WORDS by Olivia Congdon

“Tinder is a shallow, simplistic and dismissive method of dating,” I ranted to my family over the Christmas break.  “I would never use it; it’s just not my style” I swore to them. 

Less than a month later I found myself sitting on the couch with a couple friends after a few glasses of cheap Pinot Grigio; “Let’s just get it for curiosity’s sake” we said, daringly glancing at each other as we set up the profiles on our iPhones. I guess I could have argued that I was trying it for the good of my craft; adopting an immersive journalistic approach to the latest fads for young people; but, in all honesty, I just wanted to find out what this mysterious dating app was all about. 

A year later, I’m still asking myself what the fascination is. To make sense of the phenomenon that has become a defining feature of our generation I’ve broken it down to a pros and cons list.

Pro vs. Con #1

PRO: Fundamentally, Tinder is fun. Swiping through the profiles is like an addictive game, and when you get a match, it's like a little win. It’s an easy, effective way to chat to new people, and meet up with them, if that’s what you want from it. Be silly, be sincere or be seductive, you’re almost certain to find someone who is willing try out a new pickup line, flatter you, or become your friend. If you’re a nosy bugger like me, it makes for a great consultancy service for free travel advice and to quiz people about what TV series you should watch next.

CON: The entire premise is rather shallow, egocentric and image oriented. It encourages us to rely on assumptions and stereotypes, flippantly liking and nope-ing potential singles. It’s basically a game of “I’d tap that,” which when you think about it, is pretty gross. Some of us need to remind ourselves, that the fact that he has a dog in his picture has no correlation with the likelihood of him having a fun-loving, genuine personality! The game-like addictiveness ensures we waste our time judging others, when life could be spent making memories with the true friends we already have.

Pro vs. Con #2

PRO: We humans are pretty gross. When it comes to dating we are often very concerned with how attracted we are to someone. This isn’t Tinder’s fault, it’s just telling it like it is. Tinder is helping to diffuse the force of rejection from our innate bluntness. It’s like your year-seven best friend, who asked the cute boy out for you, because, a) you didn’t have the guts, and b) she’d filter out the harsh words if the answer was no.

CON: Isn’t it time we grew up though? Tinder accentuates the hook-up culture of today. If we’re being really cynical, each match can be considered a throwaway opportunity, because – ‘there’s more where that came from’. When you really want a relationship, it’s difficult to find amongst the rubble of one-night-onlys. The ease of sneakily cheating through the use of Tinder is too high. Now we all have more trust and jealousy issues than are healthy. There’s so many people, and so few real connections. The magic from the anticipation of dating is stripped away, replaced by this crude, quick results, hasty hook-up attitude.

Pro vs. Con #3

PRO: Dating’s normal again, and I think that’s pretty rad. Tinder has, kind of ironically, resurrected the dating culture. For a few decades there, formal dating wasn’t so much of a thing. Now through this technology, there’s every opportunity for taking someone new out on fun outdoor adventures, to different bars and nice restaurants. Tinder lends itself to one-on-one actual dates, so you can actually get to know each other. Then the romance can grow from there. Tinder was just the faciliator!

CON: Meeting up with strangers has its major hazards. There have been recorded instances of people getting hurt and physically attacked on a Tinder-arranged meet-up. Seriously, you do need to be careful. There’s always that risk.

Pro vs. Con #4

PRO: You may just meet the love of your life. It has happened; some Tinder-matches are already married! Statistically, it makes sense, if you’re meeting more people, then chances are one of them may be right for you. You’ve go to be in it to win it. Tinder allows you to get know a whole range of people who it is unlikely you’d meet any other way.

CON: You have to deal with a lot of shit. Some guys are just plain creepy. Girls may be too, but I‘m told that’s less of a problem. You don’t need these randoms making you feel uncomfortable, degrading you, or wasting your time. The physical distance and feeling of anonymity means that some people don’t care what they say, as there won’t be any problematic consequences. And maybe all the committed ones aren’t on Tinder. If the majority of Tinderers in your area are douchebags, then there really is no point. It’s just too depressing.

So yes, this trend is a reflection of the shallow, lazy, desperate lot that we are. I still think there’s space in our lives for meeting people in the old-fashioned face-to-face manner. But that is not to say that Tinder’s not conducive to kindling relationships and a bit spark here and there.


Image Source via: Tumblr

WORDS BY:  Olivia Congdon

Olivia is a Journalism/Zoology graduate who is an avid traveller, coffee-drinker and blogger. She began life in country NSW and later found herself in Hobart for uni. Her favourite hashtags are #winenot and #magazinoholic, which can be applied to too many of her activities. Olivia dreams of a life where all rental properties allow the ownership of pets.