Hello chums!

In my last post we discussed some of the pioneers of online dating – and in this post, I’d like to talk about where that’s led it to in the modern day, as well as trying to explore some varied opinion on it. I present to you: Tinder.

If you’re like me and are TERRIFIED of social romantic interaction (it can’t be just me can it? …can it?!) then the concept of online dating is something that can be incredibly appealing. If it means I can meet cute boys and not make a complete tit out of myself in the process I’m obviously all for it?!

 Sign up n’ Swipe away.

One of the most popular dating apps around currently is Tinder – put eloquently in an article I read recently:

“Tinder won the dating wars: swipe or stay home”

If you have a phone, are under the age of 80, and haven’t been living under a rock for the past five years then it’s pretty likely you’ve heard of Tinder before.

For those uninitiated, Tinder is a location-based dating app for all popular types of smartphone. It utilises a swiping motion that its users use to either ‘like’ (right swipe) or ‘dislike’ (left swipe) other members of the app. If you both ‘like’ each other you can start a conversation. Personally, I love tinder. I can spend hours on the app during a night in with friends – a glass of wine in one hand and swiping away with the other. It’s awfully good fun.

But you see, that’s where the problem starts. It’s too much fun.

 Such thing as too much fun?

It seems that Tinder becomes a form of entertainment rather than a platform for people to make meaningful connections with others. People can swipe away to their heart’s content – exercising a basic human instinct to judge others all we like.

However, once we actually match with somebody some of us don’t know what to do. All of a sudden it gets too ‘real’ and you’ve actually got to have a conversation with somebody about the fact that you’re mutually attracted to one another?! No thanks! *deletes app, throws away phone, gives up life to join a primitive celibate tribe*

But that may just be a small portion of us socially awkward specimens. For the majority maintaining these conversations becomes laborious most of the time, suddenly being forced into a conversation with a stranger who you may have nothing in common with apart from finding each other okay-looking (potentially, whilst drunk).

In a world where we’re all oversaturated with notifications, alerts, texts etc. all day every day – it can become very easy to forget about that one stranger you matched with on a dating app.

Image of adults using smartphones

Photo from pexels.com, no attribution required

Tinder Gold: For the Veterans.

So, Tinder can be seen as a bit of harmless fun – but for many others, it can be taken a lot more seriously, and this is where Tinder makes its money.

Tinder is a free service to use at its base level, however, it offers tiered premium paid memberships to its users, to unlock more functionality within the app – such as unlimited “likes” and being able to see who has “liked” you before you “like” back. (have I said “Like” enough?)

Once again, this is a source of an issue. When these ‘hardcore’ Tinder users (who purchase premium memberships) interact with the fore-mentioned ‘casual’ ones, this can cause discordance. Two people who may be compatible partners had they met in the real world may fail to connect; as one tries to make conversation and gets nothing back – and the other thinks “why is this stranger spamming me?” (we’ve all been there).

This could be worrying for Tinder’s business model – as users could potentially feel they’re not getting what they really want from the service.

Size matters – even online.

Then how has Tinder remained so popular? The answer is the colossal size of the userbase. There are so many different users on the service, that whereas some of your interactions may not go as well as they could – many others will do so. This, combined with Tinder’s very user-friendly and addictive interface results in a dating app that isn’t giving up its top spot any time soon.

There are obviously many more dating apps available, for both popular and niche audiences. However, as the unrivalled juggernaut of the online dating world, Tinder is a very good place to look for a representation of the dating landscape in the modern day.

Well, that’s about all for this post! The next few posts will be exploring some of the more dangerous impacts of the internet in general on modern-day dating, so stay tuned for that truly…. Uplifting content… Ha.

Anyway! Make sure to follow my twitter for notifications about new posts, and I’ll see you next time!

– Alex