Tinder – Fad or Not?

Remember the days when you met somebody, you liked them, they liked you, they asked you out on a date, you went, you went on more dates and eventually you became boyfriend and girlfriend? Nope? Neither. It seems that this positively vintage way of dating is unheard of to the kids of today. These days you can learn a lot of things about a person just by going on the Internet. You can judge their character by their Facebook status or their Instagram photos. The magic of getting to know somebody by conversing with them is quickly becoming last season’s trend, and it seems meeting people via the Internet is the new black.

I was recently introduced to this new phenomenon called Tinder, which seems to be the new way to meet people – especially here in Holland. This free app is similar to a ‘hot or not?’ theory, where you can ‘like’ a person by swiping right on their photo. By swiping left, it indicates you don’t like the look of them. If the person you ‘liked’ also ‘liked’ you, a conversation window pops up and you can message each other and decide whether you actually want to meet in person. It is GPS tracked and only shows people in a vicinity of where you are at the time so you can literally could be ‘liking’ your next door neighbour. You can only share your first name, age and a few words to describe yourself. Nothing else. It is purely judged by your photos.

At first I thought it was a bit of a joke. How you could know what a person is really like just by a few photos and some formalities from behind a screen? Though as I asked more people about it, I learnt that it is a quite popular and successful way of meeting new people. The previous stigma of Tinder being an easy way to find a hook-up is being replaced with the belief that its a simple way of finding some interesting people nearby. Having been on Tinder for a few weeks now, I have to agree that it is an easy way. I have met (well been ‘liked’) by more Dutch people using Tinder than I have any other way. Whilst I’m yet to brave a ‘Tinder’ date, I have friends that have gone on dates and really enjoyed them.

Though is this Tinder business really the future of dating? Have we really succumbed to choosing a potential mate just by looking at their latest profile picture? Its taken the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and screwed it up and thrown it in the bin. Tinder is all about judging the cover. Of course, going to a bar and deciding who to talk to based on how attracted you are to them is somewhat similar but it just feels a little superficial to base your next date on whether they have a cute profile picture.

In saying this, in this day and age where people are trying to cram 30 hours into a 24 hour day and your phone is basically an extra limb – this little app might just be the way to go. You can basically do everything with your phone these days, from banking, to counting calories and even tracking your sleeping patterns, so why not find a date for Saturday night whilst you check the weather or make a bid on eBay. It looks like Cupid has seriously upgraded from the old bow and arrow.

So I’m still a little apprehensive on this Tinder business, but with a large chunk of Gen Y jumping on the Tinder bandwagon I better change my opinion before getting left behind. And truthfully, there is something satisfying about being ‘liked’ by a total stranger. I guess, in a way its almost like receiving a compliment – Tinder style! But I’m an old fashioned girl – give me a bar and some offers of free drinks you have me sold, at least you’re guaranteed to know what your potential suitor really looks like.

From the girl who spends a bit too much time swiping left.

J. x

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