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Tinder: Better Than Real Life?

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Nov. 05, 2014

In case you didn’t know, Tinder is how people meet.  Or at least that’s what Tinder says.

In fact, if you believe Tinder’s Twitter profile, it’s like real life, but better.  So if you’re the type who takes brand marketing at its word, and you want to improve upon real life, Tinder’s your jam.

I’m not going to tell you how much time I’ve spent on dating websites, so let’s just say I’ve… dabbled.  Suffice it to say I know enough to tell you that Tinder is so easy, it’s scary.  Sign in with your Facebook account and you can be swiping left or right within a couple minutes, literally.  A few minutes later, you’ll have “matched” with someone and you can either send them a message or “keep playing.”  Go ahead, you can admit it. Tinder is fun.

But is it a good way to meet that special someone?  It does seem to be an efficient way to a first date.  And, of course, it is rumored to be a quick-and-easy way to hook up with someone.

But what about if you want more than a one-night stand?  What if you’re looking for a real relationship?  From what I can tell, your chances of finding someone serious about a relationship is many times going to be inversely proportionate to how much effort it takes to spark said relationship.  In other words, since it’s so very easy to start a convo with someone (or someones) on Tinder, it’s much easier to pretend to be serious.  With all sorts of crushes.  All at once.

Think about it: before the telephone (if it’s even possible to think about), the only way to flirt was in real life.  You couldn’t text five girls on a Friday night to see who’s DTF.  You definitely couldn’t chat with 10 dudes on Tinder and set up a new date for every night of the week (and then some).  You had to actually commit to someone to have some any sort of relationship with them.

Now, you really don’t.  You don’t have to commit.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t.  And that’s why, while Tinder can be used for evil, it can also be used for good.  There’s nothing saying you can’t swipe right a few times, find a match, chat a little while, meet up for a proper date, and then start a legitimate dating relationship.  Then, who knows?  It’s not so far-fetched to think you could find your happily-ever-after on Tinder.

Because after all, you have to meet somewhere, right?  And it’s not like nobody’s ever met a sleazeball at church or a man-eater through a friend.  As the cliche goes, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

Just realize that there are inherent challenges that come with using Tinder if you’re the type that, as Hitch would say, actually likes women.  Because there’s something about being able to swipe left and throw down the big red “NOPE” on somebody’s face that’s a little too… satisfying.  Problem is, these are real people that we are judging so flippantly.

Tinder rejection.

The level of efficiency Tinder has reached in evaluating potential candidates enables us to treat others as commodities that we can either take or leave without much of a thought.  We don’t even have to leave our bed to decide that someone else isn’t worthy of our time.

And, if we’re being honest, many of us judge people in real life just as flippantly.  I know I do.  I remember in high school confessing to my parish priest that when I walk into a room, my first priority is to locate the hottest girl.  Years later, I’m not sure I’ve made much progress.  But I’m working on it.

Why bother?  Because there’s something terribly shortsighted about judging people solely based on how they look, especially in pictures.  I’ll never forget when I first heard the question posed to a group of ladies, “Do you want to be beautiful like Beyonce, or beautiful like Mother Theresa?”  And you, gentlemen, do you want someone beautiful like Beyonce, or beautiful like Mother Theresa?  Nobody here is suggesting looks don’t matter.  But we definitely should think about how much looks really matter.

Point being, whether you’re on Tinder or eHarmony, at the Newman Center or student union, the local parish or local bar, the challenge is the same: we want to find that special someone.  What’s the best way to find true love?  I’m still trying to figure that out myself.  In the meantime, I’m doing my best to treat everybody with love at first sight—or swipe—and I invite you to do the same.

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