Tinder has become a cultural phenomenon since its launch in 2012, and its reputation varies widely depending on who you ask. Some see it as sleazy and shallow, while others think it’s harmless fun. Still, others see it as an essential dating tool in today’s increasingly digital world.
Personally, I believe it’s a combination of the three. After all, Tinder is exactly what you make of it.
My time on Tinder lasted for about a month last summer, and in that brief time, my experience was eye-opening. I had downloaded it previously, but it took about a year before I summoned the courage to create a profile.
It felt weird to judge so many books by their covers, but with only a sliver of information to go by, I had no choice. Some users had no biography at all, leaving me to decide to swipe left or right solely based on their photos.
Admittedly, my own biography wasn’t very informative. It simply read, “Let’s take over the world together.” Despite its simplicity, it sparked some hilarious responses. After all, nothing brings people together like plotting world domination.
Conversations were the real breaking point, with everything from clever pick-up lines to arguments about religion. I usually swiped right on joke profiles, like a sock, George Bush and a picture of an actual catfish.
I thoroughly enjoyed most of my Tinder conversations, even when they didn’t lead to actual dates. However, getting hundreds of matches and messages was overwhelming, to say the least. Though I occasionally messaged first, I usually waited for matches to make the first move, which helped me find guys who were actually interested in me.
My friends call this phenomenon “female privilege.” As a woman using Tinder, the odds are automatically in my favor. Society’s norms dictate that men should message first, and the law of supply and demand results in women typically getting far more matches than men.
While being female has its advantages on Tinder, anyone can be successful with a decent profile. Carefully crafting the best possible profile can be nerve-wracking, but luckily, there are online resources to help.
The subreddit r/Tinder is a community of Tinder users and fans who share entertaining interactions they’ve had while using the app. Most posts are screenshots of clever pick-up lines and amusing conversations. The community also reviews profiles, offering guidance on everything from choosing photos to writing biographies.
The Tinder community often says there are two rules to getting matches:
- Be attractive.
- Don’t be unattractive.
This advice seems useless at first glance, but it’s all you need. “Being attractive” involves actively doing things to attract people to you, like taking care of your health, getting a hobby and being sociable.
“Being unattractive” includes being jaded, cynical or otherwise bitter about dating. While it’s perfectly fine to have these opinions, many users may not find these qualities attractive in a potential partner.
Some people swipe right endlessly in an attempt to maximize their chances of getting matches, but none of those swipes matter if their own profiles still need work. As in life, try to be your best self rather than worrying what other people think of you.
Tinder definitely has its ups and downs, but I still recommend it to any 20-something-year-old looking to meet new people. Though I can’t promise you’ll find love, you just might learn how to swipe right on life.