Thursday, 9 April 2015

How Tinder Ruined Your (my) Life

97 days porn-free.

For the purposes of this post, and in the interest of not writing 'one' the whole time and sounding like a tool, please substitute the words 'you' and 'your' for 'I,' 'me,' and 'my' where appropriate. If Tinder has ruined you in the same way, then you can of course leave the original words in place.

So you gave up porn over three months ago. 'Great,' you thought (and wrote), now I will have so much more time for other things. 'But how will I achieve sexytime?' another voice said. 'Not to worry, just download Tinder. There are all these hot girls looking for sex the whole time. It's easy and fun!'

And so it began. You downloaded Tinder. You took ridiculous selfies and tried to write a profile that made you sound interesting yet exciting, vulnerable yet tough, and up for senseless shagging yet not a creep. You spent (too) many waking hours flicking through hundreds of pictures of women of various descriptions. You read articles on how to improve your profile; you took yet more selfies; you started to seriously consider paying for the primo service; you stopped reading books or going outside, you now spent all of your available free time on Tinder, mindlessly flicking pictures of strangers left and right.*

And then you realised: Tinder is a stupid waste of time and that it was starting to take over your life. And here's how.

It promised you sex. Why else would you spend inordinate amounts of time staring blankly at your phone? Cos you're a little bit lonely (violins) and Tinder tacitly told you that if you just carried on, you would eventually get sex. In the back of your (stupid) mind, you thought this wild and abundant sex would obviously lead directly to love and deep mutual understanding. Then you realised that most of the women on Tinder are there for entertainment value and/or reside f***ing miles away and there is zero chance that you will ever even meet them, let alone get to know them (in the biblical sense).

It made you shallow.* How can you decide whether you like someone in a split second from one photo? That's right, you can't. Tinder has boiled down all of attraction, flirting and romance into a binary (and usually arbitrary) 'yes' or 'no'. In a way, it's just being (brutally) honest, but in another it's turning us all into shallow idiots who truly believe that surface beauty is all that matters. Who cares if they're a terrible person? They've got tight buns and a tan.

* It caused you to coin the acronym SIF (Secret Internet Fattie) and enabled you to identify them from a photo of their (surprisingly thin) face almost 90% of the time. Although essential for Tinder survival, you are clearly now shallower than a punctured paddling pool.

It made you stupid. Remember when you used to read books, play an instrument and write short stories? No. You don't. Cos now you spend every spare minute just hoping that if you swipe enough, you'll get a match, and that if you get a match, you'll get sex and if you get sex...&c. &c. Due to spending all of your time on said app, you've now been reading the same book for four months and your guitar has left you.

It made you into a (bigger) creep. So you gave up porn because you wanted to stop objectifying women and getting off on something you thought was wrong. You patted yourself on the back when you managed to cut it out of your life. Then you started getting off on pictures of women you don't even know who had no (or very little) intention of being ogled. You even nearly wanked over it one time (true story)! Sooner or later, you'll have to admit that it is filling the void left by porn and that you're going to have to give Tinder up, too. What is up with you, son?

It showed you riches.* In the old days, when you were alone, you were alone. Sure, you were lonely, but at least you couldn't see what you were missing. Then came Tinder and showed you woman after beautiful woman that you had not the slightest chance of (probably) ever meeting, let alone talking to. This is one of the key dispiriting things about Tinder: if you don't 'match' with someone, you can't speak to them. So even when you see a woman who you think looks amazing and swipe her right, the odds are that you will not only not get to speak to her, but that you'll never see her again. Cue you feeling ten times more lonely than before, wishing that you'd never started and listened to a Tina Turner tape instead.

* “If I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor.” – from Sit Down by James.

It made you almost take a dick selfie. A dick pic? Seriously? WTF were you thinking, you perv? But this is where it got you. You thought it was just you and that girl messaging each other. You thought it would be hot. You forgot that the internet is MASSIVE and that once you send something out there, it could be (here) there (and everywhere) for the foreseeable, potentially blighting your future forever more. Not to mention that even taking a dick pic is a low-grade activity in its own right.

It stopped you talking to actual women. Just like porn in days gone by, it became a crutch: something to fall back on in the absence of actual human contact. Tinder removed the need to go out and meet real people because you felt like you were 'meeting' them all the time. As with porn, this was a lie. There is no substitute for meeting people face-to-face; for hearing their voice and looking in their eyes. Tinder will never give you (any of) this no matter what it says on the tin.

So what to do? Delete the app? Go outside? Get some nuts? Probably all of the above. I will soon, I promise. Just. One. More. Swipe.

No comments:

Post a Comment