Once upon a time, I made a Tinder account.
One dark winter night, my sister and I decided to venture into Tinderland, a place of infinity possibility. The key lay in simply swiping left or right. What could go wrong?
We made the account as a joke, as something to do when we lay in bed together, just before we fell asleep. Men and women advertised themselves to the world like they were competing for some sort of grand prize.
“23, gymmer racer vegan”
“I know you’ll make the right decision. Swipe right now!”
“hi I’m looking for new friend let’s meet up”
And on and on until their faces began to blur into one giant breathing mass of flesh. We were entertained: we found unlikely friends, people we knew. We live in a tight community. It was funny. We laughed, took a few screenshots and moved on.
Anyway, I forgot all about it till recently, a friend told me that she’d joined it. Except it wasn’t a joke. She wanted to meet someone new, she said, and go out on a couple of dates.
I took her phone to check out who she’d talked to so far. They were surprisingly decent guys, not the kind I’d associate with Tinder in this region. My friend had been having good conversations that didn’t involve repeated requests for nudes or obscene language. Shocker.
So I thought I’d explore a little more. I started swiping left and right, picking out potential guys for her. What began as a little experiment turned into an hour of addiction. All I could think about was the next face I’d see and whether he would be worth the golden right swipe.
It wasn’t until much much later that I understood what had really happened. I had gone crazy in a virtual world where men were as varied and easy to come by as handbags. There were all types, shapes and colours to choose from and it was so easy to never settle on just one. You could have them all, no questions asked, no signatures required.
So no wonder we’ve all lost our minds. Why wouldn’t we? In a world where everyone seems to be on the lookout for ‘the next best thing,’ this is where you’d go to find it. Gabriel, 25, from Spain loves to read obscure German novels but Andrew, 24, from Canada writes complex and tragic haiku! However will you choose?
My advice? Only join Tinder if you’re sure you can make a choice and stick to it. And you’re sure you understand that there’s a real human behind the screen name.
And don’t go looking for the next best thing because it might just pass you by when you’re not looking.