Tinder Chronicles: Part I

I lasted for 5 minutes on Woo and about 15 minutes on Aisle. I always had this daunting image of Tinder — the big daddy of dating apps. I  thought it would be sleazy. I thought I wouldn’t be able to deal with it coz I am not even sure about dating. Plus I am not a texting kinda person. So I downloaded it for a lark and am trying to figure out what the big fuss is all about.

One thing is true. Everybody (most everybody) is on Tinder. It is not just this or that. Not just a dating app or a social network. Not just a place to be social or a place filled with sleaze. Whatever notions you have about Tinder will be shattered in the first 5 minutes.

You are unprepared for sleazy message on Instagram or the odd creep on twitter and on Tinder you think you know what you can expect. But, nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the mass of humanity on Tinder.

Guys what are you thinking? Sticking your tongue out in a selfie is a strict no no! Please don’t hook your thumbs on your pockets. Are they your life jacket? Why oh why is your friend’s arm draped around your shoulders? Or worse, why are your friends in the frame with you? Who the hell clicks a pic with an idol in the background? So you smoke, but stuffing 3 cigarettes in your mouth naa-aah. Another big turn off — the ear hair that is threatening to stretch right out of the photo and dangle off my phone. And what do you
mean by you are are not there for hook-ups or romance or marriage? Plus , what’s with mentioning your height in your bio as 6.2 and a 1/2. You are a sapiosexual and interested in conversations — really you think no one understands this is code speak for my wife will cut off my balls if she finds me here?

This list is long but I am saving it for another time.

At first I was hesitant to swipe anywhere. Left is for Nope but be careful coz if you swipe Up it means Super Like. And the reservations about ‘hearting’ any profile pic held me immobile for the first few minutes. Then I got this message that I was super liked by someone. I had to google and figure out how to find out who super liked me. You see
Tinder doesn’t keep track of who you liked and all that. Unlike Instagram which not only shows you who liked your pic but also the posts you’ve liked, Tinder doesn’t bother with keeping count. So you are free of any and all baggage. You are truly in the moment as you
ruthlessly tap the X or heart icons. (Still not trusting my swiping  skills.)

So it turns out that you can only find out who super liked you by actually swiping through profiles till you find one with a blue bar and a blue star. So I went through the drill of hitting X and heart and finally reached the profile with the blue star and tapped heart ‘coz it was the very first Super Like. Yayyy. I was prepared for creeps and had my guard up. But, I needn’t have been worried. I had an innocuous conversation about Goa with my first Match. He promptly unmatched me after I said Good night. So far so good. Got another super like, but he seemed busy.

I realised that Tinder shows you profiles of even those who are out of the distance range that you define in your settings. And even those profiles you have marked as Nope keep reappearing in the deck. I kept shuffling the deck by changing the distance and age settings. So maybe it was because of that.

Then I started reading some blogs on the art of mastering Tinder. One of the recurring themes is not to feel guilty about swiping left or rejecting a profile based on the pic. Tinder encourages you to be exactly who you are. Sometimes in the physical world you can’t escape small talk with unsavoury characters. On Tinder you can Unmatch a person
if you don’t like the way they say Hello 🙂 Now I can understand how an entire generation, which thrives on instantly knowing whether or not they are interested in someone, does not make allowances for long term relationships to bud, let alone bloom. This is not about being old school here. Just an insight or a possible explanation on why most relationships and bonds are fleeting…It is not because of Tinder. It is in fact the other way round, Tinder thrives because that is exactly how people are or how they want to be. You realise just how importance physicality is. And no it is not about good looks or a particular type of feature set. It is about how a person strikes you as attractive or not at that very moment. Unlike the real world where you might take offense if someone you are chatting with replied after ages, on Tinder neither you nor the other person feels obliged to chat continuously. The feeling that nothing is permanent is all pervasive. Or was it just me building walls, I don’t know.

All I know is that I deleted my account after a couple of hours or so. But, I will definitely visit again. Maybe with my girl gang and laugh and poke fun and make light of it. Yes it sounds cruel but that’s not going to change, so if you are on it then you need to be made of stronger stuff 🙂 And who knows someday I might even find a Mr. Right-for-the-moment on Tinder. Tally-ho!

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