It’s been a while, but I’m jumping back on the proverbial horse. The horse? Online dating. The platform? Tinder. A little late to the Tinder party, yes (it was launched in 2012), but the party is still kicking.
As a heterosexual woman, the types of profiles I’ve come across are incredibly varied (which is awesome, and expected), but there seem to be some repeating themes of which don’t interest me or instill a need for me to swipe right. From an anthropological stand point, as always, the online dating world fascinates me. It’s people watching from the comfort of your bed. What pictures people post, what people choose to write or not write, emojis? Men be using them. Expletives? Grievances? It’s all there.
So, I made a list.
- Cigars (a lot of men and cigars), smoking them, holding them;
- Emojis. Entire bios littered with them, sometimes they are used sparingly, sometimes they’re used instead of words;
- Men stating their annoyance for listing their height, usually claiming the request as being superficial from women (I disagree: I don’t think a man would like to meet me on a first date realizing I’m a good 5 inches taller than him);
- Group photos. Always a dumb choice of pic. Which one in the group are you?!
- Similar to the above, photos of you with women. I like to think this is the man in questions way of showing, these are the kinds of women I attract/surround myself with. Do you make the cut? SWIPE LEFT I say;
- Pictures of sunsets. Really? You have 6 photos. That’s it, and you’re wasting it on a pretty sunset?
- Pictures of your jaw. Pictures of your jaw and facial hair. Left swipe.
- Sexual preferences. This has been most interesting. Doms looking for submissives… Dom wanting to switch it up and be the sub…;
- Men and their toys: cars, motorbikes, boats. The usual;
- Hilarious bios telling women why they should swipe left or right: “if you think duck lips are a good look, swipe left”. To this I say, swipe right!
It amazes me just how quickly conversations begin, with just how quickly they cease. Your counterpart ghosting. I’m no innocent either, I just wish we could all remember that humans are on the other end of the screen. This reminds me of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Read it. Whether you’re single or not, read it (or listen to a 10 minute podcast from This American Life). It’s a good, quick read stating the obvious and not so obvious. Modern romance with its benefits of selection, feeds into the paradox of choice, which lends to never making a selection.
Barry Schwartz describes the paradox on a Ted Talk from 2005, “The more choice we have the more freedom we have, the more freedom we have, the more welfare we have.” HOWEVER. With so much choice, we’re left with getting stuck and not making any choice at all. More specific to Aziz’ book, we make the perpetual assumption that there is something better beyond who we have swiped right on, or are even talking to. Which of course, leads to a conversation getting dropped and you (me) getting ignored. Le sigh.
On the flip side of the paradox. There are people who make it relatively easy to swipe left (refer to the aforementioned list). I thank those individuals.
Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.
Not sure if I would agree. Though, it’s been less than a week and I have my first Tinder date tonight. So, good on ya T.