Love me Tinder: Reflecting On the App that's Catching Fire

written by: Katherine Caspersz

There are so many podcasts out there (available on iTunes or similar music sharing sites), from so many different companies (CBC Radio One, BBC Radio, etc), and it seems like people have quite a few misconceptions around how difficult it can be to create a podcast (I know I did). Thinking about it in the beginning, I thought “Okay, all I have to do is sit down, and record myself talking. Easy enough.” But I was severely wrong about that.

Before you can even think about recording your podcast, you have to have a topic to talk about in your recording. A successful podcast can’t just be about everyday musings and opinions (with some exceptions); it should raise questions, examine human nature, and/or make us think about all the things we interact with every day (nature, technology, other human beings, etc). So I decided to do a podcast on the topic of love in 2015, and the various “vehicles” of love (like Tinder, which my podcast focuses on). Once I had my topic (or a vague idea of what my topic would be), I realized I had no idea where to start with creating the podcast. The first place to start, as I learned throughout the duration of the WRIT 1004 course, is with the research.

My research began slowly, but picked up speed quickly. I decided the best way to learn about Tinder (since I am in a relationship and had never tried the app before), was to put myself on it. I have to say, “super-likes” (where a person of the sex you are interested in doesn’t just like you by swiping the screen to the right, but swipes in an upward motion to “SUPER”-like you) are quite flattering.

And I will admit that I lied a bit in my profile (as I’m certain many of the users do). I exaggerated a bit when I called myself a “yogi” and “ballet dancer” (I’ve only taken about 11 yoga classes in my entire life, and even less ballet classes). I realized while on the app that the way to “play” the dating game is to, essentially, sell yourself. So that’s what I did.

In the end, I got a total of 9 matches (which my boyfriend was very unhappy about). A few of them tried to make conversation, and actually seemed interested in talking with me, rather than just hooking up (which was honestly all I expected when I joined the app). They did eventually ask for my number, and I did have to politely withhold it.

My experience on Tinder made me a bit sad for the state of meeting people in 2015. Why is it weird to strike up a conversation with a stranger in real life? Most of the people I interviewed for my podcast—given the choice of meeting a person in real life or through social media— decided that they would rather meet and converse with strangers through the latter. Two out of the seven interview subjects would prefer, in theory, to meet people face-to-face.

I’m sure there are still people who have relationships that started with them meeting their significant other as a stranger in public. But I don’t know of any that have started that way.

It seems that, today, the way you present yourself online (through your social avatar) has a huge effect on what kinds of relationships you create.