Have you ever felt like internet dating contains too much information. Like, you finish reading someone’s profile and think, “You know, I feel like I almost know them too well. Is there any way we can put some mystery back into this nameless, vague, based-largely-on-platitude-based-profiles relationship?” Well good news, because Tinder, the new iPhone dating app that is exploding on college campuses everywhere, is here to take all the pesky “getting to know you out” of actually, you know, getting to know someone.
The app is pretty simple. Basically, it’s Grindr for straight people. You download the program to your phone and it immediately links up with Facebook. It then uses your profile photo to show you other Tinder users in the area, and, in turn, shows you to them. And that’s it! No information, bios, or explanations of what you’re looking for out of love, life, or…anything really. You see a picture, usually of someone who’s 17 years-old, hit the “like” or “dislike” button, and as far as I can tell, within 20 minutes you’re having sex. And then getting arrested.
Seriously though, it’s that simple. Every profile category you’ve come to know and not particularly love on Match and OkCupid is disposed of. No more “What am I Looking For” or “Six Things I Can’t I Live Without” or “On a Typical Friday Night I Am”. It’s too bad too, because I’d really perfected my answer to the last one. I uploaded a collage of my cat, a DVR sitting at 100% capacity, and a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs. It’s breathtaking. Tinder only gives you more information about your beloved if you like her picture and she likes yours back. Then you get access to each other’s Facebook pages and can start conversing, presuming Chris Hansen and Dateline hasn’t yet burst into your living room. But until you get confirmation of mutual interest, you’re left to images like this to decide if you’re smitten….
Basically it’s like trying to go on a date with Instagram. Except, possibly, more irritating. Every picture has the sheen of being fed through seven different image filters, usually involves a “wacky expression,” and almost always features more than one person. I mean, who exactly are we supposed to be attracted to here?
There are 800 girls in that picture, and they all look exactly the same. I’ll take…you! The one with dyed blond hair. No, not you! The one in sunglasses! Oh, forget it.
Sure, why not throw in a few dudes just to make it more confusing. Honestly, you might as well just take a picture of an entire country. I would be no less likely to figure out who I’m supposed to be looking at. And then of course, my all-time favorite…
Whose back do you find the hottest? I guess just click the heart and hope it’s her! But don’t worry, she’s in a sorority, so she’s probably pretty cool no matter what.
I have only tried out Tinder for a couple of days, as I was just informed of its existence by the It’s Not a Match Street Team. (There is no It’s Not a Match Street Team.) So far, these are my conclusions: everyone on it is under 22, and people who are under 22 all seem to have ridiculous names. Here’s a few I encountered:
Janesssa, Jaimiey, Kcristina, Brena, Jas, Natascha, Mychelle, Rahael, My-Ishia, Kayte, Jillian, Gillian, Jillyanne, Jilleane, Jileen, Samaire, Elisse, Orly, Lisle, Vilte, Alixe, Austyn, Jadel, Chantelle, Storm, and Mary. Oh sorry, I meant Marii. Also…
That’s right, a girl whose name is incredibly close to Nazi.
In an interview about the site, the founders said Tinder was necessary because traditional dating sites are built on long-winded profiles, most of which are fake. Really? And you’re telling me there’s actually someone out there named Marii? Yeah right. They also said other sites involve too much rejection, as the men send lots of emails that are never answered, and the women are immediately freaked out by the creepiness of said emails. So ultimately, no one wins. And I get that. I mean, if it weren’t true, this website wouldn’t exist. But is Tinder any less creepy? Men of any age tossing their presence at you based strictly on one picture of your face? No personality, no communication, no ability to evaluate their sanity before giving them access to your real name and Facebook page? Sure, it takes less time, but does anyone really want to date that way? I don’t know, as far as I’m concerned, OkCupid has never sounded so good.
There was one thing on Tinder that made me feel right at home, however. A single image that reminded me of the good ol’ days…
Aaaah, yes. The faceless profile. It’s nice to see you, old friend. Now that’s the internet dating experience I know and love!