Tinder: what you need to know about using the mobile dating app in Ireland

Katie Drea

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Romantic Movie by B_Earth_Photos (Flickr)
Romantic Movie by B_Earth_Photos (Flickr)

Dating:  February can be a lonely month. You’ve just gotten over the dreaded January blues, paid off that Christmas credit card bill and next thing you realise; you’re single, yet again, for Valentines day and dating is the last thing on your mind.

Friends have nights in and out planned with their other half and you find yourself at a loose end down the pub trying not to look at the couple who are getting it on, directly in your eye line. What can you do?

Well, don’t fret because you are not the only one and the great news for you; there is a place all these young singles hang out; its called Tinder.

It seems that Internet dating used to be something reserved for the desperate, but mobile dating apps like Tinder are revolutionising the way we date.

I saw you on tinder by Denis Bocquet (Flickr)
I saw you on tinder by Denis Bocquet (Flickr)

So, you are just out of a long term relationship, you are determined to get back on the horse, but you haven’t bought someone a drink in a bar in a while, tinder may be the place for you. Downloading the app on you mobile phone is free and you can sign up through Facebook, which means your profile pictures are used as your tinder account photos. The app also shows if you have mutual friends with the person, this can be helpful to avoid swiping right on your exs second cousin.

Tinder was launched in 2012 and allows you to match with fellow tinder users within an 80km distance, which is pretty far. You can also change your age range, avoiding seeing your cheating neighbours profile. Yes, it’s easy to sign up but does it work? Can you actually find love on tinder?

Unlike other dating websites tinder demands little information about you, filtering only your age limit and distance. This means that when you open your tinder app you can match with anyone within the radius you have chosen. Weather or not you have everything or, nothing in common with that person.

Dating App by B_Earth_Photos (Flickr)
Dating App by B_Earth_Photos (Flickr)

With such little information needed to set up an account one criticism that Tinder with is faced is that: you are basically judging people 100% on their looks, and by their looks, we mean how good they are at taking a selfie. This makes tinder truly superficial and means that, if you’re hot you will get on better. Anyone who has been in relationship will tell you, that looks only play a very small part when choosing his or her partner. This can be disheartening for people whose looks take second place to their personality, which can be most people.

Something that proves this point, which I have heard friend’s say time and time again; when they eventually meet the person they have been messaging through tinder, there can sometimes be a lack of chemistry, butterflies, and that spark we so crave may not be there. This of course is something that Internet dating sites have not yet been able to recreate and maybe it’s a good thing. There is nothing like meeting someone in a bar or club, five tequilas in.

This brings me to another reservations people seem to have about tinder. Is it really suitable for a culture of people who usually don’t go on dates? Irish people like to let the love grow naturally and although in other countries dates are the norm, in Ireland it is a little different and usually involves a few intoxicated encounters and very chilled out tea visits before love kindles. Are Irish people ready for this dating scene that we have only encounters on our TV screens? How many people do you know that have actually met on tinder? How many would tell you? As Ireland becomes more and more integrated into the Americanisation of the world, we will have to wait and see how many long lasting relationships emerge from this scene?

Love lock- Paris France by Dustin Gaffke (Flickr)
Love lock- Paris France by Dustin Gaffke (Flickr)

Talking about screens, brings me to catfishing, ever watched the TV show? It’ll scare the life out of you. Now I know people are pretty clued in when it comes to catfish on tinder, a green photo here, a over muscular doctor photo there. What I am talking about is someone who says they’re about 6 foot and turn out to be about 5 foot 3 in heels. Yes, we all know men lie about their height, but come on guys. Then there are the guys who only want one thing. Of course you’re going to get people like this on sites like Tinder, but maybe it would be more gentlemanly to state that you are in fact only looking for a one-night stand on your tinder account. Talking to users of Tinder who have fallen victim to this “one night stand scam” Laura says that, “It seems like guys who are in the city for the night will see if you want to go for drinks or dinner. Maybe we are just Naïve to the fact that these guys are clearly just looking for casual sex. I would say many people are just on Tinder for this reason only.”

Of course there are plenty on legitimate people on this app, just looking for someone who doesn’t just want to “netflix and chill” with but eat a Pizza too. Its just a case of gauging conversation and if you think they sound too good to be true, well, they probably are. That’s the thing, is Tinder just for fun or can you find true love trough your iPhone scene? Is Ireland ready for this and will it ever be something that will over take the traditional way of finding a partner? These are things we will have to wait to play out over time, but for now, if you’re feeling lonely get on the app store, download Tinder and get swiping.

If you would like to know more about what Dating apps like Tinder are doing to our love lives check out Vice documentary called The Mobile Industry.

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Katie Drea

  • Anonymous

    Nice way to start dating I think am gonna give it a try..