On: Tinder, etc.

Last month, I divulged the inner-workings of my brain in terms of commitment issues that aren’t actually commitment issues so I could preface this (not so intimidating) post about Tinder – the notoriously shallow dating app created for folk that enjoy objectifying members of the opposite sex in their spare time. Like everyone else, I originally decided to ~amp up~ my telephone device (read: download the app) because my overbearing roommate and I were bored. However, (also like everyone else), this quickly escalated into something more.

When I began using the app back in November, I spent hours upon hours nuzzled against a bag of potato chips – sweatpants, hair tied [in a mini ponytail], chilling with no makeup on – carefully selecting who was worthy of a little green heart (1%) and “x”-ing the rest (99%). I truly believed that the “slow and steady wins the race” mentality was applicable to this endeavour; and when I wasn’t carefully distilling every vague element the app offered me, I was reverse-Google-searching screen-capped pictures until I found supporting evidence (LinkedIn profiles, Twitter accounts from 2011, Facebook fan pages, YouTube videos shot in Mongolia, etc.) that verified my pursuit was not a bot and not a felon.

Yes, friends, I had my Tinder methods down to a science.

If he was an objectively ~beautiful~ being but we had more than two mutual friends, I would shed one single tear before swiping to the left. If he had a cute dog I would sometimes give him a chance – but usually not (even though my track record suggests otherwise). If one of our shared interests was Taylor Swift, I automatically assumed he was fishing and did a dramatic hair flip before saying “HELLZ NO”. If he was holding a baby, I blinked approximately 1.5 times before taking a potato chip break and then taking a nap. These were the straight, serious, and unavoidable facts. I accepted them. I revelled in them. I respected them like I would a newborn chow chow puppy. They were sacred and I loved them.

Lol. But seriously. Tinder was so ~important~ to me for those initial couple of weeks because I was freshly 22 and feeling very not-young and very single. I wanted someone to swap Emojis with me/keep me company via iMessage – and considering I seldom leave my house, am too awkward to enjoy myself at parties, and attend events that consist (almost exclusively) of men who like other men, finding someone to fulfil this need is/was a difficult feat. To me, Tinder was not only an accessible (and immediate) solution, but it was also a beacon of hope during lazy life lulls. Plus, coupled with constant physical validation, the entire process seemed like a win-win situation.

Of course, things are never as easy as you’d like them to be, and after two weeks of tirelessly filtering through potentials to no avail, I cleansed my phone (read: I deleted the app) and resumed my life as a non-embarrassing/non-Tinder person.

Like everything else, depriving yourself of something you’re not ready to be deprived of simply drives you back to the enemy – AKA the evil clutches of dating technology. Why would I want to relinquish the constant validation of the “It’s a Match!” screen? Why would I want to pry myself away from the addictive motion of left swipe/right swipe?! I didn’t and I couldn’t. So I caved and reinstalled the app two weeks later – only this time, I refused to be overly selective.

I started off by feeding some Instagram #selfies to Facebook. Then I wrote a new tagline citing that “a limerick is a good way to start a conversation.” Finally, I swiped ~yes~ to 800 guys in Toronto and Brooklyn (yes, I defied Tinder’s geographical settings!!!).
Even though I knew this wasn’t the most productive decision I would make in my life, I honestly couldn’t think of any major repercussions: because whether or not he shared 40 of my friends, fostered a collection of really bad shirtless mirror selfies, or had a 1000 word soliloquy outlining his life story beginning in his mother’s womb, mindless and unfiltered swiping was all in good fun. Plus, if one’s experience of things are truly dependant on ~perspective~, shouldn’t “playing” the “game” in an unserious way lend itself to more preferable results?!

I blurred out the names so you can’t call me a dick for posting these.


The answer turned out to be yes, as “playing” the “game” in an unserious way actually did lend itself to (arguably) more preferable results. After 799 unimportant Tinder matches, 1 not-so-unimportant match, and 100+ limericks, I threw caution to the wind, screen capped [all my limericks], added an American** on Facebook, and deleted the app (for the second time).

Online dating as a whole stigmatizes a notion of desperation; and while I think there are definitely instances where that’s the case (sorry), I believe it is the convenience that makes it such a favourable “activity”. Further to that, I feel like joining Tinder automatically connotes that you’re looking for something specific – and if you make the conscious (and intentional) effort to pursue someone, you already had an end goal in mind before you even started a conversation with them. Whether or not this means you’re a cheater looking for a quick hookup, an emotionally-mature individual looking for a longterm relationship, or a lonely person looking for a therapist, Tinder lets you get right down to business. On the surface, it may all be about a definitive yes or no, but you’ll quickly learn that it has the capacity to create issues much more complicated and vague than things that happen IRL.

Let me put it this way: Tinder is kind of like one of those appreciative nods you get in passing – except accompanied by prose and/or a dick pic. A right swipe is a fleeting acknowledgement that is based purely off the physical – something that is nice in the short-term, but probably irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. A left swipe is so quick and painless you’ll never feel bad about not getting the validation of a balding 30 year old in an ill-fitting suit – because even if it’s truly a ~missed connection~, you’ll never ever find out, lol!


While I don’t have a positive or negative testimonial about my time on the app, I can say that my Tinder experience(s) taught me that trying to do casual things on a casual platform as a non-casual person is just asking for trouble. Even though my first interactions on the app left me ashamed, vulnerable, and speaking in whispers, they were also more in-line with who I am as a person (super mindful/calculated/aware). The results may have been predictable, but at least they didn’t make me feel like a cop-out.

While I won’t go into detail about the aforementioned not-so-unimportant match from part 2 of my Tinder antics, I can divulge that weeks after meeting him IRL, he continues to lurk somewhere in Brooklyn – unaware that he can’t have his cake and eat it too *emoji shrug*. And despite that depressing tidbit, I still wouldn’t change anything about my Tinder escapades. Even after considering all the emotional turmoil I’ve been through over the past couple of months, I have great stories – and maybe that’s all that matters. (I also have a practical black hair tie that is currently holding up my mini ponytail, a heightened knowledge of season one of The O.C., and 100 screenshots of original limericks).

I’m already over my allotted word count and therefore am in no position to speak any further about this topic (lol), but let me just say that Tinder has once again reclaimed it’s allotted 26mb of space on my phone. While I don’t really have any intention of using it in a serious (or an unserious way), simply knowing that it’s there is kind of comforting. However, before you contact TLC for a My Strange Addictions feature, just know that the next time I’m looking for company, I’m going to seek it out in IRL first – because I don’t trust Tinder geography.


Until next time!


+ On: Commitment Issues That Aren’t Actually Commitment Issues
+ On: Why 2013 Was The Biggest Year Of My Life

**To anyone considering downloading Tinder: If you’re not a casual person, do not use this app when you’re 555km away from home.**

One Comment

  1. Big Baby
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I love this a lot, really enjoying these ~personal~~emotional~ posts and can relate 100%. Look forward to more!

    Perpetually non-casual and anxious big baby.

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