It is early days – my Tinder profile is depressingly unloved at the moment. Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty matchmaking process of Tinder. The alarming thing about matchmaking on Tinder is that it is not nitty gritty. It is, dare I say it, fun – in a very sadistic way.
The whole idea of online dating has, in the past, seemed very arduous to me. It has been more of a necessity (convincing my friends and family that I’m not asexual and can actually attract a stable partner) than something that actually provides enjoyment. Think about it: you have to instantly decide on if a stranger is an acceptable concubine, or not; you then engage in tedious small talk about your tedious jobs. This is followed by an often awkward evening, where you decide if this partnership has any potential or not. Only after that point do proceedings actually become in any way fun.
The Tinder coupling process is quite simple. You first of all narrow down your criteria (gender, age range and distance from yourself), Tinder then finds people near you, who meet these specifications. You are shown the possible match’s main profile picture and below that their name, age, any mutual Facebook friends, shared interests and the amount of photos they have (the left picture). You then decide immediately if you are interested in them or not. Or if you a bit less spontaneous and cautious, like me, you can click through to their profile, read their bio, view more pics and your shared interests before making a decision.
The shared interests concept is a great one – you can see in a flash if someone likes similar literature or music to you, which gives you both something to chat about from the off. The negative of it though is that it reminds you of all the embarrassing things you liked on Facebook about five years ago and had since disregarded, as you will see from the picture above right.
By this time you have to decide if you are interested in the person or not. There’s no cop out option on Tinder; that person’s profile will remain there waiting for you to say yay or nay until the end of time if it needs to. The sensible way is to either click the red cross or green heart at the bottom of the screen. The much more satisfying way is to swipe right if you are interested and left if you are not. The result of which will be either stamping “NOPE” or “LIKED” over the individual’s face. This is, of course, much more prone to error – but so much more fun.
If you both declare an interest in each other then you can start talking. Here we have an online matchmaking process that you’d be silly to take too seriously – and is, for this reason, a lot less intimidating than many of the other equivalents. Oh, and successful – twelve hours later I have my first match.