As a newly single person, I have naturally tried out Tinder – if by “tried out” I really mean, “swiped silently left for hours on end while descending into deeper and deeper pits of existential despair”. Wave after wave of potentially wonderful people pass beneath my grubby Nik-Nak stained fingers, swiped forever into some nameless void, from where they will inevitably only return a few weeks later, this time with a new profile picture of themselves stroking a lion cub.
“Don’t worry about the man next to me whose head I have cropped out of the picture in which I am wearing a wedding dress. He is nothing. A mere step towards the happiness we will inevitably be forced to endure,” the profiles all seem to say – their blank-faced yoghurt commercial faces covered in so many photo filters the rabbit ears are the most realistic part. Some of them aren’t that subtle – “swipe left if …” they state openly before delivering a grocery list of previous grievances. “No married men, cheaters, poor people, fuck bois, liberals, conservatives, short men, posers, anarchist revolutionaries….”. I don’t even read them, I just swipe left assuming I inevitably fall into at least one of the categories on the list.
Why are any of us there? I doubt anyone downloads Tinder dreaming of the day they hear their best-man say, “I remember the day he told me they had met on Tinder”. Why do we do it? Who are these people who, like me, have signed up to be swiped so far left they get berets in the post from the EFF?
Perhaps we all have too much self-esteem for Tinder? Maybe we really think that four-year-old photo of us holding aloft a fish on the one happy day of our lives will open up a world of soulful romantic connections? If we do, we are undoubtedly wrong. “I love wine and laughing,” says every single bio written by people either too boring to have any real interests, or prepared to cast the net out wide enough to snare absolutely every single person in the world.
Turning on the Tinder app should activate the front camera on your phone thereby forcing you to engage with the mess you have made of your life while you are busy judging others, or maybe, just maybe, we should abandon it entirely and start going on the dates our friends and family recommend?