Tinder, a new FREE dating application, has gone viral with lots of FREE publicity telling a warm, wonderful story why their system may be the best for lonely singles anywhere. Part of the appeal is how responsive and location-aware their App is. As you read this, some Olympic athletes are spicing up their downtime hooking up in Sochi.
The most recent publicity and the title of this blog comes from a scientist working in Antarctica that used the app on a whim and found a potential match at a campsite, a 45-minute helicopter ride away. He had swiped his phone on the Tinder site to indicate his interest, and was notified a couple of minutes later that she found him interesting as well. “She was actually sitting freezing in her igloo when we were matched,” the scientist related to New York Magazine, who initially printed the story.”She was literally camping in Antarctica, went on Tinder, and found me. It’s mind blowing.”
The scientist, who asked not to be named, first used the app sometime in December. However, it wasn’t until a few weeks later that he finally saw a photo of the woman Tinder hoped to set him set him up with. Their meeting, unfortunately, was short lived since she had to leave the following day. However, the scientist remains optimistic that they’ll see each other again. (I was going to add a comment after the last word “The next time without the huge Parkas on,” but In the tradition of honest reporting, I restrained myself.)
Now let’s move to an area that’s not so cold or desolate, say Santa Monica, California, where thousands of singles are anxiously looking for a convenient, FREE way to find a love connection, all within 5 miles or less. Using the Tinder app, they can view dozens, perhaps even hundreds of members of the opposite sex that fit within their parameters. So, with a swipe of their finger, they can either dismiss or approve the hopefuls, who will have the same options viewing them.
The Tinder app is linked together with Facebook so they get to observe many interesting facts about their hopeful candidates.
Much of online dating is experiencing a rapid fire make-over because of the new, almost instant local apps. Singles are looking for love at any time of day. I know of someone who felt lonely at work in the morning, so she used Tinder and arranged a date for lunch with a local stranger. Click, like, lunch, room, boom!! It’s really happening just like that, so fast, so voluminous, and all nearby and available.
I’d hate to own a singles bar today. Who needs to buy drinks for disinterested strangers when your customers can swipe their finger on their phone and be fixed up with a hottie before they would even finish a drink? These new apps can show you all of the potential dates that are within walking distance of your exact location who think you’re HOT. Love can literally be found right across the street with these new age apps.
Tinder is #1 and wildly popular with the single and under 35 crowd. It allows them to rate potential dates on whether they are cool to pursue. It permits them to use their Facebook page to show; if you share any interests, have friends in common, and show photos of themselves, family, and friends. It’s so popular, it grew 750% just last month alone. It has made 15 million matches and over 60% of their members are logging in every day. It’s very easy, swipe right=worthy, swipe left=bye-bye. When two members positively swipe each others photo, Tinder declares you two a match and you are then able to communicate with each other, hopefully arranging a face to face meeting. You may be having too much fun juggling your other matches and trying to decide who to meet first. If you have other matches tomorrow, you may be driving yourself crazy deciding what to do after viewing the next hottie(s), and who you want to see first. This is a modern day version of “the grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome. It’s exciting, effective and addictive.
Now for the downside. A large Internet security firm recently came out with a potentially damaging claim that there is flaw in Tinders app.” It exposes users to anyone familiar with simple hacking to determine the exact location of where the subscriber lives.” It could encourage a crazed client to learn the exact address of the person they desire and stalk them. They mentioned a method called triangulation and since I took Geometry about 60 years ago and haven’t used it since, I would not be a viable suspect. Tinder and the others, using the triangulation programming techniques, all claim to be very close to completely solving the problem. I don’t doubt them, but as a serious student of history, I remain at least slightly skeptical.
As with most new fast growing discoveries, there are the good and the bad, so let’s look at the problem side. When you meet someone online, you like each others looks, so you agree to go out. But do you know anything about the person? Here are a few random comments from 21 year old females, who have been on Tinder for at least 6 months. “Everybody you’ve ever met has it now and yeah they also know you’re on it too.” “Sometimes I’m tempted to swipe it just to check if they have a crush on me and it has led to awkward situations.” “There are lots and lots of losers, guys who think they’re cool flexing biceps, guys with folded arms, gangsters, of all shapes and sizes needing a shave, haircut, and bath.” ” Don’t swipe while doing other things like watching TV, talking on the phone, texting on another phone and here’s why. I swiped past the most gorgeous guy I’ve ever seen and he’s gone forever into cyberspace, probably being grabbed up by some lucky girl. I dream about him both day and night.
I recently read a guest column in the LA Times written by Joel Silberman. “Historically many people worked at the same company for 30 or more years. Nowadays, guys like me who love to write, go from gig to gig to make a living. I tried dating on Tinder and only had a few accepts who liked me back. It led to a few conversations, some texting and finally, a real date. I thought it went well until she leveled with me saying “You’re a nice guy but I can’t see us having a long term relationship.” Then I got lucky, very lucky, because she introduced me to one of her friends and we’re still together. She also introduced me to someone who got me a lead to get this gig writing this column, and will probably lead to other work. Good random things can happen when you enlarge your circle of friends, and eventually potential job contacts.”
Let’s finish this Blog with a couple of truisms that reflect this new type of dating.
1) After a casual date or two, the expectation is that you’re going to get laid.
2) Are Apps like Tinder a microcosm of real life behavior? Do we blithely file people away either in the desirable or un-desirable bins? Should we be making split second intimacy decisions based on minimal facts, and to be trusting complete strangers? Do we really need to know lots of information about someone or are you comfortable enough relying on your basic instincts?
These and other questions require lots of study and discussion. I’d love to hear your feelings on them.
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