Swipe left. Swipe right. It matches. Mismatch. Terms that are practically essential to finding love in the middle of 2022, but which just a decade ago would have been anglicisms completely devoid of substance. This week, Tinder is celebrating its tenth birthdayand it is doing so with increasing numbers that do not legitimize its digital rule.
It must be said that Tinder was not the first app dedicated to finding love, but it was the one that managed to shake up the dating market thanks to its easy filtering system and lat a rate at which suitors can be devoured. “This is the ‘dating’ (appointment) revolution,” said the Times in 2014, explaining the phenomenon of this “app” (until then unknown on the rise), while at the same time praising the facilities it provided and condemning it with enormous tone how personal relationships will change. Ten years later, it’s time to reflect: was it a revolution or a failure?
Before and after
The world before and after Tinder “is very different & rdquor ;, confirms the psychologist, sexologist and couples therapist Nuria Zorba. One of the main changes is this “After Tinder, what’s wanted is immediacy“. Namely “there is less flexibility, less adaptability and more demand”.
Carme Sánchez Martín, a clinical psychologist and sexologist, agrees and says that this is because with the advent of the “app” in the “mainstream” it was thought to be the panacea when it comes to meeting new people, a tool with an infinity of possibilities. So if one doesn’t work, throw away quickly. “This is something I see often in my patients & rdquo;, says the sexologist, who adds that sexual relations become “a matter of consumption & rdquor;. He sums it up in the idea of ’use and throw away’, as in ‘supermarket’; where the products are human.
“After Tinder, what’s wanted is immediacy, there’s less flexibility, less adaptability and more search”
Nuria Zorba, psychologist, sexologist and couples therapist
“It’s exhausting because you have to be aware all the time,” says Carla, 41. “If you don’t look at ‘the app’ one day […] maybe your “match” starts talking to another person and that’s it, your very narrow window of opportunity is over & rdquor ;, he laments.
Miguel, 37, agrees, assuring that ““the ghost”.(the sudden disappearance) it is inevitable when you have so much to offer at your fingertips” because you can afford to disappear without giving options and because surely any other “equal or better” will come out. For Silvia, 29, the key is “to be cynical”. “For me, the worst thing that can happen to me is to like someone & rdquo;, he says. “Because then I constantly suffer if I do something wrong. I spent hours of reading my messages before I send them so they’re perfect and don’t lose interest. If I even decide to take a pic in a bikini, so if I screw things up they won’t cancel the ‘match’ because I’m hot & rdquor ; , he jokes.
The “app” encourages you to believe that the next swipe will be the perfect “match”: behavior similar to the “one more spin and I’ll win” slots
On this consumerism of bodies Sociologist and writer Eva Iluz spoke at length. Statistically, “Tinder is an emotional techno-good, that is, a good that provides emotions and uses technology. And it is an emotional techno-commodity that profoundly changes the current forms of socialization & rdquor ;, he assures in an article very critical of these dynamics that are generated in the “app”.
Illusion and disappointment as a commodity
In short, Illouz is saying something obvious but hard to swallow for those still hoping to find love digitally: Tinder is an “app” that works because singleness exists, and therefore your merchandise to prosper are emotional experiences.
need of it let us invest in it with our illusions and hopes, and let them break and so continue in the “app” loop. Even the system of right and left, these “matches” (the reciprocal “like”) made so quickly, forces us not to think, just to receive stimuli and fill with emotions, believing that at the next “swing” ( rejection by swiping left, accept by swiping right) will be the perfect match. Behavior that evokes emotional responses similar to “one more roll and I win” in some slots.
“My cell phone is a dating graveyard: If I put ‘Tinder’ in the search engine, I get more than 20 guys I started talking to and never got anywhere”
Joaquin, 34 years old
This constant stimulation means that, according to Jorba, emotional processes are also short. He compares it to meeting someone through friends: “You meet someone, things go wrong, you absorb it, you get disappointed, you grieve and after a while you meet another person & rdquor ;. But on Tinder, with this constant “matching” and rejections, “duels are chained & rdquor ;, he warns.
“You live with rejection”
“My cell phone is a dating graveyard. If I put “Tinder” into the search engine, I get more than 20 guys that I started talking to and never got anywhere. Reminder of my rejections & rdquor ;, complains Joaquin, 34 years old. Something similar happens to Aitana, 27: “It’s like going to a supermarket where you go to look and throw away, and they look at you and throw away. You live with rejection and it makes you feel exposed and vulnerable. You reject and they reject you in an endless cycle.
“There were no gays in my town and among my friends. Thanks to Tinder, I met people. My whole romantic life is about Tinder.”
William, aged 19 years
Both summarize their experience in the “app” as “satiety“. And it is very common, so much so that it is already talked about Tinder burn. That is, burning out of this dynamic and denying internet flirting. “Hi, how are you?”, “Fine, how about you?” wears me out. step. I will not have unnecessary conversations that will lead nowhere & rdquor ;, says Joaquin. For psychologist Nuria Zorba, it is clear: saturation and exhaustion are the result of the immediate system, which makes emotional digestion difficult by providing so many constant and negative stimuli.
Useful for the LGTBI collective
And while there are sectors where Tinder is demonized, it’s also highly appreciated by those who are just looking for something quick: “Making connections is very difficult, but it’s useful when you want to have a casual or sporadic date,” says Aitana . Also on the LGTBI collective: “There were no gays in my town and in my group of friends. Thanks to Tinder, I met people. My whole romantic life is down to Tinder, literally & rdquo;, says Guillem, 19.
After all, as clinical psychologist Carme Sánchez Martín concludes, “is another tool”, and “has its own language”, and demonizing it is useless: the best thing is to understand its codes and thus adjust expectations to an accessible terrain, so as not to end up damaged, of course.