Tinder, as infamous as it is, has become the cultural norm as far as dating goes among the under-30 set. Meeting a potential date or hookup on the app has become almost more normal than meeting them through any other medium, virtual or otherwise.
Last weekend, when I told my 30-year-old stepsister I had a date (with someone I met at a bar), her first reaction was, “Ooh, from which app?”
Tinder has replaced love at first sight with “Hey, u up?” at first swipe, and with somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000 paying users alone, it has done a damn good job of doing so.
This week, Tinder made headlines when it acquired Humin, a San Francisco-based app that combines your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts with the numbers saved in your phone in order to consolidate your contacts.
“We want to bring a human touch to our online interactions,” Humin says on their website.
Tinder can buy all the apps dedicated to “bringing a human touch” that it wants, but doing so won’t make Tinder any more personal.
Despite the handful of Tinder profiles claiming, “if ur looking for a one-night stand, keep swiping,” Tinder is a superficial app. It always has been, and it always will be. Any app or any other entity that asks you to make a two-second judgment on someone based almost entirely on appearances is inherently shallow.
Tinder’s users pick which other users they want to interact with based on two to six photographs depicting what the other user looks like physically. How someone can create a long-lasting relationship based off of a couple of mirror selfies and a tiger picture escapes me. While Tinder profiles also feature bios, they usually don’t get any deeper than listing one’s height, Instagram name and the acronyms for their previous and current cities separated by an airplane emoji, and the ones that do often get skipped over.
According to the Forbes article on the acquisition, Tinder’s founder and CEO Sean Rad hasn’t yet elaborated on how Tinder will change consequently, but has said that it may involve a new feature that allows users to see which other Tinder users are in the same building as they are, instead of simply displaying that the other users are x miles away. This, of course, would make it even easier to hook up with strangers from the Internet.
It should be said that couples have found love on Tinder. Tinder matches have just as much potential to turn into something more meaningful as matches from other apps or people who meet in real life, but Tinder is a hookup app, and shouldn’t market itself as anything other than that. Don’t get me wrong, Tinder is great for what it is – it just shouldn’t try to be anything else.