I have long been stubborn with my disapproval of online dating. Call me old-fashioned, but I think the process is too forced, unnatural and stems from desperation.
However, it’s been several years now since online dating has blossomed into our society, and it’s pretty evident that it is here to stay. It’s safe to say that it’s no longer a trend — it’s just the way it is.
That being said, I still don’t envision myself participating in it anytime soon. I don’t like the idea of having to weed through profiles, read people’s interests, their religion, their favorite color, and essentially knowing everything about someone before you even meet up. I’m not necessarily a guy that goes on a ton of dates, but one of the few things I do like about dating is learning about somebody through increments.
On the first date, you learn the general information — their job, their hometown, their interests, yada yada yada. And with each successive date — if there are any — you find out a little bit more. And the best part is that nobody is being judgmental. Because of a combination of nerves and the desperate hope that the date goes smoothly, you kind of just take everything in stride.
In between telling me about her family and her favorite band, a girl can probably slip in that she is a member of the Klu Klux Klan, and I would probably nod my head and be like, ‘Oh wow! That’s so cool… tell me more about that!” Nobody wants to be overly critical and judgmental on a first date.
Conversely, if I’m reading a girl’s profile on eHarmony.com, I might dismiss a girl just because she wrote down that she is a New England Patriots fan. Which is beyond ridiculous if you think about it. I might miss out on a cool chick just because I disapproved of a small blurb on her profile. And yet, that is the nature of online dating.
And that’s why I still dislike it. I may not harbor the same malice that I once did, but I still don’t plan on paying a monthly fee on Match.com anytime soon.
But now, as of 2013, there is an online dating service that I can get behind.
Tinder is an app that was created earlier this year, and it has absolutely blown up in popularity since. I had heard people mention it in passing lately, but I automatically lumped it together with all those other dating sites. I didn’t think it was anything different.
Until I saw it in action.
What makes Tinder different is that it’s simplified. You sign up, connect it with your Facebook (it will never post anything on your personal Facebook) and automatically, you’re in the system. You have a choice to upload as many as five pictures that best represent you, and then the fun begins.
There’s no profiles. Heck, there’s no words. You simply load up the app, and instantly, you are given picture after picture of single girls who are DTF. And that does not mean Down To Frolic. Because if you sign up on Tinder it means you’re looking for somebody.
You can filter the pool of girls (or guys) so that the ones you are choosing from are within 10 miles of you. If you “swipe to the right,” it means you approve. Swiping left means you do not. If you swipe right on a girl, and that same girl also saw your picture and happened to swipe right, then that means the two of you have “matched.” By matching, you are allowed to chat with the girl (or guy) and potentially set something up. You can not chat with anyone on the app unless you match.
Here’s the difference between Tinder and all other dating networks — it’s not a dating app. It’s a hook up app. Huge difference. Huge.
You are simply judging the opposite gender by their physical appearance. You aren’t examining their favorite books, you’re not scrutinizing their favorite quotations — you’re just judging it how you see it.
And that’s the way it always has been. You see someone, and if you’re a physically attracted, then you make an effort to learn more. Before the Internet, you never knew somebody’s favorite TV shows before you actually spoke to them. Unless they were wearing a Full House T-shirt.
It is shallow? Hell yes. Of course it is. But we are a shallow species.
Physical attraction has always been the first step. From there, it can go where it needs to go. Just because you’re looking to simply hook up doesn’t mean it can’t lead to anything else. Although that’s not the reason most people use Tinder.
There’s no winking. No profile hunting. No awkward conversations.
The best way to describe Tinder is this — essentially, you are starting at the point where you get the girl’s phone number. You already know that she is single, looking, and attracted to you. And you have a means to contact her. It completely eliminates the bullshit before that, Which is far and away the worst part! It’s brilliant. I’m so excited that I actually just used an exclamation mark.
It works, too. This past weekend, one of my friends — who was pretty much swiping right on 90 percent of the girls — got four matches in about 36 hours. He even met up with one of them. Unfortunately, it did not lead to the desired result he had hoped, but it still worked. Tinder can only take you so far.
And the best part is — and I know how bad this sounds — but ugly and/or fat people are probably too self-conscious to use the app, therefore, you’re essentially taking your pick from a pool of girls who are all moderately attractive, ranging to very attractive. Honestly, it’s so brilliant that I can’t believe no one invented it before this.
The downside? It’s only available for the iPhone, iPad and iTouch. I have a Windows Phone.
*Cue Price is Right losing horn*
Had I known about Tinder five months ago when I was picking out a new phone, I would have purchased an iPhone. But, no big deal, because I am more than willing to purchase an iTouch at a cheaper cost just so I can use the app.
I can wholeheartedly say that I am truly glad I was single when Tinder came out. Even if you don’t get any matches, at the very least, you get to look at hundreds of pictures of hot girls. There’s absolutely zero downside to it.
In my mind, the jury is still out on social networking. I think it will take a really long time — possibly decades — to truly determine whether it has had a positive or negative effect on our society.
But Tinder is something that I can absolutely get behind. And for the very first time in my life, I am glad that social networking exists.
Never thought I’d see the day.