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48. Tinder

Updated: May 23, 2021

The infamous and beloved Tinder; the American geosocial and online dating app was launched in 2012 and irreversibly changed the dating sphere. Tinder harnesses this anonymous "game-like" mentality where - if you don't know what goes on, sweetie where have you been - people are really presented to one another at face value. By anonymous discourse, you swipe either left or right to indicate whether you like someone's profile. Swipe right, good night; you've been swooned by this profile's terrible bio or by some snapchat-effected abdominals posed in the mirror after a gym sesh and intense fasting. Maybe you swear you're not like that (like myself) and you're more of the genuine type (sure, that's why you've found yourself on a dating app literally premised around virtual and glorified profiles) and are attracted to profiles that seem more or less authentically representing your Tinder prospect. But despite its innate negative connotation, Tinder seems to be here to stay.

Tinder has reached mass success and has continued to do so after its initial launch. In this blog post, I will attempt to enlighten you with my own wonderful experience with this app, some of it good and some of it, hmmmm interesting. Also, we'll converse about its addictive psychology and its now societally normal place in our reality. Does that sound spicy enough for you? Let's get swiping!

I thought I'd begin with some wholesome story Tinder telling. So tuck yourselves in and get cosy for some impending Tinder tales. The first time I really got into the app was when I was in Argentina. I mean, can you blame oneself for wanting to venture into the world of the exotic Argentinian men? When I was in Buenos Aires, I thought that I would explore that territory. And a'swipin' I went! This one profile really caught my eye, for the respect of the guy I won't use his real name incase he finds himself fortunately reading this blog post about him. Let's call him Mario. Mario was a pianist who was into languages and reading. I mean, already for me that was a vibe. He even spoke English, he spoke English so well so that I didn't even have to worry about stumbling around the flirting terrain in Spanish. It was great, we got talking and he had just finished up reading my favourite book; A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. At that point I was genuinely preparing myself for marriage... and an extension of my time in Argentina. For reference, this is in 2019.

At the belief that it was fate, we met up pretty soon after talking. What a normal dating meet up time in Argentina would be is virtually alien to New Zealanders. Everything is pushed back like 3 hours so he suggested to meet up at 11pm for a damn drink. In these situations, one can only say YOLO and nothing else. YOLO I went, and I walked the suss streets of Argentina at an unprecedented hour to a bar close by. I entered the bar and instantly my first impression struck me with the realisation that he was shorter than me. I wished that was not a factor for me but it is such a striking physical attribute that one can't deny especially because I am quite tall myself. He was lovely but I think we were both nervous and the vibes did not transcend beyond the phone screen. The place we met up at was empty and they were closing soon so we went elsewhere. We found this sick treehouse-like bar and shared some chippies and drinks. I should have probably drunk a lil bit more to not be as nervous but he was driving and I didn't want to drink a substantially larger portion of alcohol than him, not necessarily ideal to be stumbling on the first date is it? We got along better after some time passed by and the conversation flowed that bit more. It was getting late - if it wasn't already - and around 1am my New Zealand body clock was ready to hit the hay. He dropped me home and I think we ended with a cordial hug.

A week or so went by and talking online to him kind of devised into this whimsical depiction of him that I sculpted from his messages, like I hadn't just had an entire date with him in the flesh. We were due for another one, otherwise what is the point if you're not going to see this person warts and all? It 2 had just released, how sexy! The movies to see It 2 was a go-go. This time he picked me up from my second of four Argentinian homes of the four months that I was in Buenos Aires for, don't ask why that happened it was truly an adventure. We then proceeded to the beloved San Isidro mall. We got some Subway and nibbled at that. Let me tell you that eating in front of someone is not particularly something that facilitates sexy and appealing activity, I wasn't feeling all that cute. Anyway, we got us some popped corn and proceeded to the theatre. A movie date is infamously known as the opportunity to engage in some 'after dark' activity, if you know what I mean? The ol' arm around the shoulders or the hand on the knee tricks are at an all time infection rate in that dim lit theatre. But alas, the vibes were not on, at all. The movie itself was damn scary and rather unbearable and there was not a molecule of chemistry between us. We may have been into the same book that epitomises human punishment but does that really make two people compatible? In this case, not so much. We departed ways, never to trespass onto each other's territory again.

