The hatching of Tinder, like the great fire of Alexandria, will go down as a cultural phenomenon, a marker of our changing times. It will in some poetic way be counted as the single most event to set the human species back a thousand years – love, hate and intrigue have never felt so close, yet so far. An indictment of our time.
I don’t know if any of us truly know why we are on the app. The endless scowling through thousands of – what feels like – nameless faces, one by one beginning to look more and more alike, vanity constricting any thought of a meaningful relationship with every right-ward stroke and left-ward swerve. And yet the allure proves too strong to resist. I mean where else can you find a couple older than your parents offering you a threesome?
On second thought, I don’t want to know.
It has however brought an interesting dynamic to meeting people: gone are the days of a hello or in Dundonian; ‘who’s wantin pumped?’ being enough to draw attention. Now, a degree in people reading and a razor–sharp wit is required, although, the app has birthed a generation of poetic romantics – using lines like ‘I’d rattle you harder than a maracas in a Parkinson’s ward’.
Tinder has commercialised human interaction, taken from a random indiscriminate act; not dis-similar to an American airstrike, to a precise almost–sport, with points replaced with matches and passion with indifference. Like most sports it is best played on a Sunday with a hangover musing over the futility of life.
Though the days of standing in a sweaty club – your vision hazy, trying to decide if the person you’ve been chatting to all night is actually as attractive and charming as you think, or if you have just reached that point of desperation where anything with a pulse (or still luke warm) will do – have not died, it would be stupid not to recognise that the dating app has revolutionised the game.
No longer do you need excessive levels of Bavarian silly water to speak to people. Now all you need is a phone and an existential crisis to begin looking for the love of your life – or the person who is going to brutally murder you.
Evidently, the site has sapped the fun out of getting to know someone and the soul out of most of its users. Conversations become about as interesting as having an intellectual conversation with anyone in Kushion; like slowly banging your head off a wall. But then that’s possibly an insult to walls.
But, dating has never been so easy. No one can argue that good things haven’t come from the platform: I met my first girlfriend through the app (all-be-it the children’s version which was shut down, likely for reasons you can imagine). The service has had many positive impacts, from marriages to kids (not always of the wanted kind). It even provides a Pokémon style game of STD collection – gotta catch em all.
However, as the ease of dating has increased so has the risk. Everyone has a horror story and while mine is tame in comparison, it is a warning of the dangers. A girl, who for this I will call chucky, used me as a human scratching and biting pole when she didn’t get what she wanted, though I did learn a valuable lesson – always zig-zag when running away.
Love it or hate it, Tinder is here to stay, unlike most of our self-respects. Dating will never be the same again, the contribution that it has made to pop culture is one that will probably only be realised in the years to come. From an anthropology point of view, it has completely changed the attitude towards love and dating in modern society for better or worse.
I mean, where would we be without Netflix and Chill?