I'll be honest, I downloaded Tinder, the infamous dating app that pretty much no one can say they've never heard of, and most people have been on at least once in their lives. It was late at night, Little Egg was there and convinced me to do it, and now here I am a few days later and I'm kind of tired of it already.
Its fun to swipe on people, because people are interesting and I've always liked to people watch, and its fun to find people who are cute, and the most fun is when that very satisfying message comes up that you've matched with someone and there's that rush of accomplishment that you get from getting an A on a paper, but in reality you were just lucky enough that the person you thought was cute thought the same about you. It was fun to talk to people though, although most conversations fizzled out pretty quick, and I either stopped responding to people after the initial small talk died down or they stopped responding to me. I've been lucky enough to have no one be aggressive or overly creepy, and considering how many posts online I've seen about Tinder horror stories where guys send rude and nasty messages, I'd consider myself very lucky indeed. Overall its been a pretty mediocre experience that was exciting at first but quickly fizzled out. The only genuine connection I made was with the boy I had a crush on in 5th grade who I found on the site, which has been pretty funny to be honest.
All this swiping has got me thinking about a lot of things, which is something I never thought I'd say. Who knew that a popular dating app could bring about so many existential questions?
I've always been the one to say that I go more for personality than looks when choosing a romantic partner, but Tinder forced me to choose based on looks, which felt mean at first. I felt bad every time I swiped left and in a sense blatantly rejected a person without even getting to know them first, but isn't being physically attracted to someone a big part of dating? It was something I've been thinking a lot about, if its okay for people to dismiss others based on appearances, or if we're all just shallow and awful.
Its also got me thinking about what my preferences are, since many of the boys I've matched with all have something in common. A lot of them have long hair, and all of them have a unique, outdoorsy sense of style. 99% of them are white.
It ALSO got me thinking about the meaning of a true connection, and if the internet is really as good about facilitating those connections as people make it seem. Fans of social media and the expanding power of technology will say that the internet is great at helping people make connections, but after having stale conversations with people that fizzled out or were just blatanlty ignored, I think I can say that the internet is really good at helping people maintain connections, not make new ones. Nothing can beat an in person meeting. Also, the fact that the only person I'm really talking to on the app is someone I've known for pretty much my whole life (refer back to me finding my 5th grade crush) I think its safe to say that its already hard to talk to strangers in real life, but even harder to talk to them online.
For those of you using Tinder, stay safe, and stay smart. Don't meet anybody unless you've been talking to them for a while, and keep your personal information safe and secure. Tinder can be a really fun thing, lots of my friends have found nice, quality people to date or just be friends with on the app, and not everyone out there is as terrifying as articles make it out to seem. But at the end of the day remember that there is always a real person behind the screen with their own hopes, dreams and fears, don't let your lack of matches get you down, and don't get too sucked into the mindset of judgement that tinder can sometimes be responsible for, just have fun!
As for me, I think I will stick to the real world. See you next week!
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