Step foot on any college campus and the name “Tinder” is bound to creep up–emphasis on “creep,” because the iOS app does nothing but make me feel uncomfortable.
To put it simply, Tinder focuses on one question: Hot or not? The dating app anonymously matches users with people within a 50 mile radius of them, and gives them the option of pressing a red X (Not interested! Sorry, I’m not sorry.) or a green heart (Smokeshow! Like me?!). If both people express interest, Tinder notifies them and they’re allowed to start building a budding mobile romance.
Now, users login through Facebook, so Tinder can generate an account consisting of a profile picture, age and location, as well as allow people to see if they share any mutual friends or interests with other users.
Well, I just downloaded the app and have been yaying or naying people for a solid 30 minutes–all in the name of journalistic research, of course. What I realized, however, is that my own profile is flawed.
It says I’m 12. Yes, 12 years old.
Somehow, my birthday on Facebook–which I correctly entered in (8/9/89, for anyone wondering. Feel free to buy presents.)–didn’t sync with the app, meaning I’m now a 12-year-old 23 year old. How alarming is that? How can I trust anyone else’s age when my own has timewarped me back to the eighth grade?
Do you remember the eighth grade? Back then, my dad used to drive me to the movies so I could see my boyfriend who was so “super romantic” because he bought me Mike and Ike candies from the Family Dollar store next door. Most of which he’d proceed to eat, because I stubbornly dragged him to see “Maid in Manhattan” starring the ever-so-talented Jennifer Lopez.
Also, if I’m “12,” and a 30-something is liking me on Tinder, shouldn’t I be concerned and call the cops?
Beyond age, my co-worker quickly confirmed my other fear. He said his recently rotund friend was on Tinder, but only featuring slimmer photos of himself. Therefore, he has taken an app run entirely on looks and wiped it clean of the only reputable feature it had going for it.
Say we had no mutual friends or interests–I now know absolutely nothing about this man, because his profile picture isn’t even an accurate representation of who he is. Again, alarming. At least with online dating, you have a written profile to fall back on, so even if the man you’re looking at isn’t the man he’s looking at in the mirror every morning (cue the Michael Jackson), you can judge him based on his love of Slayer, The Beatles or Jay-Z.
When one writer called Tinder the “Match.com for young, lazy people and the weirdos that stalk them,” I found it hard to disagree. Just check out some of the eligible bachelors she rounded up from the Web (below).
Warning: The gym pics? They’ve got to go. If you wouldn’t approach a girl in the bar carrying 10-pound weights, then don’t approach her online carrying them either. Oh wait, you wouldn’t actually approach a girl in a bar, would you?
Who likes using Tinder, though? Let’s hear it! What are we missing?