For many in society, the mere concept of Tinder represents everything that is wrong with dating in the modern era. Living in a world where people swipe left, or swipe right, and judge whether or not they want to date someone based purely on the picture that stares back at them from their smart phone, seems horrifically shallow to say the least. I know there are written profiles on Tinder now, but does anyone actually ever read those? I mean, who really has the time for that when there are so many six packs waiting to be seen in unkempt bathroom mirrors?
Now don't get me wrong. I've been as hard of a critic towards Tinder as anyone over the past few years. Maybe it's just because I don't have a six pack and am jealous. Or maybe it's because my bathroom mirrors are always filthy and smudged, causing women to see my six pack as a distorted spare tire. But regardless, I really, really, really want a six pack! Oh wait, that wasn't my point. Where was I? Ah, yes, being a strong critic of the Tinder scene.
One lonely night, as I started to drift into a fantasy world where I looked like Channing Tatum on Tinder, I started thinking to myself, the concept of Tinder really isn't new to society. Men and women have been always been "Tinder-ing." It just never took place on a phone until now.
When a single man approaches a single woman at a bar that he is interested in, he approaches her based purely on his physical attraction to her. Unless of course, he is creepily eavesdropping on her eye-opening and brilliant discussion of Dostoyevsky. In that case, please ask yourself, why is this woman talking about Dostoevsky in a bar before proceeding. But otherwise, there is no profile in the real world to gage what a woman's personal interests are. A man approaching a woman at a bar doesn't know if she considers herself to be an eclectic foodie, a bi-curious wrestling fanatic or a re-born Scientologist that once had a regretful affair with John Tesh. Sorry, Mr. Tesh.
When the woman in question decides whether or not to accept said man's approach, sure, the delivery and approach of the man can play a role in her responsiveness, but more often than not, her response will largely be based on her initial physical attraction to the man. If the man passes her initial attraction test, she will swipe right in her mind and the courtship begins. If not, she swipes left, and he walks back to his friends, either embarrassed, or bragging about how he "totally would have got her number bro, but she had a boyfriend."
In fact, men and women have been "Tinder-ing" since the dawn of mankind, when the first cavemen approached the first cavewoman. If the man seemed like enough of a protector, and could wrestle a lion with his bare hands, he was invited back to her cave. If not, he was clubbed over the head. Or at least that's how I like to imagine it.
When it comes down to it though, Tinder isn't much different from "real life." In many social situations, we tend to approach people based on our initial physical attraction to them. We do so with the hope that similarities, chemistry and commonalities will develop from there. Sometimes we put ourselves in better positions to make this happen, by joining social groups with people of similar interests, or by asking friends and families of similar backgrounds to set us up. But regardless, whether or not our interests line up is not the initial concern -- attraction is.
When all is said and done, it is easy to write Tinder off as the death of romance. Yes, it can be shallow sometimes. Yes, you should probably make sure you have a health clinic nearby if you meet a man with one of those beautiful mirror six packs on there. And yes, there are many people on Tinder who are just after sexual relations. But if there is one thing we need to admit, it is that we have been "Tinder-ing" as a society since the beginning of time. The only difference being, the swipe left and swipe right took place solely in our minds.