Dating is, perhaps, the only activity you get a reputation for being good at by being bad at it.(Paradoxically, someone who was great at dating would not need to go on many first dates.) Fortunately for the rest of us, a new generation of Internet entrepreneurs has arisen to make finding love – or at least, finding someone to make out with – as easy as firing off a Snapchat.When people say “online dating,” this is what they mean.
This is another reason Tinder is popular with women: It lets them be just as shallow about online dating as men traditionally have been.
Like Snapchat, Tinder has a reputation for being all about sexting – which is quickly disproven by using it.
According to the Awl’s Tinder glossary, these people are known as “indiscriminate narcissists,” but you can’t argue with results.
Yes, Tinder is all about chemistry, but it turns out chemistry is a volume business.
Users add their most flattering pictures, fill out profiles they hope fall in the sweet spot between “creative” and “boring,” and then answer questionnaires to find people who are similar.
Stereotypes remain: OKCupid is for grad students, e Harmony is for people who want to get married, Farmers Only is for, well, you get it.The mechanics are simple: Sign in with Facebook (no need to invent a witty username), upload some cute pictures and choose your location settings – just as those spammy banner ads promise, you’ll be greeted with an endless array of sexy singles in your area.If you like the look of someone, all you need to do is swipe right on your smartphone (or left if you’re not interested) to get matching.But what if you’re intimidated by the thought of all those strangers?Then you might need Like many apps, Tinder verifies your identity through Facebook, and you can see how many friends you have in common with each of your prospective matches.Once you’ve swiped through them all, you’ve got to wait another 24 hours for the next batch. The second has to do with Hinge’s profile – or lack thereof.(Like a pyramid scheme, you get better rewards – in this case, more matches per day – the more friends you have using the app.) Born out of technological necessity (in the early stages, most users only had a few friends-of-friends using the app) this limiting factor goes against the general trend of dating apps – and of the infinite stream of the web itself. Like Tinder, Hinge connects through Facebook, but it takes this connection a step further.Instead, women rate the guys they know on a scale of 1-10, and then assign them labels from a word bank of hashtags, both positive (#Respects Women) and negative (#Cant Take AHint).The value for women is obvious, if a little creepy. In its year or so of existence, there’s been one pleasant surprise: Most reviewers spend more time recommending date-worthy dudes than anonymously excoriating their exes.This has the curious effect of making everyone less attractive: Most people’s Facebook profiles, scrubbed by years of exposure to grandparents and employers, are flatter, less interesting than their online dating profiles. Hinge announced in February it would soon roll out greater profile customization, but as of mid-March those changes had not arrived.Once it does, maybe more Hinge users will be able to get their foot in the door. Instead, it’s what creator Alexandra Chong calls “a Yelp for boys.” Women can sign up to review their male Facebook friends, whether they’re platonic BFFs, one-night stands or long-term boyfriends – and the whole thing is anonymous.