So my friend recently mentioned to me a new dating app called “Bumble” that is taking America by storm. Here in the UK, most millennial students would have downloaded a dating app at some point or another. It’s usually Tinder or Grindr and the way that they work ( if you didn’t already know) is by matching the users who find each other attractive. You can change your age range, you can set your gender preferences, you can write a witty and captivating bio and swipe away until you have cramps in your thumb. But anyway, Bumble’s USP is that the women are obligated to proposition the men first with the initial opening line. If the woman doesn’t make the first move, then the match deletes itself and your chance at love is lost. Oh how very contraversial, subverting the norms of romantic courting in a feminist-appealing, forward- thinking groundbreaking attempt to disguise a rip-off Tinder as a pitch for gender equality.
I think that my problem with dating apps nowadays is that they make things far too accessible. Not to say that you can’t go down to your local Oceana on a Friday night and find a suitor quite easily, but I mean that the whole ‘chase’ aspect of romance has been eradicated. You see it, you swipe it, you hook- up with it and then you continue. I’m talking about both girls and guys here, for people who presume that I might only be incriminating men as the destroyers of romance. When these apps were released, I’m not sure that the creators were aware that the apps would be used merely for sex, but it seems that that’s what it has become. Which is fine, because at the end of the day most people enjoy sex, but the mentality that is induced by dating apps is that girls and guys can be commodified. Tinder, for example, is almost like an online store where you browse; you think ‘Hmmm, I want that one’ and then almost like a business transaction you weigh up ‘ for how long do I need to pretend to be interested in what this person is saying to get them in bed with me’ and if it’s too long, it’s not worth it.
It has occurred to me that I sound quite bitter on this topic as a whole, but I think that being at university for two years and hearing and experiencing so many ‘Tinder stories’ has driven me to insanity. I thought I would create a little subsection of this rant that includes the reasons why dating apps are poisonous 🙂 so here goes, REASONS NOT TO DOWNLOAD A DATING APP * DONT DO IT*
- You’re spinning a web of lies. When have you ever taken your SO to a family dinner on Sunday and been ok with admitting to your parents that you two matching on Grindr was the spark that ignited the passion of two star-crossed lovers. No? I didn’t think so. I think that fact that most people seem ashamed to admit that they met on a dating app, I think, is very telling of the fact that you SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT.
- Dating Apps are for lonely people. From my experience, and from the experience of my close friends, girls and guys, I can say that girls and guys download dating apps for different reasons. For the girls I’ve spoken to, having a dating app is largely about validation. Essentially, they want reassurance that they are still pretty. Again it’s complex of deception that we’ve touched on before. Most girls just want to be chatted up for a few days and to laugh at your weird messages with their friends. This isn’t all girls obviously, but a fair few that I know. Guys, on the other hand, don’t download dating apps for validation, but because they are down to meet up with you that very night for a vigorous session of Netflix and Chill. If you’re a girl that is reading this, thinking of downloading a dating app that isn’t planning to actually meet up with any guys. DON’T DO IT. Go outside instead.
- Dating apps are like poo wrapped up in tin foil so you don’t see what’s inside. If we strip away all of the fanciful marketing and public appeal, some dating apps are just one night stands that you get for free. And if you’re into that, go for it but I think it’s strange that we can comfortable with sharing such personal details online with people we’ve never met before.
- Do you think you’d find Adriana Lima on Tinder? Ok well no, she’s married, but pretend she isn’t married. Would you find her there? Probably not. Look at the picture, she’s laughing at you. The point is, that if you value yourself and your time, you wouldn’t make your love life so transparent to complete and total strangers, would you?
- Stranger Danger. Do you ever stop and think, wait why am I on this dating app? Ok maybe this ominous mugshot of Jeffrey Dahmer is a little extreme, but you get you get the point…Granted you might be a normal person, but the chances that you match with someone that collects toenail shavings in their spare time is a strong possibility. You have to remember that those that are perhaps more ( hope I’m not being too harsh) desperate, to find a partner, for reasons that may reveal themselves, will also be hidden behind a six pack profile or aubergine emojis in the bio.
So there we go. I hope that I short guide has convinced using dating apps. Until next time, happy dating 🙂