To the left, to the left. Everything you look for in a person (by judging their profile pictures), to the left.
I started using Tinder about a year ago when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend of two years. The relationship was nothing but flat — we dated since high school. What did you honestly expect? It’s time for some fresh air, I thought to myself. Let’s put on some selfies, a pretty comprehensive bio of your choice and Tinder (and your thumb) will do the rest!
Tinder made me found my recent ex-boyfriend. Kudos to Tinder, I met someone whom I thought as the one (at that time). A man who has a penchant for musicals, very smart, highly critical, types in paragraphs, relates to your memes and shares the same birth date as you? Call it an algorithmic or even cosmic coincidence, this happened to me and it felt superb. I was looking for a hookup, I got a husband material out of hundreds of my potential matches.
Explaining it to my family was quite weird, to the point I had to lie to my parents that we met in a competition, in which was easier to believe because we both like to attend conferences, but then, when it comes to my friends — almost all of them use dating apps even the paid ones, some of them are dating their Tinder matches, few of them got married from Tinder. The Tinder trend stung everyone like a bee, and it’s a beehive now.
The not-so-fairytale part, some of them also broke up with their Tinder matches and be back on track, and by all means necessary, reinstalling the app and doing it all over again, which I also did. Sense the desperation? Yes, it’s an effort to (once again) find the next (supposedly) better match by exercising the art of swiping right — and not to swipe the wrong person.
This time, I took the time to read the bios properly, even did a quite specific research on each one of them (also to avoid human traffickers).
I felt like an HR staff by myself, to myself, and for myself, a pretty democratic one on that. I must find a better man — or a hookup! Or both! Back in the days when online dating was still taboo, people would go to clubs or coffee shops to find like-minded people to hang out, hook up, or even date. Nowadays, Tinder is the place to be. From prostitutes to professors, crackheads to literal heads of multinational corporations, the desperate singles to married fellas, the people that you find in that application will amuse you in so many different ways…..
..and that is exactly why I quit.
Why, if you may ask? The answer is simple: I keep on swiping right! Selectively, but still swiping right! Isn’t that the very essence of it anyway?
I do it before I go to sleep, I do it before and after work, during my break, in my spare time, everywhere, 24/7. The illusion of bumping into another miraculous coincidence is crazy with this one. The reality? Some of them are great people, really. The rest? Not so much. Is it worth the time? No.
How is it different with social media?
I have to argue that Tinder, in my case, is worse than all of my social media accounts combined. On most social media accounts, I pour my thoughts and unintentionally seek for validations from the people that I know (or at least, familiar with). On Tinder, I look for validations from strangers who want to get into my pants and never speak to me again.
Some of them may hold a Ph.D. from Ivy League schools and still only be interested in talking about your private parts. Some of them may act as if they’re dedicated to you and you only when in reality they are doing it with as many people as they can. As an average human being with insecurities, this makes my self-worth issues even worse. Bumping to your recent ex on Tinder is EVEN worse. Don’t get me started on that one.
Tinder also inspired this episode from Black Mirror (Hang The DJ)The perpetuation of dating apps like Tinder is also a milestone in technology advancements. In fact, within that exact Black Mirror episode, the technological incision of Tinder and the Siri-like system really controls your life to the extent on forcing matches. It resembles the success of dating apps on affecting human lives, and in the not-so-distant future, changes their behavior: our dating behavior.
The Black Mirror episode shows us that the app works by an experience-based algorithm to identify our perfect match by timers until we meet the most compatible person possible. The gag is: will it ever happen? Will humans ever be inherently satisfied with what they’ve got? To what extent the measurement of ‘compatibility’ will benefit a supposedly romantic relationship?
This embarks the final question that finally made me delete my Tinder account for good: Will the quest of finding the perfect match online ever end? Like, ever end?
I don’t think so.
To the guys that I’ve met on Tinder, and interacted with, or met in person (and if you’ve gotten into that stage so far), you’re not that bad. Some of you have become my friends, maybe more, but I really need to start thinking about sorting my life out, doing meaningful things, listening to more podcasts, reading more books, taking more risks, and eventually finding myself in the end. There is more to life than being obsessed in a never-ending loop of swiping.
I need to make peace with myself first.