I swipe left. Again. It’s now become part of my immediate reaction mechanism – embedded into my reflex arc that the person glaring up at me from my iPhone 5s is untrustworthy, a try-hard and possesses a completely different physical appearance to their first profile photo. But do I give up? No – my poor thumb persists in ridding each (and practically every) face from the screen as with each movement I lose a little more hope in finding ‘the one’. If you haven’t been there, my fragile heart cannot help but envy you.
The problem is, one thing that isn’t brought up in the wide realms of feminism is that women have weakness. Just like every other desperate: we are strong in the way we try, try, and try again (and so often succeed) but when another person is in the picture – in a romantic sense – we can fail continuously. It’s embarrassing, it’s chaotic – but it’s so very natural.
No matter what, Tinder seems to be the app that I most often delete from my phone – yet to the same extent, the app I most often reinstall. It appears to me to be somewhat of a tragedy when a romantic or sexual interest leaving my life occurs coincidentally moments previous to my re-installation of the dating app of the decade.
Another worrying factor I find myself pondering when my thumb is at its weakest is that of why the app entombs its way into my phone in the first place. Tinder, to me, is something I’d rather not use. I consider myself someone with strong morals in a broad spectrum of areas, those including the ability to converse in person with members of society and get somewhere, without the need of social media. Due to this, I find myself fervently deleting the app at some random – and as aforementioned, some coincidental – points in my life.
My thoughts lie somewhere along the path of Harry Cole’s, in his article ‘Tinder has taught me that I am both a snob and a slut’. Cole calls out the problems, often unseen, with the meaning of repetitive use of the app: ‘There is an argument that Tinder is a progressive social construct which is helping to make online dating acceptable and that that is a good thing. I disagree.’ He continues, ‘If you are not capable of holding real-life conversations in the hope of eliciting romantic outcomes, then you should not be allowed to use technology to cheat.’
Yet however much I desire to completely oppose Tinder as a main dating platform, I find myself in a grey area with the more serious side of the situation. Dates can be short-term experiences that, whether good or bad, can teach your growing self a lesson – but surely reaching out of your living area is worth trying when looking for someone you will have a genuine connection with.
A significant proportion of people remain situated around the place they live in, meaning a person they might want to commit to – therefore somebody fitting to their own personality – won’t necessarily be in the same village, town, or even city as them. This also convenes to the life of the consistent traveller, who never stays in a single place for a lengthy period of time. Dating apps do allow you the freedom of exploring a wider range of options for your romantic or sexual life – despite how they promote an introverted approach to the matter.
But yet to be a consistent traveller, or even the typical elder confined to one location for their foreseeable future, I am simply another person looking for an honest connection. Maybe the majority of Tinder criticisms posed in fact stem from an internal guilt – all surrounding the reality that in the modern world, it’s the only way to search for one.