It has finally happened, and desperation has set in. If you haven’t heard about it, you most likely will, but what I’m speaking of is a new app for the iPhone called “Tinder.” In a nutshell, this app gives you the task of deciding whether prospective men or women in your area are, for lack of better words, hot or not. The idea is very simple really, and if done correctly, Tinder could give dating sites a run for their money. To give those of you who are unfamiliar with Tinder a better insight, the format of the app is set up so that you can see pictures of men and/or women around you, and if you find them attractive, you can merely press “like,” and if they do not suit your fancy, you can press “nope.” The interesting thing about Tinder is that it allows you to do this in a pretty inconspicuous way. What I mean by that is, if you are a pretty considerate person worried about hurting other Tinder participants’ feelings by saying “nope,” they never have to know. Now, the reason why Tinder is becoming a hit is because if you “like” someone and they reciprocate and “like” you back, it alerts both parties and allows them to message each other, much like texting. Simple? Very. A little creepy? Relatively. Do I think it will last? I can’t say for sure.
I decided that I was single, had nothing to lose, and would probably enjoy shamelessly deciding if men around me were cute or not, so why not try it out? For the first couple of days, I found myself just trying to rack up the numbers in my mutual likes, and I really had no interest in communicating with these people (I was still a bit uneasy with the whole idea). I would occasionally get messages, reply with minimal care, and giggle with my roommates about things that were said to us during these conversations. A message that remains my absolute favorite thus far actually came from a friend of mine who showed me a message she received at 3 in the morning that said, and I quote, “You, me, Hungry Howie’s (a local pizza place). 15 minutes.” Mind you, she didn’t actually go.
I ended up actually getting to know one guy. His name was Eric, he was a little bit older, and he seemed like a genuinely nice person. I couldn’t help but feel a little weird knowing that he was probably speaking to about 10 other girls at the same time. I also felt guilty about knowing that I would probably be blogging about the whole experience. I enjoyed talking to him, and it was surprisingly a little exciting receiving new messages from him throughout the day. But as a warning to all of you, one of your matches can block you at any time they’d like, and subsequently, you can no longer have contact with them. With that being said, I’m not exactly sure if that is what happened in my situation, but something similar did. I got an alert on my phone saying “Eric has sent you a new message on Tinder,” and upon opening it a few minutes later, my phone experienced a glitch, and his name was erased from the collection of names. I’m not sure if it was more defeating knowing he possibly blocked me, or never getting to know what that message said, but after that, I decided it was time to close up shop.
I can’t help but feel as though Tinder is giving us another excuse to not actually approach someone in person that we find intriguing, and that, to me, is so incredibly sad. We all know that approaching someone you find attractive can be difficult, but those make for the best stories later. Although I can see that Tinder can absolutely be a fun way to meet and interact with those you might be too shy to speak to otherwise, I see it being just another crutch in our diminishing face-to-face communication capacity. Haven’t we already verified that certain forms of communication have depreciated our interpersonal communication skills? With that being said, I see Tinder becoming pretty popular if it could allow you to become more specific in who you are searching for. I say that because as soon as more people begin discovering the app, there will be an overwhelming amount of people to look through, and personally, I could see that becoming more tedious than enjoyable. All in all, Tinder is a fun app, and if you are curious to check it out, I say go for it, but my advice is to not become too attached to anyone you come across on there. So, in the end, I have reverted back to my old ways of having face to face “foot-in-mouth” moments with men I find attractive, because I have found that I’m pretty good at it. What I have learned from this experience is that we are all a little weird, and we are all basically searching for the same things.