This UCL grad wrote her dissertation on her own Tinder dates
And she’s never going near Tinder again
Most people’s response to hearing someone’s dissertation topic is a polite ‘Oh, that sounds interesting’ and a quick change of conversation topic.
Bur that’s not the reply UCL Anthropology grad Claire Dillies gets. She wrote 11,000 words about everyone’s favourite dating app: Tinder.
We caught up with Claire to find out more.
Why did you choose the topic?
I was using Tinder a lot at the time and I was finding it hard to think of something that really interested me. As I really like modern day anthropology, I thought it might be quite interesting to do something on an app that is quite pervasive in our lives.
What was the process like?
At first I was going to do it on other people but I didn’t know how many people would be ok with me publishing info about their Tinder profiles and their Tinder dates, even though it was only going to be read by academics. So I thought it might be quite fun to do it about myself and have myself go on lots of dates.
I didn’t actually tell any of the guys I went on dates with that I was going to be writing about them and using their messages. I changed their names but I’m pretty sure that’s still highly not ok.
What did you find?
I looked into how we portray ourselves to be something that we’re not and when we actually end up going on a date with someone, we’re often disappointed. I related it to video games – there’s this culture of people who video game all the time and who don’t really have a life apart from that. Often you make friends on the video gaming platforms and you end up meeting the person and it’s not the same. I read a lot about that about how that wasn’t real, it was like virtual reality.
What were other people’s reactions to the topic?
No-one really took me seriously, my friends would crack up laughing when we talked about it. I tell My old workers thought it was really cool – it’s very me and they understood why I was doing it and they weren’t that surprised.
My parents were really excited about it, actually. My mum read it and she was like, ‘Oh this is so cool, you did such a good job!’ I was like, did you not read the parts where I describe how I had sex with some of the guys.. But she’s French so maybe that’s why or maybe she just pretended she didn’t read those bits.
I basically just did it for the fun of being able to tell people that I did my dissertation on Tinder. People think I’m ridiculous but I’m fine with that, I get a kick out of it.
Do you still use Tinder?
I haven’t been on Tinder since I did my dissertation, it made me hate it a lot. I’ve downloaded it back onto my phone a couple of times but every time I’m like ugh this is horrible and I do feel like the selection has gone down. It’s become very much an app that’s just about sex and I think that’s quite sad. That wasn’t why the app was created.