With the special contribution of Julianne Chu
You just matched with Steve 49 seconds ago… Google how not to be boring. Does this sentence seem familiar to you? If not, here is another hint: you matched with Serena 3 minutes ago… How long until you send a message? Indeed, how long until you send this vital message? Well, it could very well be never if you do not have a Tinder account in the first place.
Matchmaking mobile application created in 2012, Tinder is rapidly expanding in the online dating scene, currently hitting even colleges and universities. Who could possibly have guessed that rowdy and impulsive youth would eventually resort to social networking to curb their primal instincts? It is beautiful to realize that with the technological progress of society, natural human phenomena such as love, friendship and sex have turned into such an impersonal enterprise. However, it is hard to get genuine human warmth out of an electronic device. Even if you do end up messaging the lovely Serena, how are you to know that she isn’t in fact a 40 year-old Steve charmingly getting off while staring at the picture of you displayed upon his screen?
At first glance, the Tinder phenomenon seems to be quite the hazardous endeavor. Most young people would agree that it is pretty “bait” to virtually communicate with strangers whose main goal is to “troll” you (or to obtain meaningless, and most likely terrible, sex). Yet when you look around you, you may notice the large amount of school kids anxiously resorting to this dating tool. And most of them take it seriously. (Side note to all those who claim to have gotten a Tinder account “as a joke”: stop kidding yourselves guys, legitimate psychological tests lead by myself have proven that you are actually in denial over how desperately you are looking for either a relationship or sex.)
One occasionally hears of these fairytale stories where some lucky romantic gets to meet the “love of their life” through Tinder. The witnesses to these stories really need a reality check: it is statistically most likely for one to get cheesy pickup lines and STDs from Tinder than anything else. So Tinder-users, beware… And always prepare (by searching “how not to be boring” on Google, naturally).
Additionally, Tinder users always have to bear the stress of having a sexy yet representative Facebook profile picture. The only way you could be matched with any attractive stranger would be if they like the way you look on your Facebook account (to which Tinder is directly connected) – take note that most of your Facebook friends whose profile picture displays a mirror “selfie”, a sexy duck-face or a skillfully photo-shopped display of abdominals most probably have a Tinder account. Luckily, you still get a chance to show the Tinder world your personal preferences, and maybe even a spark of your personality, through the short bio you can display under your picture. People seldom read what you have to say, but at least this makes the whole Tinder phenomenon seem a tad less superficial. Tinder is actually quite similar to bars, in a way: people mainly base themselves off of each other’s physical appearance to find their next casual hookup. Tinder simply saves everyone money on drinks.
Naturally, I was somewhat curious as to the demographics of people who would actually take the time to create a Tinder account. Thus, with the help of Julianne Chu, I conducted a little social experiment. We got to find out a lot more about the kind of strangers you find on this mobile application.
Creating accounts that were deleted as soon as the experiment was over (only way to find out if this is a lie would be to create one yourself), we each had a set of questions to ask all of our matches. (We luckily did not go as far as testing how awkward a first date with someone met on Tinder must be.) Here are the results compiled from our meticulous research:
Do you like hentai?
What is hentai? : 22%
Do you believe in the flying Spaghetti Monster?
Can you twerk?
What Harry Potter house do you associate yourself to?
Emma Watson’s House: 7%
Not a Potterhead, but a Pothead: 11%
Do you believe in God?
I believe in the Devil: 4%
I believe in God of War: 4%
Do you believe in aliens?
I am an alien: 5%
My father is an alien: 5%
Do you have a Fetlife account?
What is Fetlife? : 73%
Although our studies conclude that 73% of Tinderites do not even know what a fetlife account is (if you don’t either, please continue sheltering yourself to be spared numerous horrific surprises), a lot of the people on Tinder are in fact scientifically proven creeps. Whilst someone thought that hentai was a kind of food, others assumed it was a Kama Sutra position. And we even found some pretty groundbreaking statistics: Tinder is not only a haven for adamant hentai viewers (52%), but also the sanctum of many enthusiastic “twerkers” (63%).
Additionally, the Pastafarian Tinderites (52%) proved to be even odder individuals. Some only believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) on February 29th, while others require their deity’s sauce to be solely tofu-based. A certain Avery thought the idea of a gnocchi beast to be quite traumatic, while Michael went as far as claiming to be the one and only FSM… Have Julianne and I unintentionally found the deity of the Pastafarian Church? Probably not, since soon after the first allegation, someone declared herself as the one and only cookie monster.
Psychoanalytic side note: 48% of the Tinderites in question flagrantly lack originality, having deemed Gryffindor to be the Potter house they belong to. Statistically, only 25% of Hogwarts’ students can get into Gryffindor, so we know that at least 23% of the Tinderites we questioned would make terribly cranky Wizards.
After creating our very short-lived Tinder accounts, Julianne Chu and I accomplished little more beyond corrupting the innocence of all the virginal souls who had to Google not only how not to be boring, but also what hentai and fetlife are. Nonetheless, Julianna and I had quite a scarring, life-changing experience with Tinder (especially when we’d awkwardly stumble upon the Tinder account of someone we knew). We will therefore retain many valuable life-lessons such as “Tinder can’t type for you… At least not yet!” and “You’ll never meet 100% of the matches you don’t message”. As the definition of “tinder” evolves from an “easily combustible material used to ignite fires” to “a mobile dating application”, the progression of technology may be prompting a social regression.