Tinder for me has been what can only be described as a strained relationship. It has resulted in one date that was fine and didn’t lead to anything in the combined four months’ worth of use it has gotten. The problems with Tinder are numerous, but I don’t think that it has to be so problematic.
My first problem is that so often bios are left empty or filled with very little someone could talk about. Tinder is very appearance-focused but when you have decided that you like the appearance, you need a bio to keep the conversation going. Among the “420 friendly” and the strange need to list one’s height is a wasteland of lackluster information that says very little about the person. Generic things like, “I like adventures,” denote to me that I should take out my sword and find us a dragon. Whether or not you like books tells me very little about who you are. What little I can ask you is relegated then to whether you would join me in slaying a dragon or what book/author you most enjoy. But I also can hardly criticize because I have found myself guilty of a vague and general bio. The problem is that we freeze up when asked to describe ourselves. We find it easier to just say that we are the proud owner of a dog or a cat and that we may enjoy weed than giving away something of substance. A huge part of the problem is the fact that meaningful connections through any small snippet of a person are incredibly difficult.
My second problem is the number of times a conversation starts with a single word. Hi. A word that is clipped and useless in actually starting a conversation. Not only is it boring, but it also tells me that you didn’t really bother to read anything that I bothered writing. “Hi,” is lazy. “Hi,” says you want to start a conversation but couldn’t be bothered to ask me anything. But again, this problem is caused because there is an awkwardness that comes with trying to approach a romantic interest. I am also guilty of the stilted “hey” dropped into the messages. When bios are short and a lot of people are looking for casual hangouts or new friends based on pictures, we find ourselves entirely at a loss of what to say.
Ultimately, it really should not have to be this way. In my opinion, the problem is not with the way “this generation fails to connect.” For me, the problem lies in the fact that we all try to make as many connections as possible should one of them somehow be “the one.” We spread ourselves thin over tons of possibilities just in case one connection is dropped. But this means that we put less effort into meaningful details. We have five dating apps each for different things and we don’t spend much time editing any of them. In the end, Tinder fails to help any of these problems. They keep the bios short and show you the picture before anything else. But I don’t think they are the sole cause of the problem. Sometimes, we all just need to slow down and take more time to put some effort into the important things.