It was finally gone, thank goodness. Like being relieved of an itch, I felt the anguish dissipate away. It wasn’t that it hurt, or that it was really that annoying, but rather it was just a bother, a distraction, another thing to think about.
The little red flame was deleted from my home screen.
If you’d talked to me a year ago, I would have told you that Tinder was a joke. The judgmental side of me would have taken over, and forced you to question your life choices. You would have met the worst version of myself, forcing my negativity on you like a door-to-door salesman.
But just as so many things have influenced me in the past, I eventually caved.
One thing I noticed on my travels is that the social ‘dating’ app holds a rather different connotation overseas. Perhaps as Australian society is stereotypically more social than others, Tinder has always had the reputation of being a tool purely for the acquisition of a weekend hook-up, or the like. In other societies, however, Tinder is a legitimate way of meeting people. Using the Swedish case study, I can say that it was a rare occasion that I would meet a Swede who did not use the app in some way or form. Whilst yes, it would be often used for it’s stereotypical purpose, conversely there would be plenty of love-lost singles searching for their one true soul mate.
The argument that is so commonly used against Tinder is a simple one. How can you ascertain from a short series of photos and a few lines of text that you would actually connect with someone? Unless you believe in the age old fallacy of love at first sight I cannot say that you can accurately judge someone from this tiny projection of their personality. But, of course, we must ask the following – don’t we pretty much do this anyway?
Whilst yes, we are given a wider range of projections, and generally the advantage of more time and opportunity for intuition, we still really make snap judgments on the way people look and also the first things they say to us. First impressions matter a great deal, and we must not let romantic comedies cloud our acceptance to this. Can we not just say that Tinder allows us to make a tailored and perfected first impression to a greater population?
Perhaps it was plainly due to my mindset at the time, but my Tinder experience was not the most satisfying. Whilst there did come the odd match here and there, I found myself swiping left (‘disliking’) far more often than right. It became more a game of ‘find the flaw’ rather than actually searching for a better half – so much so, that I began to believe that I was too picky for my own good. Some reasons why I actually swiped left were as such:
“No, I can see the phone, that is a terrible selfie”
“Why did she post a photo with that guy? Why doesn’t she just fuck him?”
“She’s at the beach. Hell no”
“Potatoes? Why the hell are there potatoes?”
There were plenty more reasons, but I would like to keep some friends after I post this article, so I will hold them to myself.
Soon, Tinder became mainly a way to dispel my judgmental side. It was addictive not only for that reason, but also because it helped validate my narcissism. Neither of these proved mentally healthy, not to mention the arthritis I will develop in my thumb due to the constant lateral movement. It needed to go.
Now of course, there are plenty of people out there that will defend Tinder to it’s knees. I understand this fully. I know of a few couples who began their journeys through a right swipe. I do think, though, that it takes a certain kind of person in a certain kind of mental state for it to be most effective.
Or maybe it just takes a couple of people that are a little bit right for each other.