A couple of my friends use an online dating service. It’s called Tinder.
Online dating sites are no newfangled idea. They’ve been around since dial-up and since their inception, I’ve been under the impression that this kind of shit is for middle-aged divorcees who don’t have the time or energy to meet anyone in the usual ways. They go to work, come home, go to sleep and repeat at the ring of an alarm clock—they don’t have time for clubs, bars and house parties the way people my age do, frequenting places where the possibility of sex runs higher than Cheech and Chong.
But the reality of dating in 2014 is that my generation is the online generation, one that wants fast and wants now. Everything needs to be at the click of our fingertips; we’d much rather send a text than ring up a phone call. Hell, I’ve probably mailed three letters in my life, and it’s this convenience that has given us the likes of Tinder.
In short, Tinder is a mobile phone app that uses your mobile location to connect you with a cadre of members of your preferred sex, encouraging you to click yes or no at the sight of five carefully chosen, perfectly posed photos that said users have enabled you to see.
And yes, books are rolling over in their fucking graves, appalled by this blatant cover judging.
The very process of this is one that I find disturbing, and when prodded by friends to download the application, I resisted.
You see, unlike other dating sites (which I’m not a fan of in the first place, though I do see their relevance for people who have difficulty meeting new people), Tinder doesn’t utilize calculated algorithms to match you with people with similar passions or interests. Oh no. This newest dating app throws you out to whoever happens to be closest by, with only a couple of lines to “describe yourself” and five Facebook photos to prove to whoever is looking that you are worth clicking ‘Yes’ for.
And admittedly, the idea works. A copious amount of people I know have been on Tinder dates, and a decent number of them have actually worked out in the long run. But I can’t get over this newest fad. I’m no Tucker Max, but my one rule for picking up a girl at a bar is to give her a good reason to dance/go home with you—beyond the fact that sheer circumstance has deemed you the closest, semi-fuckable guy in her immediate proximity.
There’s a lot more to a relationship than “Hey, you’re here, I’m here, let’s bone.” (Okay, maybe not to every relationship, but in a perfect world there should be.) But that’s exactly what Tinder is saying. It’s encouraging you to find the closest, decent-looking person of your sexual preference and bone them.
If I could guess, it would be that Tinder was designed for drunk people. Because when you’re drunk you become primal and your first primal instinct is to go out and fuck someone. And that’s all well and fine. But let’s not pretend that Tinder serves any purpose beyond that. You won’t be sitting your future children down, Ted Mosby-style, telling them the story about the time you met their mother on Tinder. What the fuck would that even sound like?
“I was on this app on my phone and your mom’s face popped up. In the first picture, there were five girls, so I had no idea which one your mom was. I determined that one girl was a 9/10, two were 8’s, one was a 7.2 and the last one was a 3. The second picture on your mother’s Tinder was of the two 8’s. And then the third, oh my god, the third. The third picture popped up on my screen and it was one of the two 8’s. The blond that I actually found a bit more attractive than the brunette—anyway, we went on a couple of…dates, and here we are.”
Maybe I’m a helpless romantic, but I can’t imagine a response to that supposition other than a big “Fuck you, Dad.” I mean, please. If you’re going to tell your kids the story of Tinder, sit them down after they’ve determined what a goddamn crapshoot love is for themselves. Don’t ruin their fairy tale ideas of romance, at least until ninth grade.
Tinder is poison, not just to those that have downloaded it, but to everyone those people make contact with. It’s every communicable disease imaginable, downloadable for free from the app store.
Feature image shot by The Region Mag.