Why you should delete Tinder

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Tinder. But for those rock-dwellers who manage to find this, Tinder is the dating app where you swipe left and right on photos of people in your nearby area. Swipe right if you’re interested to “like” someone. Swipe left to “pass.” If two people both “like” each other, they get an alert and the app makes if possible for them to communicate.

If you’ve already heard of Tinder, you’ve probably already heard it referred to as “the hookup app.” It’s commonly understood that if you’re going on a Tinder date, you’re meeting a stranger to go get laid.

How it works

Their tagline is “Tinder finds interesting people around you.” The App Store description never even officially claims it to be a “dating app.” It’s as if they know it’s a meet market, but go out of their way to use any language with the built-in negative connotations.

Unlike a dating app, Tinder asks you no questions about your personality. It makes no attempt to match your interests with those of anyone else. It simply integrates with your Facebook account, saves the things you’ve “liked” on Facebook, and shows them to people who have also liked them.

Let’s be clear, though: the app is not searching for people who also liked the things you like. Tinder just throws an endless stream of people at you and if you have anything at all in common, it shows you what those things are.

You get a space where you can write a short description of yourself, but it’s limited to 500 characters. It’s almost as if they go out of their way to prevent people from actually knowing any more about a person than what can be seen in their Facebook photos.

It’s just an online singles bar

If you’ve ever been to a crowded singles bar, you know exactly what it’s like and how the scene works. Everyone there is single. Everyone there is hoping to meet someone interesting. But everyone’s motivations are different.

At the singles bar you always see the same people:

First, there are the nines and tens. Nature was kind to them, and they’ve capitalized on it. They’re tall and well-built, with attractive faces and great hair. Everyone notices them and they know it. They’ve learned the fine art of looking past average people as if you aren’t even there. They’re just weeding through the other nines and tens looking for someone like them. When they talk, their conversation is painfully banal, because really talking is just a formality — once they’ve made contact with a suitable partner, it doesn’t matter what they say. They’re matched and they’re going to hook up. The nines and tens don’t worry about finding a relationship because they have an abundance mentality. They can always find someone else without much effort. They’ll hook up, and then maybe if they like you they’ll see you again.

Next, there are the sevens and eights. Maybe not models, but good looking and capable of meeting someone. They tend to have better people skills and more interesting personalities. They put more effort into conversation with the people they meet, because they would like to eventually have a relationship and they need to know that they at lest could possibly like you before they make a connection. If it goes extremely well, and the situation is right, they’ll probably hook up, but it’s also possible that you’re just going to trade numbers and you’ll have to meet again to see how things go.

Then there are the fives and sixes. They’re not ugly, but they’re not hot. They’re serviceable. For them, conversation is very important because it is the primary tool they have for making an impression. Fives and sixes have more of a scarcity mentality — meeting someone suitable is a bit harder to do — so they’re always looking for something they can “lock down.” They want a relationship, and every part of their interactions has that thought in the back of their mind. It’s less common for them to hook up. They feel like they need to use the ideas of sex, intimacy, and commitment as part of their toolkit for locking down a suitable relationship partner.

Lets face it, people below a five don’t really go to singles bars.

The only other group worth mentioning are the perverts and predators. These come in all shapes and sizes. They’re the damaged people who are really there just to fill some psychological hole in their lives. Usually easy to hook up with, but you’re almost guaranteed to regret it.

Tinder takes away your filters

There’s a reason singles bars are dark. It makes it possible for people to accidentally think they’re talking to someone suitable. It gives people at every level the false impression that there are more options there than what there actually are.

On Tinder, this becomes the domain of deceptive camera angles, strategic cropping, filters, and Photoshop. When faced with tightly cropped headshots, everybody starts to look like they’re a seven or higher.

At the singles bar, you can glance at someone’s face, think they seem nice, and then look down and notice they’re a bit more overweight than what you’d like, but on Tinder they can hide that.

At the singles bar, you can overhear someone’s bad personality You can overhear their lame conversation. You can rule them out for their obnoxious laugh, or their loud, irritating voice. In the singles bar, you can see that you can see their wedding ring. On Tinder you have none of that.

In a bar with 50 potential singles, you might filter it down to just two or three you’re interested in talking to. But on Tinder, without this information, you may swipe right on 30 or 40 out of every 50. You have no reason not to. So either you become overly selective on very arbitrary traits or else you quickly end up with a queue of 40 or more people, most of whom you’ll never have time to talk to.

Tinder also takes away your openers

If you see someone at a singles bar who you’re interested in meeting, you can comment on something nice about their outfit. You can hear an interesting accent and ask where they’re from. You can overhear a conversation that you have something to add to. You can remark on their choice of drink. There are endless environmental cues from which to start a conversation. Those don’t exist on Tinder.

Tinder does give you a space to write a brief self description, but it’s limited to 500 characters, so there’s really not much a person can say there, if they choose to use that space at all, but many don’t even write anything there, and even if they do, everyone who talks to them will have commented on the same thing so there’s not much hope of setting yourself apart.

So who is Tinder for?

In the end, Tinder doesn’t help the nines and tens. They have better odds going to a singles bar, where they don’t have to weed through all the misleading photos. They can rule people out instantly in person, without all the slow typing on their phone.

It also does little to help the sevens and eights. If they assume the nines and tens aren’t bothering with Tinder, they can be extremely picky about where they swipe right, and put in a little extra work trying to talk to people, they might make a connection. But I think it’s too much work, with little payoff.

The fives and sixes are already used to doing extra work in order to prove their value and make connections, this seems like it might at least be more convenient that trying to talk over the loud music and noisy crowd at a singles bar. With the app, you can do it all day, not just for the few hours you have at the bar in the evening. And you have the added bonus of not having to slowly get drunk and lose your motor skills while you chat, although that means the person you’re talking to isn’t drunk either so you’ll have to work harder.

Like the singles bars, the fours and lower don’t seem to bother with Tinder. Not much point.

And once again that leaves one last group. The group I think gets the most benefit out of Tinder. Perverts and predators. For perverts and predators, it’s really just a numbers game. And Tinder does provide the numbers. Just keep swiping right. There are even apps that will mass swipe for you.

Got a fetish? Just message your proposition to everyone. Most won’t respond. Some will call you names. But you’ll probably get a handful of takers.

Just looking to get laid with strangers? Message your propsition to everyone. Most won’t respond. Some will call you names. But you’re probably going to get a handful of takers.

Tinder is a predator’s haven. They’ve certainly wasted no time making their mark. And since their strategy is literally to message everyone and see what kind of response they get, it means that everyone you talk to on Tinder has dealt with messages from perverts and predators… probably so many that they expect every new person who messages them to be one of these.

It’s definitely not for me

I’m not a nine or a ten, so I thought I’d give Tinder a try. But I’m a seven or eight, and talking on Tinder proves to be too much work for me, just to get to the information that I will ultimately use to weed out most people out anyway.

It’s even more work, though, when you consider that everyone I talk to must first go through a complicated process, asking a series of really insulting questions just to figure out that I’m not a predator. Even the talkative fives and sixes probably don’t have time for that.

What’s left is a bunch of really nice people (most of whom are by this point quite jaded), and a bunch of perverts and predators who think Tinder is the best thing ever invented.