Tinder has completely changed how we use technology to find potential mates. It's taken online dating completely mainstream. Almost every youngster I know from about 16 years old now has a Tinder profile and it really seems to be the way people from many generations can now seek new connections without shame. The beauty of it is that, with mobile GPS technology, you are introduced to people who live nearby to you to avoid geographic incompatibility. You can even see how far away the person is from you as you're messaging them. Of course there are downsides to this geographic bit too - many parents, myself included, are terrified that this will help child predators to move closer to our kids. We have to teach them how to protect themselves from this!
You sign up on the Tinder app but have to have a Facebook page that it generates photos and authentication from so there's a better chance that you're dealing with real people. Of course the real tricksters will make up fake Facebook pages first and then create a Tinder profile as the lure, but that's those bad people in the world. As part of your sign-up process you choose some of your facebook pics to be shown on Tinder, then write up a shortish profile description to make yourself more interesting, or to discourage people who want different things from you. You also specify an age and gender range of people that would interest you...and you're off!
Here's my (latest) version. Any modification input welcome :):
I'm 46. Married. Separated. But Co-parenting with my Husband (complicated, but works for us). Businesswoman. Mother. Save-the-world soapbox chick. Down to earth. Real. I enjoy savouring life's treasures. Bush getaways. Sunday morning paper and coffee. Soulful connections. New places. New experiences. Time to live life!
It's quite an instant and quite superficial 'picking' process. You see a pic of the guy, and either swipe left or right, depending on whether you're interested or not. You have the option of pressing 'i' to read his short profile and see more photos if they have included any, just to get a deeper sense of the guy. If you 'pick' him AND he 'picks' you, then 'It's a match': you can start chatting to each other on the messaging function.
For instance, yesterday, I found a gorgeous man called Alesandro. His pics did look a little too good to be true (glamour shots always a bit suspect), but I hit 'Like' anyway. We 'had a match!' a few hours later. When I next went into his profile to say hello, I saw that he was suddenly '1749 miles' away. So that was my opening question - how did he suddenly get so far away? He unmatched me moments later. Hmmmm.....was it something I said? Did he just read the 'small print' on my profile and decide to exit? Hated the rest of my photos? Or did my question show that I was an astute chick sussing out the 'talent' and was worried I'd catch him out, so decided to not waste time trying to con me? Thank you John, for making me so VERY suspicious of the predators out there!
Shew - you have to be quite bullet proof if you're planning on seriously surfing Tinder to find a mate. People can unmatch you any time. If the conversation seems like it's just not your thing...one click and....it's history. I've had a few boys unmatch me even before we started talking. Which is a bit disconcerting to say the least...Hey! WTF! You don't even KNOW me yet.! Should I change my pics? Maybe my profile is too boring? Ugh....practice handling rejection? Join Tinder!
And so I have started doing the same thing. Any boy who doesn't make an interesting connection with me within 24 hours? Unmatch. A conversation that feels like we're totally on different planets? Unmatch. Weak grammar and spelling? Unmatch. If this is a ruthless place to play, then I am going to learn ruthlessness from it. No more of this letting people down gently bit. I haven't had one man do that to me yet, and I've been incredibly kind and gentle in all my letdowns. No more. The Tinder 'Me' is warrior woman: You Snooze, You Lose. Capture my imagination or we're history, dude!
Met a nice boy this morning. Ivan. Afrikaans. Successful. Cute. Quirky, funny profile which speaks of intelligence...funny rejoinders and good repartee...Hasn't unmatched me yet. 6 miles away. So far he ticks all first connection boxes. Let's see how he manages the next 24 hours!
Oh oh oh.....then this morning. at 1.32 AM. I find a message from Berlin. "Trudy? Can I tell you something?"
My reading is that he found some very Dutch courage at the bottom of some great bottles of wine. And was ready with whatever truthful revelation he finally found to share with me: "I'm in love with another woman." "My wife is pregnant and I'm going home to be a real husband.""I'm Gay." "I'm actually dying of cancer." "I was messing with you that whole time we played online - I actually don't like you at all." "I fell in love with you but was too afraid to tell myself that, let alone you. So I disappeared instead." Could be absolutely anything. But then his courage dissipated in the light of day. So I get media silence instead.
Talk about a cliffhanger!