Tinder hasn’t killed dating, it has saved it
Old people are calling it the ‘dating apocalypse’, but we know better
If you’re at uni, you probably use Tinder. But have you ever stopped to think about how it’s ruining dating as we know it? Probably not – because it probably isn’t.
If you were to believe what the prudes say, you’d think we use Whatsapp to hash out terror plots and Snapchat to fire off pictures of our willies willy-nilly. Likewise Tinder, to them, is nothing more than a video game where STI’s are like high scores. Little do they know, it’s actually the saviour of modern dating.
This weekend, Vanity Fair author Nancy Jo Sales decided that Tinder is ushering in a “dating apocalypse” – and though her article raised some interesting points, I’m afraid I’m going to have to swipe left. You’ve probably heard about it: Tinder weren’t happy, posting an eye-watering 31 tweets in response. Though they could probably use a lesson in how to handle criticism, they were right to be pissed off. Sales’ article was so out-of-touch it hurts.
Transporting the reader into a seedy conversation between seedy investment bankers in a seedy Manhattan bar, the piece looks to uncover the deep, dark truth behind the Tinder generation. The problem is, there isn’t one. In the non-sensationalist real world, the normal Tinder user doesn’t have a “lumbersexual beard and hipster clothes”, nor do they “chuckle” about their “hook-ups”. The normal Tinder user is much more – well, normal.
Tinder is merely a new facet of dating. Like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid then, or Happn and other offshoots now, it’s just a fresh way to connect people. Christ, they were all doing the same thing in sweaty nightclubs 10 years ago anyway – the only difference now is Tinder makes it easier.
I mean, it’s not like dating is a new craze – we wouldn’t be here if it was. From raunchy Roman orgies to Austen-era courtships, the world of dating has always been unpredictable. It’s what makes it so much fun. To look at Tinder and lament the old ways of dating is to do what every older generation does when they don’t quite get what their youngers are doing. People in the ’50s probably said the same thing about dancing with the opposite sex, and we’re all still here now.
Anyway, who said that Tinder is just for “hooking up”? Just last month we interviewed a selection of Tinder couples in the throes of mad passion. In fact, if you talk to a cross-section of Tinder users, you’ll find that a lot of them are looking for something more serious – they’re just not the ones you hear about. That’s because Tinder is like a bar, and in every bar you’re going to get the creeps. Now there may be four or five sweaty, leering guys there who just want a cheap shag. What you overlook is the same amount of people who just want to have a nice chat.
Sure, Tinder’s full of creeps – probably more so than your local. But to suggest that the way men act on Tinder is a symptom of the app itself is incredibly naive. Even sexism on Tinder is a symptom of a bigger problem, one that won’t be resolved by condemning an undeniably sexually progressive platform. If anything, the ability to turn away the “hey gurl let’s fuck” brigade with a quick tap of a button can’t be a bad thing. It’s much harder to do that in real life, and you might find one Prince Charming in the seemingly endless stream of frogs.
Because Tinder is all about choice, and choice is always a good thing. For years people have complained about how difficult dating is, so they can’t start complaining now that someone’s finally found a way to cut the bullshit. Like them? Swipe right. Dislike them? Don’t. It’s not just about sex, it’s about making the first stage of dating easy.
Whether you call it shallowness or love-at-first-sight, everyone judges their dates based on appearance. If I’m madly in love with you, I’d rather you swipe left on a phone screen than crush my dreams in front of a room filled with giggling onlookers.
Regardless of its faults, Tinder merely reflects the way people think nowadays. If it didn’t exist, people would still be doing the same thing – it would just be more difficult. Why can’t we embrace a dating landscape where people who’d never have spoken before get the chance to try something new. It might be just sex, it might be more.
Who cares? It’s not the end of the world.