Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] What’s The Fuss About Tinder? – Vanessa Tai

Tinder is a hot new dating app, and it’s looking to change the face of Internet dating. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? 

I was recently having drinks with fellow Material World co-founders Denise and Lili, when Denise asked me, “Hey, so have you heard of Tinder?” I must have given her a blank stare because she continued excitedly, “It’s this new dating app, but how it works is quite different. Basically, you’re shown profiles of the people within a set distance from you. And because your Tinder account is connected to your Facebook account, it accesses pictures from your Facebook page. If you like what you see, you swipe right. And if you don’t, just swipe left.”

Hmm, interesting. So it’s kind of like playing Hot or Not with a huge pool of strangers. (Well, they aren’t really strangers, since some of these people may be on your Facebook friends’ network.) And c’mon, let’s admit it. Don’t we all secretly play Hot or Not in our minds when we’re out socialising? No? Just me?

Anyway, I was intrigued enough to download and play around with the app that very evening. Here’s my verdict:

1.  It’s so simple

Unlike other dating sites or applications that require you to fill in long questionnaires about your personality, or where you have to sift through hundreds of “I’m juz a simple guy” profiles, Tinder cuts through all the crap to show you what’s most pertinent – how the other person looks. And it’s not about being shallow either. After all, in face-to-face social interactions, the first thing we notice about the other person is their appearance. Yes, of course it can be argued that in real-life interactions, we may look past the person’s looks if he/she is funny or interesting to talk to. But hey, if everyone had the time to go out and meet people, would we still be on Tinder?

2. There’s less risk of rejection 

Although it’s hardly a taboo for women to make the first move anymore, we gotta admit it still stings a little when you “wink” or “wave” at a potential mate, and don’t receive a reply. Or worse, if you crafted a witty and thoughtful message, only to receive … stone cold silence. With Tinder, you’re only taken to the instant messaging feature if both of you swiped to the right. That way, at least both of you are already mildly interested. In the spirit of full disclosure, I only got matched with two guys during my one hour of fiddling around with Tinder, but we didn’t message each other in the end. (My excuse? It was 2am. I couldn’t think of anything more witty than a “Hi,” so I decided to roll over and sleep instead. Very romantic, I know.)

3. It eliminates the creep factor

Any woman who’s put herself out there on dating sites will know the horrors that lurk on the interwebs. From obscene pictures to persistent messaging, there are some really creepy men out there. I like the fact that on Tinder, the only people who get to message me are people I’ve already sort of “approved”. As an added security measure, you get to see if you have any mutual friends with the dude before swiping right or left. In fact, there were a couple of guys I thought were cute but because they were mutual friends with people I don’t really care to associate with, I swiped left instead.

"Hmm ... cute or not?"

“Hmm … cute or not?”

4. It’s mindless fun 

Because you’re just swiping right and left, it becomes like a game that you whip out any time you have a few spare moments. I downloaded the app onto my iPad, which I hardly bring out with me, so I don’t check in much. But for people who have it on their phones, it becomes something they do to pass time. In fact, some articles indicate that the average user checks the app 11 times per day for seven minutes at a time!

5. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, Tinder probably won’t work for you.

As fun and convenient Tinder is, it’s definitely not the best platform for those looking for a serious relationship. I mean, yes, you could be one of those exceptional cases where you meet the guy offline, hit it off, fall in love, the whole works. But this “swipe, swipe, swipe” style of browsing through potential mates feels more like an online shopping experience than an earnest search for a life partner. I guess Tinder is a nice-to-have tool for our hook-up culture. That said, like a casual hook-up, it’s fun and stress-free but ultimately not very fulfilling.

What are your experiences like with Internet dating? Share with us in the Comments section below or Tweet me at @VannTaiTweets! 

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. 

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Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Where Are All The Great Guys? – Vanessa Tai

Lest you think this is going to be one of those posts lamenting the dearth of good men, let me assure you – it’s not. This is a genuine call for assistance. Where are all the great guys??? With our increasingly hectic lifestyles, we’re lucky if we manage to squeeze in time to meet our friends and family, so finding time to meet new people and date can be challenging.

There seems to be this preconceived notion that singlehood is synonymous with being lonely, but I’m truly too busy to be lonely. Any free time I have is guarded jealously, and I don’t particularly fancy spending it with somebody whose company I don’t enjoy. But how long can I be busy for, though? What happens when I’m old and arthritic? Wouldn’t I want a loved one I can rely on then (but wouldn’t he be old and arthritic too)?

Please don't let this be me!

Please don’t let this be me!

Then again, it’s not that I have not tried “putting myself out there” (whatever that even means.) I have tried the following avenues of dating, all to varying degrees of success.

1. Getting Friends To Introduce You To Their Friends

Pros: You can take comfort knowing the guy you’re meeting has your friend’s stamp of approval. (That’s not to say he won’t turn out to be a jerk though. I once went out with this guy introduced by my best buddy and he turned out to be grossly chauvinistic.)

Cons: If things don’t pan out between you and the guy, more people will be involved in the post-relationship awkwardness.

2. Group Dating Events

Pros: Even if you don’t find someone special, you may end up making a few good friends.

Cons: Similar to blind dates, the people at group dating events generally give off an air of unease and discomfort. #TrueStory

3. Online Dating

Pros: You get to scroll through literally hundreds of profiles in the comfort of your home, using snazzy algorithms to narrow your choices to people who fit most closely to your ideal of the perfect mate.

Cons: There are plenty of creeps lurking on online dating sites. #AnotherTrueStory

4. Clubbing

Pros: With everybody being a little inebriated, the conversation will flow more easily.

Cons: While I get that people do meet the loves of their lives in clubs and other similar social settings, the fact remains that most people go to clubs looking for something casual. Call me old-fashioned, but if you’re looking for someone to marry or have a long-term relationship with, a club may not be the best option.

5. Engaging In Activities Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

Pros: You get to do and learn something new! Everything else is a bonus.

Cons: Can’t think of any, really.

So you see, it’s not for lack of trying. However, despite my best intentions, it just seems hard to find someone I can genuinely click with. And when I do find that person, more often than not, he’s already attached! But that’s a story for another day.

If you’re reading this and have some ideas on where I can find eligible men (who also happen to be hot hahaha) please drop me a note in the Comments section below!

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Her worst first date ever involved a heated argument on feminism. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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3. [Love In Lines] Singlehood and Self-Pity

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