I caved, and joined Tinder. Everyone has been raving about it, sitting ignoring me over coffee as they swipe through all the faces with a harsh NOPE stamp on the unsuspected victim's photo. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about...and I thus gave in to peer pressure and downloaded the app.
Firstly, I'd say well fucking done to whoever created Tinder and made it so damn easy to join via Facebook – guys who have a remote interest in 'dating' sites or apps are usually put off by the amount of effort it takes to actually sign up. Tinder is fucking easy – it even selects photos for you and if you can't be arsed to amend them...then hit save and you're done. It's also free soooooo, everyone loves getting something for nothing. Kudos to the creators of Tinder for both of these aspects.
If you've yet to join, I'll quickly over-brief. It's really easy to use, which dudes and dolls alike always enjoy. You say NOPE to the proper mingers, LIKE the hotties and if you like a photo, your profile will get shown to that person and if they LIKE you back – then you get a lil 'Ta daaaa It's a Match!' message flash up and you two can start chatting privately as much as you want. If you NOPE their butterz boat-race, you don't see them again. Like ever.
So, I've set my radius, age limit (23 plus please, I'm not dating anyone 22 and below! Lesson learnt playing with boys not men) etc etc bla bla bla, and I'm flicking through guys near me. Within the first day, I'm not kidding, I had already been greeted with 3 images of exs. Either I've had too many boyfriends in Kent or I set my radius too close and they all live nearby. I'm going with the latter explanation, for obvious reasons. I felt like saying Tinder, thank you but...I won't be dating these dudes because there is a reason I stopped dating them in the first place! Instead, I just NOPED (Like seriously, NO!) their profile and moved on. NEXT PLEASE.
It is, I'll give it this, addictive. On the commute, on lunch, in the bath...I can flick through dudes' images and if I think Ohhhh he's got a cute smile then I'll LIKE THE SHIT OUT OF HIS FACE! In my head, there's a mini version of me running up to him, slapping a big sticker on his forehead, giggling, then running away (overactive imagination). Usually it's a match (I'm not being arrogant, just truthful) and then....then I leave it. Yep, I'll not bother messaging any of them. I'm well aware the aim of the whole thing is to actually message the guys who have liked you back but....MEHHHH. 'Evz. Tell a lie, there is one guy, just the one, who I've been speaking to over Tinder. The rest I haven't bothered with. I enjoy more the flicking and the decision making rather than actually wanting to get to know them. Like I said...there's only been one guy so far who has my attention (don't ask me why I chose just him to chat to, I shan't be saying a thing). What I've also found, is I get flick-thumb-happy and NOPED a load of decent guys. Fail. I'd just get in the zone and flick-flick-flick then suddenly I'm like FUCK he was cute and the mini version of me had already slapped the red sticker on his head before I realized what I had done. Damn it.
I'm easily amused at what guys try do to make themselves appear hotter than they are too. With 5 images as max to show, they do sometimes shock me with their choice of 'first impression'. Pulling stupid faces, butt-crack photos, black and white image to initially disguise what their 3rd photo then reveals...they're full on ginger. It makes me laugh when guys upload all of their photos in group shots with the 'lads' – I'm sitting there like I DON'T FUCKING KNOW WHICH ONE YOU EVEN ARE!? What is the point of that? You're just going to get a big fat NOPE even if you're cute, because you've got images of hoards of men soaked in beer rather then including a single shot of what you actually look like. I can only assume he's proper mingin' to be honest. The only guy I started chatting to has a good selection of images, really unassuming, naturally good-looking, not try-hard on any level. I find a lot of these guys are picking images that scream try-hard and I NOPE their forehead because I want real, not desperate.
Stepping away from the basic aspect of Tinder for a second and looking at the wider picture, it's obviously a 'dating' site aiming at bringing people together, who live nearby. The potentially problematic part of Tinder for me, is the encouragement of dating someone purely on superficial outlooks. The main information Tinder offers are 5 images, the name and age, plus distance from you. There is room for a small bio but come on, no-one gives a fuck about that. It's all image based – it's all about LOOKS. He looks hot... LIKE. She looks like she'd give a great tit-wank – LIKE. We're pushing ourselves more and more into a world led by aesthetics and quick judgmental decisions. I don't think it's the way forward to be honest. I like love to be organic, the kind where you bump into him or walk past each other and stare back as if Cupid just shot his arrow through the pair of you (which can happen because it did happen with myself and Who, at the start of Summer). It just feels all too chemical now, too pre-determined. Dating sites at least offer loads for you to read, questions and answers that display his character, but I guess even then it's the photos of how 'hot' he is that determines if you'll go on a date with him. It's fair though – no-one walks into a bar and says 'fuck me he resembles a gargoyle but I bet he's got an endearing personality, so I'll go chat him up'. Hell will freeze first.
Also, my final thought, guys seem to have turned Tinder into a 'select your variety of sex for this weekend' site, like they did with Plenty of Fish. In an eye-opening kind of way, I was hanging out with some guys the other night and one of them (who is a sweetie btw) was loudly declaring how many girls he'd shagged from Tinder, and showing me endless conversations in his personal section. He was also flicking through and showing me photos of women, old and young, who look like they'd 'get it'. I was like... WOW. Girls and guys definitely use this kind of portal for a completely different thing. It's not a dating app for the majority of men, it's a 'get fucked' app. Which, I guess, if these women are readily giving up the goods then...fair play to the men! I certainly won't be fucking ANYONE I meet via Tinder – in fact I probably won't be even meeting them because I am lacking any want to actually start a conversation with them (save one!).
Final verdict? It's fun, so try it. But remember, it's all based on aesthetics. And don't take it in any shape or form as a serious dating app to find your soul mate - I have a feeling you'll be severely disappointed. It has though, shown me how picky I am. Maybe my perfect boy will never exist because I NOPE his face before he has a chance to speak. Shame.