfished online is something you read about, chuckle and move on. With Tinder though, it’s a genuine possibility. Sometimes your date turns out to be a man, sometimes they’re a woman who looks nothing like the photos at all. Sometimes they’re bigger, sometimes they’re skinnier, sometimes it’s not even a bad angle it’s literally another person entirely. The entire thing just makes me feel unsafe and takes away any desire I would have to date online. Not only that, but I lead a busy life. I work in a high octane profession and it takes up a lot of my time. The last thing I want is to spend a few days talking to someone who turns out to be deceiving me, yet it happens all the time. It’s genuinely one of the worst thing that can happen to you online, and it makes you feel used and dirty, knowing that someone is getting off on the idea of lying to you.
- Tinder has many many benefits. I love it in so many ways, but I no longer have it installed. Why? Because it’s just not worth it. Dating is not meant to be this goddamn exhausting. The sheer choice, the humdrum nature of it all. Reading through hundreds of “hello”s and “hi”s, just to get to one decent interesting message. And then sorting through a dozen men that were interesting enough to make it past the first filter, all to set up one date. And then, you know how first dates are. Half the time they’re a bust, then half of the ones that work fizzle out entirely afterwards. The amount of sifting and sorting I have to do to get a basic connection with someone is just not worth it. I’d rather take my chances meeting someone organically, rather than trying to force it.
The Case For
- I like to hook-up. There’s nothing wrong with that and I certainly don’t feel ashamed. Before Tinder, this meant going to a bar in my best dress and hoping that the hunkiest guy there would buy me a drink. If it was getting late and that wasn’t happening, I could always try seeking one out myself. Most guys don’t like that though. On Tinder, it’s not an issue. If you match with a man and message first? Woah boy, do they love it. You’d think you’d given them the best sex of their life there and then, or named them captain of the England football team. They eat that up with a spoon and honestly, it’s amazing. I love that I can just cut out all the crap and get straight to it, down to what I want to talk about and with a guy I like. It takes me from being a passive player in the game to being the one in charge. I couldn’t go back.
- Without Tinder we’d be back to the dark ages. When your best bet to find a girl was to drag yourself around town and pray. If you’re buying drinks for yourself and buying one for potential ladies, that is not cheap. We used to be able to afford to go out and do that, once, twice a month tops. In a city like London, a night of drinks can cost your whole month’s disposable income. Now though, I just go online, weed out the girls that are just in for a drink or a meal, find girls that genuinely like me and we go on a date. I don’t have to pay money just to get access to the pool anymore. That money now goes on dates, on meals at great restaurants, picnics, even a skydiving trip once.
- My wife and I have long been in an open relationship. In the past, this was seedy as all hell. I had to go with her to meet anyone, anything online was strictly out of it, and finding someone to play the third wheel was near impossible outside of a small social circle. Apps like these have changed all that. It’s taken it from something that only the most adventurous people are enjoying, to something mainstream and cool. It’s no big deal for a young man to hook up with a couple these days, or a young lady. They do it without breaking a sweat. Normalising it has made it so much safer and more enjoyable for those of us that were already interested.
- It’s really helped me realise that sex and women are not something that has to be lusted after like you might a job or a car. That sounds weird right, but it’s humanising. For most men, women are put up on this pedestal from our teenage years onwards and we have to fight to impress them, to be worthy of their attention. Now some of these cringey nice guys I see, the ones who constantly whine about entitled women and princesses and how every man chooses a horrible person over them, I got no sympathy for them. But I do see how they got to that state, because when you’re a young man it’s very easy to see women not as people but as incredible things you need to earn, need to possess in order to be successful. Tinder breaks that illusion, you’re 2 normal people, hooking up on the same app, after the same thing. Quite often, she’ll even message you first. It’s done a lot to break down that whole “the man must make the first move” stuff and makes you realise you’re both just people trying to get your rocks off and maybe find something more.
- Going out to hook up or meet someone normally meant going to a bar when I was younger. Now that’s great if you’re going to be able to keep things under control but let’s be honest. When you are wild and young and stupid, you’re going to have too much. And when you do, standards drop. You do things that are not safe, or good for you. You might go home with a girl that you really wouldn’t like sober. You might go home alone to a guy’s place and put yourself in all kinds of danger. Now though, you don’t have to be plastered before you can find a partner. It’s nice to see, and I’m sure it will help this generation make way better choices than we ever did.
The people that responded to our questions were, in general, positive towards the app by a ratio of about 2:1. It’s easy to see why: apps like Tinder make it safer, easier and more enjoyable than ever to enjoy something casual and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re finally moving past the puritan attitudes that have ruined that kind of experience in the past and are now enjoying things as they should be.
There are plenty of valid complaints though, especially when it comes to issues of intimacy. It might be more convenient but Tinder misses out on the chemistry that two people have in person, it misses out on the body language, the flirting, the essentially human experience. The one contributor that really got it right for us was the man who said that it basically cuts the bar out of the experience as the middle man. You don’t need to go splash cash to meet anyone any more, you have a big selection of people to choose from. That’s where it shines. Where it doesn’t work though, is when people try and use it as a replacement for actually meeting and seeing how they work together, when people are shocked that their first date didn’t work out because they were so good together on Tinder. Well, life is more than just a Tinder message. You need to be able to rock it in person as well as on the messages, because that’s where the actual action happens. Forget that at your peril but remember it and you’ll find that Tinder actually provides the firewood for any relationship, what you need to do is add the spark.