lifestyle

Will this app revolutionise sex and dating for straight people?

By LUCY ORMONDE

“Tinder said we’d make beautiful kids, so let’s go for drinks before we make Australia’s Next Top Model.”

That’s the message a girlfriend of mine received from a prospective date when she recently signed up for the dating app everyone’s talking about. And no, I’m not lying.

Welcome to the world of dating in 2013, where pickup lines are less “Heaven must be missing an angel” and more “have you ever been with a submissive before?”

If you’ve never heard of Tinder then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? it’s about time you did.

Because everyone’s Tindering. Apparently. And if you’re single, or think there’s reason to believe you could be sometime in the future, here’s what you need to know.

Tinder has been hailed as the “fuss-free” app that is revolutionising the dating world.  And if the number of people who are using it is anything to go by; then it might just be working.

The way it operates (or at least, here’s my understanding of it) is that you sign up using your existing Facebook profile. The app then pulls data from your page to create a new Tinder profile that includes a few photos (of your choice), your age and the number of mutual friends and mutual interests you have with any person who views your Tinder profile.

Tinder then matches you to other users geographically – similar to the way other dating apps like Blendr and Grindr do. As users’ profiles pop up on your screen, you simply swipe the phone to the right if you ‘like’ and to the left if you don’t.

Tinder

When two people independently like each other’s profiles, the app generates an “it’s a match” message and allows the users to start chatting and, you know, possibly fall in love.

Tinder

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According to research subjects (AKA friends) who are using Tinder, it’s the mutual friend aspect that makes the app so very appealing. That’s because it allows them to phone said mutual friend (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire style) and check whether or not the person they’re chatting to is in fact a serial killer (or has a psycho ex).

“It makes you feel like they’re more of a real person when you know that they hang out with the people you do,” says one of my mates. In short? Tinder is basically like your mates setting you up on a blind date. Except it’s not blind. And you don’t actually set it up.

The app’s CEO Sean Rad (yes, his name is Rad. Rad) said that Tinder was started to enable single people to meet their friends’ other single buddies – but without the rejection people fear when they meet people in real life. “We started Tinder because we realised there are a lot of tools that help humanity build stronger bonds with the people we already know,” Rad said. “But there’s been a lack of focus around helping us as individuals meet people we don’t know.”

And it’s the same feeling from my friends and colleagues who are using the app, who say that meeting people from the comfort of a phone is the online equivalent of roughly 10 vodkas. The app’s apparently been responsible for 75 million matches and at least 50 engagements since it was first released…  so it can’t all be as cringe-y the aforementioned let’s-make-Australia’s-Next-Top-Model boy.

According to my friends (one of whom has been on three successive dates with someone she met after a successful swipe to the right) there are four rules for success on Tinder:

1. Be open minded and don’t take it personally if you like Mick or Steve’s profile and they don’t like you back. (Just quietly, we hear Mick hurts puppies and Steve had bad breath).

2. Be strategic. Do your research. Phone a friend if necessary. And don’t be afraid to engage in a little Facebook stalking where necessary.

3. Meet in public. Because SAFETY.

4. And finally, it’s all about the profile picture. And that’s incredibly sad but true. (If anyone out there has created a dating app that focuses on personality, email us!!) No selfies. Nothing half-naked. No group photos because it’s too hard to tell which one you’re looking at.

And that leads us to our final story. A colleague at work was recently perusing her matches when she received a message. “Do you like what you see,” the user asked. She replied: “Yeah, but the supplementary shot of your wife in a wedding dress is a bit of a turn off”.

Hmmm….

Would you ever use a dating app? Have you used a dating app? Has technology made it easier or harder to meet the right person? 

Note: This is not a sponsored post, nor have I ever used Tinder. The MM team and I have just heard of a lot of people who have, so we decided to investigate….

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