Sunday, 6 April 2014

App-Check : The Tinder Experiment

It was two weeks ago. Sunday night. My friend wrote me that message that she couldn’t come to dinner. The beginning rain outside reflected my inner mood. I sat in my little apartment, watched the rain and had this huge portion of pasta in front of me – alone. In those situations you miss your best friends or your family, all hundreds of kilometers away. After having eaten kilos of pasta and dried a few tears (Yes, I can be sentimental), I felt a lot better and came to the conclusion that I am probably not the only single person having a bad day.
Wait! Did I say single ? Right, 51% of Paris' population is single, thereof 122 000 men between 20 and 39, a fact that I lately captured while reading the metro news on my way to work (best video concerning dating here). There and on different blogs I spotted articles about an application to meet or date people : Tinder it is called. So, I don’t know exactly what has driven me, but I quickly clicked ‘Install’ in the App store and a couple of minutes later Tinder has settled in my iPhone.

For all of you who are not familiar with this app (from Wikipedia): Using Facebook, Tinder gathers users' basic information and analyzes users'social graph to match potential candidates who are most likely to be compatible based on location, number of mutual friends and common interests. Based on the results of potential candidates, the app allows the user to anonymously like or pass them. If two users like each other then it results in a "match" and Tinder introduces the two users and opens a chat.

Seriously, your first match is pretty exciting. But then after a while it gets a little boring since most guys have already liked me before. You actually begin to expect a match for every guy you like and you are almost disappointed if it’s not the case. How I chose the guys before wiping them directly away ? First, I set filters that I only consider men between 20 and 30 and in a radius of 30 miles. During playing (because this is how it feels), I realized that I generally hesitated with guys wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers which is definitely not a valid criterion. I also had a spot for skis, mountains, tennis rackets and suits. At the same time I had my no-gos such as shirtless, too many selfies, motor bikes, gangster style etc. You see how superficial it is.
But the app is not only about matches but also about the chats afterwards. Since I had already 100 matches after the first three days (yet I consider myself as very picky…), I was involved in 25 conversations at the same time. Though, I continuously refused to contact any guy first. Of course there were those conversations that started in a totally weird manner and that I totally ignored, but there were also people I enjoyed chatting to.

Yet, I strictly but gently refused to accept any personal meeting throughout the first days. I was too afraid of meeting strangers, being kidnapped, finding myself in a total uncomfortable situation or any of that kind. Until a certain point I tried to gather as much information as possible and decided eventually to give a guy a chance to satisfy my curiosity. We decided to have a drink after wok in the neighborhood and fixed the meeting point at the metro station. 2 minutes before I arrived he wrote that he was already there. So I went upstairs and well, obviously a couple of people were waiting for someone. There was this one guy at the exit that looked like the one on the photo... and after having asked him it turned out that he wasn't the one I was looking for. Thus I continued seeking: Then, I saw this other guy, also hectically looking around as if he was waiting for someone. He looked at me, he looked away, he looked again, and then - he turned away. He ran away. Across the street. Was never been seen again.  
At first I thought that he might haven't been the one, but eventually and after no response to my message, I felt sure that HE WAS THE GUY. THE GUY WHO RAN AWAY. Guys, this has been one of the funniest moments in life. Like seriously ever. There I stood, waiting for my first blind date in life and the guy ran away. In the middle of the street I started to laugh loudly because this was a total fail that I absolutely deserved and that made me realize that Tinder is a waste of time.

On my way home, I obviously started to wonder about the whole dating app. I realized that even if I like chatting to people, I am not the kind of person who really enjoys to get to know people there. It's another way to expose yourself, to obtain acceptance and to disapprove people because of their photos. I am definitely too extroverted and open-minded to hide behind an app or too serious to look for fun dates that end in one night stands. And after not even 10 days of "tindering" I pressed the delete button even before I arrived back home.  

What do I want to say with this post? I openly admit that it was fun to test the app but to seriously meet people I prefer meeting them in real life. Speaking of that, I enjoy this beautiful Sunday with friends and who knows - I might find my future husband in the park and not on my smartphone. 

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