You’ve probably heard of Tinder by now and know of people who use it.
If you have not, here is a reason to try it: Tinder is a basically a matchmaking mobile app. Users view each other’s profile and swipe left if they are not interested, or swipe right if they wish to get to know the user more.
A “match” happens when both users swipe right and a chat will open up for them to get to know each other better.
And it is becoming increasingly popular with Singaporean youths because it is a fast and convenient way to meet new people with the promise of finding "The One".
However, Tinder is not as perfect as it sounds. Because to date, I have yet to hear of any relationship taking root from the app.
Instead, I get many stories of desperate youths and downright creeps.
Below are experiences of three of my friends: An attractive female student, a hormonal NSF and a homosexual male.
Erica, 20, polytechnic student
I first started using Tinder last year in March because my guy friend was complaining that it's so hard to get matches with girls on Tinder and I wanted to rub it into his face that I could get more matches than him in just a week. However, I deleted it after two months because all the boys were too "thirsty" and kept asking me whether I am "DTF" (down to f***).
What's worse, I actually saw quite a few of my friends who are attached!
I only reactivated it last week because I needed an ego boost and Tinder is a good way to let myself know that guys still find me attractive. But, I decided to delete it again because I was reminded of how meaningless it is as all the conversations are about the same - equally mechanical and routine. Also, the guys are still as disgusting, with no other motives than to get in your pants.
Now that I rid myself of the app, I hope that I'll never see "DTF" again.
Johnathan, 20, NSF
Since I began NS, it is almost impossible for us to meet girls except clubbing, but that takes too much effort and money. That is why I started using Tinder because it is a convenient and free. And in army, there are some days where I really have nothing to do and Tinder is a really good way to kill time. I also won't deny that it gets me excited when I match with a beautiful girl.
I've been on a few dates but nothing fruitful came out of it. There were some who I completely did not click with and others who were disinterested in the date. I suspected that they were just using me for a free meal. I guess it can't be helped because girls are naturally in higher demand so naturally, they will be picky.
Well, I am completely okay with this because right now, I'm not looking to commit. How can I when I do not even have time to do my own things. So, dates without the expectation of a relationship sounds really good to a NSF like me. I'll probably delete the app when I enter university or find something else to occupy me.
Timothy, 22, student in a local university
I've always been using and exploring dating apps because it is harder for us to meet people of the same sexual orientation and we are rarely open about it.
For me, Tinder is a breath of fresh air because it is the Grindr and Jack’d (gay-centric proximity dating apps) with less of the sexual innuendo. I actually get to go through a conversation without been asked what I “seek” or whether I’m a top or bottom.
Also, the gay dating apps are very different from straight ones because many users want to remain discreet so they substitute a picture of their face with their body instead. This is going to sound superficial but sometimes, when they finally send you the pictures of their face, you realise that he is a really old uncle or just not your type. So it is good that you have to log in to Tinder with Facebook so users are forced to show their faces.
I've actually met up with many of my matches. Although there are the few who are clearly only interested in hooking up, I actually manage to make many more friends compared to when I was using the other apps.
That is why I am happy with Tinder and I will continue to use it despite the fact that I've given up on trying to find a boyfriend through these mobile dating apps.
Personally, I’ve used Tinder for more than half a year now: First, it was out of curiosity, then, it became addictive and now, out of habit. The difference from when I first started using the app and now is "hope".
Initially, I would scrutinise each user as I carefully inspected their photos and read every word of their profile description. I even made sure not to sift through the users too quickly in case I accidentally swiped the love of my life to the left.
I never knew swiping my fingers would allow me to connect with many different people: There were those who made me laugh, those who bore me, those who liked me, those who I liked, those who became friends and also those who broke my heart. But I realised that there was one person you will never meet - your soul mate.
Why? A platform of instantaneous communication does not breed heartfelt conversations and longing. Instead, it just allows people to get bored of others easily because there will always be someone else to talk to as you get new matches daily.
Basically, Tinder is where instant gratification flourishes. So if you are looking for just dates or hook-ups, then Tinder is definitely for you.
Learning this, I slowly started to swipe through the photos with much less passion and more callousness before I finally uninstalled Tinder altogether.
Top photo from here