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To Tinder or not to Tinder?

By in Opinions

tinder-graphicAt the frontline of the texting, technology and dating mix is Tinder — a popular mobile app that sets up conversation (and more) between mutually interested users. 

Tinder is designed to make things easy for users to attain some quick sexual action. This way, the whole “do you like me or not?” game is boycotted. However, it baffles me when users attempt to use Tinder for more than sexual relationships and are left confused or upset as to why their attempts are (predictably) unsuccessful.

Tinder is the epitome of the “hook-up culture” and demonstrates that when it comes to most things — even dating — people want quick, effortless and easy. While this may seem like a good idea, I don’t think dating or meeting people can or should be that simplified.

For those unfamiliar with the app, Tinder allows you to set up a profile and then proceed to flip through photos of other Tinder users. While you flip through, you rate each user with a heart or an “X” determining whether or not you are interested in them. If two people select the heart for each other, then they will be matched up and can start a conversation.

Tinder seems to be used for a few different purposes. Sometimes users are interested in meeting up to chat or grabbing a coffee — and in that sense the app can function as an online dating tool. However, rating people on their attractiveness level usually indicates that you are interested in one thing. The real purpose of Tinder is, well, you know. The one bonus about either of these cases is there isn’t really any guessing as to whether you and your match are attracted to each other — that’s usually a given. 

Why even go on Tinder if you aren’t going to play the Tinder game though? If you are looking for love on Tinder, beware of disappointment. 

It is difficult to know what users’ motivations are, so while one partner may want a wholesome dinner and a movie, the other might not be so naive. This leads to unrealistic expectations — partially because you know nothing about the other person aside from what their Tinder profile says about them.

Tinder cannot serve a purpose beyond hook-ups because flipping through photos of people and giving them either a heart or an “X” sends the subconscious message that physical attractiveness is the most important quality someone could have. Anyone you deem unattractive doesn’t make the cut — and the more matches you get, the more attractive you must be.

Becoming caught up in rating people on their level of attractiveness is not only shallow but can lead to “interesting” situations that are unlikely to occur outside of the Tinder atmosphere. Messages that are downright creepy and blatantly sexual are frequent, but so are the messages with an innocent, “I’m new to the city and trying to make friends.” Nice try — clearly this is not a friendship app.

Since the app makes things so effortless, people are less likely to put in the time and labour of love  that a relationship requires. Ladies, don’t be expecting your Tinder match to pick you up for dinner. But this applies to both male and female users; any element of working for a relationship — or whatever you’re working for — is gone. And therefore users usually get what they want and then head back to their iPhone the next time they’re in the mood. 

Tinder takes the fun out of dating, getting to know someone and liking more than just their appearance. Two people can literally just have texting conversations and a few quickies with no strings attached, no heartbreak and no awkward moments. But without those things you also miss out on so much more.

Obviously there is no app of a similar kind where people list off their personality traits. Anyone looking for a dating relationship should probably steer clear of Tinder because relationships based on looks usually don’t work out.

Of course, it’s not all bad. I have a close friend who actually went on an awesome date with a great guy she met on Tinder and they’re still good friends. And I’m sure there are some dating success stories out there that started on Tinder. Perhaps love at first Tinder match is a thing, but those cases are definitely the exception to the rule.

Tinder usually leads to quick, temporary and fleeting gratification. If that’s all you want, then go ahead — use the app for what it’s really for and Tinder it up. But don’t be too quick to throw all your matches into the fire, because you just might get burned.

Naomi Zurevinski / Opinions Editor

Graphic: Stephanie Mah / Graphics Editor

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