Feb 2014
Evan Holland

The Problems with Tinder

I don’t use Tinder, but there are many that do, but why? And why don’t I use it?

Hitchcock Blogs is about a month old and I along with my cohorts am grateful for the readership, but unlike them, I am already out of ideas to blog about each week.

I was telling a good friend of mine about this and she suggested that I start a dating column, apparently I give adequate enough advice, and people will want to read that sort of thing.  I told her I would try it, but no guarantees.

With that being said, I needed a topic or a question for my first dating blog, so again I turned to my good friend.

She replied with one word: Tinder.

I don’t use Tinder, but there are many that do, but why?  And why don’t I use it?

I thought it about for a little bit and seemed simple, Tinder had won the online dating site fight.  It is able to improve on everything that Match.com, OkCupid, JDate and Christian Mingle couldn’t do as well as fit in your pocket.  It is exploiting the popularity of Facebook and the comfortableness this generation has with using their real names online.

We all know people who use Tinder, some people we might even call our “friends,” which convinces us that Tinder is normal to use.  Somehow knowing people using Tinder, validates the app as we begin swiping left and right.

Tinder is a fail-safe.  It allows people to know that the other person they are looking at is real, it vets potential suitors and tells users that there is a mutual interest.  It minimizes all of the risk that comes with dating.

I’ve always been a big fan of vulnerability.  People either out a fear of loneliness or out of desperation, ask their crush to be their friend on Facebook or have another mutual friend put in a good word for them, which would leads to awkward conversation and some version of shadow boxing and tradecraft.

This vulnerability would be preceded by excruciatingly intricate overtures in an attempt to mold this attention into a date, but most times, it ends in catastrophic embarrassment and rejection, but maybe, just maybe, it would work and on that rare occasion it does, does anything feel better?

Like I said, I’m upset the “double opt-in” took that away from me.

Tinder disrupts, (albeit for better or for worse, we can debate this later), the ritualized and learned sexual and non-sexual narrative our Neanderthalic ancestors created before they created fire.  Tinder does not create relationships that end in closure borne out of these entrenched gender roles, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (blog for another day).

The point is Tinder does not create or purport to create happy-endings, but instead, a series of encounters, sexual or otherwise is beside the point.  The point of the app is not marriage, but to meet people around you and act on desires immediately.

And that’s my problem with Tinder.  It’s not romantic.  It takes away the courtship, horribly embarrassing stories and happy endings.  While it can make people feel good, it won’t end in what most people are chasing.  It’s temporary and fleeting.  It’s superficial and it gives superficial results, but if that’s what people want, then so be it, but if not, it’s time to try something else.

As much as the delicate geniuses out in Silicon Valley have cured our ills, they still have not found the cure for what the heart desires.

Tweet @hitchcockblogs with a “dating question” and maybe I will try this experiment again next week.