Unless you’re living under a rock or madly in love, you’d know what Tinder is. Or how the cool ones like to say, being Tinderized means.
For those completely unaware, Tinder is a dating app for your phone that is precisely the straight version of Grindr. Now imagine if Match.com and Candy Crush had a baby, with hotornot.com as the surrogate mum… that little rascal would be Tinder. What it does is, it picks up your location, takes information from your Facebook page (without spamming on the social networking site), creates a Tinder profile for you and then pulls together potential ‘matches’ from around you, based on your interests, mutual friends and ‘likes’ on Facebook.
So say you ‘like’ Alicia Keys, David Beckham and Grumpy Cat’s pages on Facebook and a certain ‘Simon’ who is located 6km away also happens to like those pages, Tinder will very skilfully ‘match’ you two. (Oh, how romantic, I think I need a second, sniff.) Then the fate of your future as Mrs. Simon you-won’t-know-his-last-name lies in the fact that you either swipe right with your thumb as a seal of ‘approval’ or left for a ‘rejection’. And this decision of which direction to let your thumb sway is solely based on four photographs and maybe, if you’re lucky, a little insight into his personality in the ‘about me’ section on the app. And after all this pining and drama, if with Papa Candy Crush‘s blessing, he also swipes ‘right’ on your profile, then Tinder’s job is done. Promotion guaranteed! You can now go chat up Simon, booze with him, play with him, run off to Vegas and have mini-Simons. Hurrah!
This ridiculously vain and narcissistic match-making app has, apparently, created 500 million matches globally since 2010 – and that’s a shit ton of dates, if you ask me. I mean, how more unromantic, creepy, superficial and contrived do you have to be to get a vain approval from a stranger’s thumb. Surely, i’m better than what a fat thumb thinks of me. Or a skinny thumb, for that matter. Let’s not get personal here. Another sad thing is, think of all the mutual friends, bars, gyms and hobby classes that have now lost their jobs due to this new matchmaker in town. Oh, I feel for you Bar 100, the one on the corner of Creepy Avenue and Desperado Lane; times must be tough for you.
Now, from my criticism so far, a monkey could have guessed that I’m not a fan of Tinder. Overall, I’m very anti online dating – and I have my reasons, not worth sharing, for that. I mean, I don’t know about these dating apps… I’m looking for Mr Right, not Mr Right Near My House. However, after a close friend gave me a little teaser of it over Skype (all the way from Bondi, with surfer boys on display), plus my added desire to find a man-heater in freeeezing London, I caved in.
Brace yourself for what’s to follow.
My profile had four very tame, professional photos handpicked from my Facebook page and my ‘about me’ was short, simple and brutally honest: ‘Journalist who is either giggling or eating cake right now.‘ I was on it for about 15 minutes, this morning, giving my thumb a one-way workout to Bey’s classic – to the left, to the left. I soon got bored of rejecting and creeped out at the idea of finding out who my neighbours were; I logged off. A few hours later – *ping* – I had three messages on Facebook from absolute strangers… asking me out.
Call it the unfortunate uniqueness of my name in London or seriously praiseworthy stalking skills of these men, but somehow, they found my Facebook profile (that, according to Tinder, are kept private) and messaged me with a proposition. But of course, I come with proof; I’m a good journo – see the photo below with all three messages.
Now, before you choke with laughter, like I did, let’s just talk about this for a second.
Is Tinder really what we do in real life, but on a microcosmic level? Do we really file people away in our mental folders on the basis of how attractive or unattractive they are in a split second? Their personalities, sense of humour, intellectual level, grammar (!!!) all just sit idle until date #2, or ever? What if I find someone on there who is less than a mile away? He could be watching me? Like Patrick-Bateman-type watching me? How are social security policies of any country allowing this?
Leave aside how they found me, the sheer coincidence of it all, or just my bad luck, I’m going to break it down – these three men today would have messaged me on the basis of the following:
- I like her photos. Message.
- Boy, she eats cake! Message.
- She’s a journalist. It’s a sexy profession. Message.
- She laughs = could be mental, could be dumb. Dumb is good. Message.
- She can laugh and eat at the same time? Dream girl. Message.
- I’m just a man slut who has a PhD in online stalking. Message.
What was to follow was obvious…
Now I need some cake, please.