I wrote the majority of the following over a year ago, and didn’t finish it and forgot I did it and obviously writing about Tinder is pretty redundant now. Stay tuned for my novel thoughts about the ebola virus or girl group Bardot. Mainly posting because the title made me laugh out loud; I am not the sharpest.
Spoiler alert: I’m off Tinder now, ‘Tis a hell-scape.
I don’t date a lot? Like at all really. I have had relationships in the past (two of them!) and once I thought I was dating a guy (I was not) but not a lot of dating goes on around Carlynne-town. Which is fine really. At a lowish “I don’t need anyone! I’m amazing!” point of last year I inexplicably joined OKcupid and spent too much time talking to inconceivably ill-suited boys. Twice. Then I left and that’s all fine now.
I was first introduced to the idea of Tinder when a much younger friend told me they were on it. I thought that was dumb as they are of sound mind and no small amount of wit and should be meeting real people in the real world and talking with their real face but apparently this is how it’s done now. And who am I to judge, I feel like I don’t meet people who want to date my face either and have been known to talk about being on fire with guys I find cute.
Recently I was talking with a newly gay friend about his Tinder experiences. It was going really well for him, he was two dates in with a really sweet sounding dude. I expressed my standard Tinder opinion- that people making decisions about another person largely based on what that person looks like is some sort of nightmare from my individual hell- and then in the course of about forty minutes was somehow convinced to sign up.
The first thing I want to say is- Tinder is HILARIOUS. Secondly, I wish the ego boost that comes every time you ‘match’ with someone (a term preposterously misused in this context) wasn’t a really solid and gratifying thing but unfortunately it is.
How it works: you sign up and pick five photos from your Facebook cache. Some people find this part difficult and a lot of folks on Tinder repeat photos of themselves twice or even thrice in the course of a five photo viewing which is baffling to me. Or, they choose a series of five photos of their face, at four different angles and one with a hat on. So illuminating! Thank you for thinking about how I might better judge you based on the left side of your nose.
Anyway, you do that, you write a wee bio about yourself (I opted for short and witty, counting on mystique to get me places my painstakingly crafted lists of likes and dislikes on OkCupid didn’t) and then you go to town. People’s photos come up based on your decisions about age range, gender and distance from your location and you can swipe them away and into the pit of men who think posing on cars is still cool (left for no) or swipe them into your hopeful -often bearded- pile (right for yes) OR look at their photos and read their little thing in the vain hope that you will somehow be able to make a decision about if you would like them to be a part of your life based on the fact that they’re all about 420 bitcheeees. If you both pick yes a delightfully well fonted message appears, telling you that you are a match and you are free to message, fall in love and be wed within weeks.
So at first, an average Joe like me can find herself seemingly swimming in a sea of possibilities. Over a week I quickly built up a collection of around 50 matches, a lot of whom I messaged. I know what you’re thinking, Kim Carl-dashian, right? I’m so sorry. That was awful. But- if you think someone swiping right on Tinder implies they have any desire *at all* to converse with you, you are sorely mistaken. I anxiously look at my match list, having the same feeling I get from an out of order inbox, wondering what about my carefully chosen Beastie Boyz lyric says “I can’t carry conversation” and if dudes on Tinder just what- try and like every girl in the world? To what end? WHAT GAME ARE YOU PLAYING, MR DENIM NECK-TATTOO?
I’m not immune to being heartless, obviously. Tinder is a game and you have to treat it as such. I have compiled a fairly stringent list of immediate swipe left offences:
- photos of or with cars/motorbikes
- Photo of you giving me the finger
- The classic, and widely loathed, pose-with-drugged-tiger
- Life advice in place of a bio. I do not come here to be told that today is a gift and that’s why they call it the present
- Looking bored in front of five different monuments
- Speed dealer sunnies
- You have forgotten your shirt
- You have forgotten your head
- You are in a drum circle (I am not a perfect person)
I have got some messages, relatively few containing pictures of penises! Some have been polite, others are a delightful escape into a world of completely superfluous lols:
‘jus finished work lol you’
‘not much on this weekend just the footy lol’
‘Hi how are you lol’
Ugh. Hilarious. These will lead to a. a feeling of being a world in which I do not belong, and b. the inevitable unmatch.
As much as I judge these people (these poor people, trying in their own horrible, grasping way to find a human connection) and as demoralising as I found my most recent experience of Tinder (the web really does not like chubby, growing-out-hair-Carlynne), it’s not all bad- I even went on a real life date with a lovely girl* I met on Tinder. The main problem I have is me, and that inevitably I feel disconnected from reality in a damaging way when trying to clumsily force connections with people I just don’t know in one of the most contrived ways I can think of.
I may eventually change my mind. Maybe future Carlynne is super pumped about her online presence and ready to mingle. Maybe there’ll be a drugged tiger at my wedding.
*oh yes, that’s not a typo, I’m into girls sometimes.