Tinder has a dirty rep.
Just last week, Vanity Fair published an extensive article that depicts the problems spurred by an overabundance of dating apps amongst people of our generation, calling it a “Dating Apocalypse” that proliferates value changes, intimacy issues, and even erectile dysfunction. I myself have had serious arguments with the guy I’ve been seeing due to the aftermath of my Tinder days past, which seem to haunt me incessantly, like the past of a harlot. To somebody a bit older and slightly old-school, the mere fact of having used Tinder makes me look weird, potentially promiscuous, and even desperate. While there is little I can do about it, I would like to stand on the defense of Tinder for just a moment.
In the two years that I had Tinder downloaded to my phone, I matched with about 200 guys, 40 of which were swipes right conducted by my eight-year-old nephew in a family effort to “find me a husband”. (I have to say, the kid has quite a penchant for buff bros.) Out of the remaining 160, about half never initiated any sort of contact. Out of the 80 that I actually spoke to (these are all ballpark figures), I went on about 20 dates. The ones I got to know well beforehand resulted in decent encounters, the ones I met out of desperation and boredom lasted over thirty minutes and left a bitter taste in my mouth. I seriously dated 1 of 200 of these guys.
This is 100% organic data. I’m quite lazy, not to mention a creature of comfort, and as you see by the mediocre success of this blog, I never upped my game to entertain readers or get a good story. I dated the men I found interesting, I ignored the ones who seemed like douchebags with nothing to offer. I never binged on Tinder, never lined up my dates back-to-back, or indulged in repercussion-free one-night-stands. Maybe this is because I used Tinder in France, where dating apps are not taken too seriously, but I managed to maintain a rather healthy relationship with this enjeux, never becoming too dependent or addicted. In a way, I applied the typical French mentality to my Tinder game – everything is ok in moderation.
Americans, New Yorkers in particular, have never been too good at moderation. They jumped onto the dating app train with their typical buoyant energy, hopping between Tinder and Happen and Hinge at the same ADD pace that they do everything else. They treated it like the next fad diet or fad workout or any other de rigeur consumer good. The only thing they didn’t realize is that, in the supermarket of life, Tinder right there in the junk food isle. Shop exclusively in the junk food isle, and you will end up with a stomachache and, eventually, diabetes.
The truth of this grave matter is, dating apps are here to stay. They are egg hatched by the chicken that is technology, a perpetual new part of our culture, the structure that will continue forming relationships of various forms, from platonic friendships to true love connections resulting in marriages and families. I just hope that the next generation of smarter humans will learn from our mistakes and start using them correctly, as an accompagnement to their dating life, an occasional indulgence, and not a main course.
And, in the meantime, how about “Why French People Don’t O.D. on Tinder?” as the new NY Times bestseller?!