That is probably the most subtle of experiences that I can publicly bestow upon you, dear reader, and that is for a multitude of personal and reputation-based reasons. However, if you happen to find yourself in the presence of me and are curious for more Tinder story times, hit me (not literally, please) with one of the following words: hunter or rock. I promise that I will enlighten you with a golden story time.

Tinder is such an interesting concept to me. We all use it - I say with great generalisation - or more specifically the majority of Gen-Z/Millennials today are using or have used Tinder. It is totally normal yet society undermines and disrespects Tinder's dependability. Whether that is because it "takes one away from life's natural discourse" or "makes meeting people not through authentic means", naturally for some reason you would never want to say that you met someone on Tinder. There are the inevitable good and bad things about the app. Let's start with the good. Tinder avoids the wasted time. You can implement your romantic or sexual intentions quick hence being on the app in the first place. Your reasons for being on the app are already limited to 3 things: wanting to hook-up, wanting a romantic encounter or (not that I think that this is very common) wanting company in a friendly manner or to meet new people. It is a dating app so I would contest that that last option is a common occurrence. Tinder has a quick registration process and virtually customises potential matches for you. Those matches are dependent on your preferred sex and age. The app also gives you the opportunity to present yourself however you would like to be seen. It is legitimately the Pixar and Dreamworks of first impressions.

Now you know that with the good comes the bad. Tinder does a fantastic job of limiting someone to their profile. Someone can tell you that they like long walks on the beach, watching sunsets and dogs (they may even have a hot gym selfie in accompaniment) but if they were a murderer they probably won't let you in on that spicy det. There is also the dilemma of wondering what that person will be like in real life. Like the story I told y'all above, I was ready to put on a ring yet in person it was a completely alternative vibe. I am aware that I have used "vibe" and "vibes" a little too much in this blog post, but is there even a word more suited? Generally speaking, Tinder optimises casual relationships. Often this can be a result of the overabundance of choice. You know that saying that "there are plenty more fish in the sea", basically Tinder is the sea. What Tinder does well is ego gratification. The app does this by not necessarily telling you who liked you and who did not. It will never declare to you who didn't liked you. Rather it will display in flashing lights and bright colours who did swipe right. Knowing that someone explicitly likes your profile triggers that good dopamine feeling. Why wouldn't you want more of it? Tinder harnesses that addictive cycle of swiping to see how many people like you back which accesses dopamine via an overabundance of choice. Which all makes Tinder an addictive, fast-paced and persistent behaviour. On top of all of that, Tinder is ultimately appearance based. Genuinely, you will only open a profile's second picture if you like the first and so on and so forth. Okay, so it may make us superficial but in real life, attraction stems from being attracted to someone in the first place, right?

To conclude, Tinder is bizarre, useful and it has been revolutionary to the dating sphere. In 2017, it was recorded that there were 50 million Tinder users worldwide reaching 196 countries and available in 43 languages. I have been a user of the app myself on and off for a couple of years and can appreciate the good and bad that comes with the app. Up until recently, I had not really had any marvellous experiences on the app. But a change in the waves and a ripple in the tides came along when I found this wild Uruguayan lurking on the app. I am very happy and I have to thank Tinder for bringing us together. Maybe our paths would not have even crossed in real life without the app? Who knows? But I am elated that Tinder was able to weave our paths at a mutual meeting point. It is so common now for success stories to come from dating applications like Tinder. I have multiple friends that have met their couples on the app and I think that respect for Tinder's ability to create successful relationships will continue to normalise. Honestly, it is entirely up to you whether you get your finger swiping but I totally encourage you to do so if you are feeling spicy. Give it go and get your swipe on!

Artwork by Chloe Bolingford

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's Instagram linked below.


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This blog will encompass the life of a 20-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface. For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected once a week. Be sure to take this present moment now and rock it!

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