Tinder. A dating app with something of a reputation for casual encounters.
You make a short bio, you post no more than 6 pictures, and you get
thrown into the dating pool. You're shown picture after picture. You
can decide if you'll like someone based on a few characters (sometimes
s) they've written about themselves, or more likely based on
the carefully curated pictures they've chosen to display, to give you a
glimpse of how fun and attractive they are. If you like them, you
their picture to the right, if you don't then you swipe left.
And that's it. If you like someone who also liked you, then you get
, and are given
the ability to communicate with one another. "Hey, did you fall from Heaven, because let's have sex."
You can imagine the kind of deep, spiritual connections that you make with people.
People are on Tinder for different reasons. What was originally
conceived as essentially a hookup app has evolved and its userbase has
moved it in many directions. Some people on there are looking for
serious, committed long term relationships with people whose initial
interest is sparked by mutual physical attraction. Basically, the
digital equivalent of "We locked eyes from across the room, flirted,
went out, dated, fell in love, got married." Sometimes these folks are
embarrassed to admit to
others how they met. Others are looking for friends. Lonely, awkward,
or sometimes just anxious people who would prefer to swipe through and
mutually like someone before risking engaging them in friendly
conversation. The equivalent of "I don't like going to bars. We met
through our tiny social circle and have been BFFs ever since." And then
you have what I would consider the target demographic userbase of the
app. The people who are looking for casual sex in whatever form;
friends with benefits, one night stands, swingers, couples, etc.
In all my time flirting in bars, I've noticed that conventional
gender roles and prevalent social constraints and taboos make most
women less comfortable being forward or open about
their sexual desires. With Tinder, no longer does a woman have to deal
with the judgement of society (or more particularly, her friends) if she meets someone at a bar and wants nothing else
from him but to take him home for the night. Nobody else even has to know.
"Are you looking for a boyfriend, or a hookup? Or maybe just a good time?"
However, I think the major appeal of Tinder for many users is a combination of
volume exposure and risk reduction. You can get a glimpse of MANY potential
matches very quickly. More than you could approach in a bar in a single
weekend. And once you do match with someone, that means he/she swiped
right too. You already KNOW they think you're attractive. You don't
have to understand or be able to interpret subtle social cues that have always been lost on
many. You don't have to walk up to the person you're interested in and
explicitly express your attraction and interest, risking repeated
usually-kind-but-sometimes-brutal rebuke and rejection. The playing
field has been leveled and the focus narrowed. People who think you are
attractive are served up to you on a silver platter, or their pictures
are anyway, along with an avenue of communication. After that, it's up
to you not to screw it
See also "How to improve your chances of having sex."