Shorter relationships, increased anxiety and an unhappy generation. I blame Tinder.
I bet if you told our ancestors that swiping across a screen for a potential partner and taking seconds to decide if they’re worthy of your time, they would be shocked to their core. When you lay Tinder out on the table for what it truly is, it sounds pretty disgusting and alarming – and we all sit in wonder at why in our generation relationships don’t last a second and we are all consistently image-anxious spending thousands on cosmetics and designer labels.
I’m not going to sit here on my high horse and deem every Tinder user a bad person, because virtually everyone I know has suffered Tinder at some point in their lives and myself included. Anyone I know who has used Tinder does make it clear that they are not using it ‘seriously’ and in a light-hearted way, but if you truly sit back and think about the concept it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Tinder declare the app as a ‘powerful tool to meet people, expand your social group and meet people when travelling’ yet it quickly gained a bad reputation with a lot of sexual suggestions. don’t get me wrong, it seems like a great idea! As adults, we are faced with less opportunities to meet new friends and build relationships so surely a tool like this would be a great thing? Wrong.
The truth is, Tinder is the equivalent to standing up in a room filled with millions of people saying ‘who finds me attractive enough to sleep with’. When would we ever do this? It would be truly terrifying, right? But that’s essentially what we’re doing on Tinder, exposing ourselves to straight-up rejection. I don’t know about you but I take rejection pretty hard and I would rather just not know if someone didn’t like me, we have a tendency to analyse rejection and pick faults within ourselves. This is where the problem starts.
When using Tinder, you have to click on the photo of the profile to even find out a short bio of the person. Chances are, when swiping at high speed, people are not going to read every bio. If they’re not attractive enough, they’re gone. In fact, even if they are attractive people are unlikely to read your bio and interests. Have you ever seen a teenage boy flicking through Tinder? The pictures fly by so quickly there is no way you could never even see what they look like!
I decided to put this generation of social media to the test and asked if any of them took the time to read a Tinder bio. The results:
57% usually read a Tinder bio
43% hardly ever read a Tinder Bio
So, I guess it’s a hit-and-miss situation: just over half of swipers will read your bio while a big chunk of users will swipe yes or no dependent on your looks from the get-go. The bottom line really is that Tinder and modern dating is all about polished photos like the rest of society. We’re obsessed with how we look for a reason as our appearance is the advert in the shop window that draws people inside. When they are drawn instead, the true quality of the merchandise is quickly revealed. With the amount of cosmetic procedures available on the market now (and there is a lot), anyone can be stunning but no one can be you.
Let’s not pretend that society isn’t a changed place now. Nobody is going to walk up to you in the middle of a cafe and ask you on a date like the old times, even if they did we would probably think they’re being weird and decline anyway. There is a reason why relationships are shorter and as a society we are more anxious and depressed, our faces are in our phones 90% of the time and chances are we’ve seen 20 photoshopped model images and compared ourselves to 10 Instagrammers before 9am. Cheating is easier than ever, finding a new partner is as simple as a few swipes on Tinder, so commitment seems almost impossible to most young people. Our ancestors won’t have had the anxiety of seeing your boyfriend/girlfriend liking someone else’s Instagram pictures of finding Tinder installed on their phone.
We’re deep into a society that tells us that if you aren’t attractive you don’t get the time of day; if you’re Instagram isn’t glowing with pretty pictures then nobody cares what you’re up to. It’s so sad. I applaud the 57% who take time to dig into the personality of someone but this is usually only the case if someone is attractive enough to deem them interesting. Obviously beauty has always been essential and people have forever been judges for how they look, I just feel like it is so much more competitive now. Even the most beautiful models in the world are photoshopping their Instagram images to look better. So, yes we live in a f*cked up society but we need to take a step back now and then to realise that it’s all fake.
Next time when you’re swiping through Instagram or Tinder and you pass a photo of someone beautiful, try to imagine the realities of their life: their sadness, their struggles and the moments where they’ve just woken up with a hangover and look awful. Someone could be smiling in a photo and be suffering from severe depression, posting holiday pictures when they haven’t left the house in weeks.We’re judging people from a few images on a Tinder account which is around 10% of their life, with a few filters on for added fakery. You cannot judge someone from a photo.