This post is not music related, but rather geared toward technology. Recently out of work and consumed by boredom, I find myself with copious amounts of free time on my hands. My therapist said I should consider dating again, so I decided to try this Tinder app that the kids are raving about. After 48 hours using the app, I’ve decided that it is the single most effective way to destroy one’s self confidence. Basically, for those of you who don’t know, the app provides users with pictures of men or women within their proximity also looking for a social connection. Users are given the option to judge the person, based on looks and a description that consists of a character limit that guarantees learning virtually nothing about them.
One can swipe left if they are not interested, right if they are, and the app matches users based on what both parties chosen. In the event that both chose the “like” option, the app will denote a match. They can then message the other person in hopes that the two can form some semblance of a real-life connection. While I imagine that attractive women are inundated with matches, I, as an average looking male have received very few. Although I have not spent an overwhelming amount of time using the app, combined with the fact that I am pickier than is probably warranted, in a very short time, Tinder has made me feel like the ugliest person on planet earth.
It isn’t so much that I expect every woman I find attractive to feel the same about me, but given the pool from which to choose and the constraints that “likes” and “dislikes” are based almost solely on looks, Tinder is essentially a digital ego shatterer. In addition to intensifying the fact that it is difficult to meet new people, especially in a new environment, Tinder is also a sad representation of what our culture has become. Not that I am any more effective at engaging strangers in a physical setting, but Tinder is simply a reinforcement of how our culture has strayed from valuing social interaction. However, the app does provide instant gratification in the event that a match does occur, and cuts through the clutter of benign conversation with someone that does not share a physical attraction.
Online dating is notoriously a shit show full of awkward comments and a severe lack of which direction to take the conversation beyond “you’re not ugly”. With all the horror stories I have heard from the online dating world (even from those lucky enough to be contacted by members of the opposite sex), it is near impossible to place any faith in the system as a whole. But Tinder might even be worse than traditional sites. Instead of sending cheese ball remarks to attractive women in hopes of not being shot down in flames, users are enticed to sift though an ocean of people that simply do not find them attractive. At least before, one could pretend that their profile was not visible enough and that people were not aware of that person’s striking good looks and rapier wit.
Perhaps my thoughts are a product of not having put the time in needed to succeed on Tinder, but after this trial run, I can’t imagine the app leading to any sort of meaningful relationship. It provides a great chance to see who is out there and that one is not alone in their desire to expand their social network, but those with an already shattered ego, or that have been single for awhile should probably steer clear altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this post to read like a whiney fatalist rant, simply an indicator of what most average looking individuals can hope to expect. In most cases, you’re better off exploring the world around and taking your chances than being part of a digital network that values little beyond the attractiveness of a selfie.