On the train on the way to work, in line, at the supermarket checkout, or in the evening when I couldn’t sleep: I used Tinder almost everywhere. The number one dating app from the USA made waiting times more entertaining and entertained me very well. The principle is simple: the application shows you hundreds of photos of flirtatious people. If you like the profile displayed, swipe to the right with your thumb. If you don’t like it, swipe left. If two people “like” each other, a “match” arises. Only then does a chat box open and you can contact them directly.
I didn’t think much when installing the application. I was not looking for great love, nor did I want to share my bed with the next best thing for a short adventure. Much more it was the curiosity to find out what is actually behind this hyped platform. The figures alone prove that the concept of the dating app seems to work: 20,000 new users register every day. Users rate each other 800 million times a day. This results in 10 million matches. Incredible! And to be completely honest: At a time when analog flirting methods have become rare, since we stare into our smartphones while walking, driving by train or waiting at the traffic lights, we – and so do I – now enjoy this kind of attention digitally . Because somehow every match calls out: Someone thinks you’re hot!
How many matches actually result in a conversation or how often a real meeting takes place at some point is unfortunately not apparent from the figures published by Tinder. Let alone how many people actually find each other through Tinder and get into serious relationships. One thing is clear: the media primarily convey the image of a dating platform on which the romantic aspect is of secondary importance. Very few are looking for a partner for life here, but many are looking for fun for a night, at least that’s the general tenor. I also adapted this opinion. After all, on Tinder you see more men or women on your smartphone in 20 minutes than on a nightly bar tour through the city. The competition is therefore great and so is the distraction. This crackling that the app promises – Tinder translates as detonator – cannot be sustained for long online. New chat windows open quickly, you write with several people in parallel and with some you don’t write at all quite quickly.
It was early March 2015 when I was sitting on the train on my way to work with these thoughts about the dating app. At that time, Tinder had been on the phone for almost two weeks. This morning, too, I pushed the pictures of strange men between the ages of 25 and 30 from right to left. The consultation of the app was already integrated into my daily routine shortly after the installation. For what seemed like forever I didn’t like any of the profiles displayed. Am I really that picky or do only men sign up for Tinder who don’t get any in real life? I asked myself, wiping away the men I saw in the same rhythm. Among those rejected were men with bare chests who posed in front of the mirror or in front of flashy cars. Or guys with babies and cute kittens in their arms – also pretty embarrassing. But the worst I found clearly those who grinned drunk with a bottle of beer and red eyes into the lens and at best hugged a strange, pretty but equally tipsy young woman. Can it be even less attractive?
When I had hardly looked more closely at the pictures from the sheer wiping routine, my thumb stopped abruptly. Chris, 26, wore a mint green t-shirt on his profile picture that emphasized his muscular chest.