31 Dec 2013

Finding Love On Tinder

One word: Tinder. AKA the fabulously cringeworthy and seedy dating app which has recently taken the UK by storm. And Exeter hasn't missed out on the "fun" either...Maybe I'm in the minority here but I don't really see the appeal, at all. Here are 10 bullet points which explain exactly why I think it's a waste of time and phone data...

1) It encourages people to be shallow
2) It encourages laziness
3) It'll make you paranoid
4) It's addictive
5) You suddenly become boring because all your "chat" revolves around tinder conquests
6) You forget how to act in real-life social situations because you realise you can't swipe left or right
7) Somehow it's now considered OK to use a dating app, even if you're in a relationship
8) You might get tinderitis: (n) the harmful side effect of incessant use of the smartphone app - Tinder. Often diagnosed by a flat battery, blowing your data allowance or a ruined index finger or thumb tendon.
9) Its tagline is "It's like real life, but better". Surely your life would have to suck big time for a silly dating app to be better than real life? Do I smell a whiff of arrogance, Tinder? 
10) If you do get a match, and the person responds, chances are a) they look nothing like they do in their photos, b) you confused him/her for his/her hotter friend who appears in all the pics, c) if they do initiate conversation, they'll probably call you "babe", d) how do you know it's not a prank? (which leads back to point 3 about paranoia).

Tinder encourages people to base their "worth" or "value" on the number of matches they get. It's the epitome of superficiality. Why let the world, AKA a bunch of horny students in a 3 mile radius of you, define your potential? So limiting. 

I read an article recently on businessinsider.com which spoke about how Tinder was thinking of introducing a "trending tool..that highlighted the most popular users on the app at any given time." Imagine how awkward that would be? This algorithm takes into account how active you are on tinder in terms of matches, messages sent etc. So while you're telling all your friends that you hardly use tinder and that it's "just for bants", they may not believe you when you're heading up the leader board on the "trending users" page. Not so subtle now, are we? As one person said: "Ordering a date is pretty much as mundane as ordering food"…But then again, maybe you're quite picky when it comes to ordering food. Maybe Tinder is your opportunity to pick out the caviar from the baked beans in life. Your Sainsbury's Taste the Difference from your Basics. 

"But it's just a bit of fun" you say, or "I do it for shiggles because it's hilaaaarious". My response to that? The majority of us already waste enough of our precious time on Facebook connecting with semi-real friends, that wasting more of it on a site like Tinder with non-friends seems absurd. It's like "Take Me Out" for smartphones. You can't share anything about your life with the other person until you've decided that you "like" what you see. And the likelihood is, you'll just end up being disappointed when their picture-perfect face doesn't have a personality. And all that time spent getting excited about your match could have been better spent investing in more worthwhile activities. Like getting out of your room and meeting people in real-life circumstances.

I'm not for a second trying to undermine the importance of physical attraction - hell, you've GOT to be attracted to someone for a stab at a relationship. If all you're thinking about is putting a paper bag over your significant other's face, then something's not quite right. Maybe swiping someone's face on Tinder is a method of filtering out, of selecting the best gene pool for your future sprog - but how would you feel if someone came up to you in the street and slapped you across the face because they didn't like what they saw? I guess the "beauty" of Tinder is that you can do all that from the comfort of a screen, without knowingly hurting anyone's feelings. But still - it encourages people to stare at someone else's face for a long amount of time and decide whether this person is "good enough" for them. The next time I hear someone say "I'm SOOOO out of his/her league", I'm going to roll my eyes. Did people never learn that there's no such thing as leagues? If there's going to be a league of any sort, there should be a league to distinguish the nice people from the arse holes, not the aesthetically pleasing from the less beautiful.

Let's be honest: our profile pics on Facebook tend to be our best. If you're picking 4 gorgeous pics of yourself where you've gone crazy with photoshop and removed pimples etc., just think about the pressure you're putting yourself under if you do finally meet your date. And if you're treating Tinder purely as an "online only" adventure without physically meeting up, any matches you get are probably because the guy likes the 4 best pics you've ever taken of yourself. He's liking a construction of you. That feeling might make you flutter or make you happy. But when you look at yourself at 7am in the morning with no makeup on, greasy hair and bags under your eyes, you want to be with someone who can see all this, and still want to be with you, no matter what. (Tip: If you haven't quite got the hang of photoshop - see photo on left - there's an iPhone app called Pixtr which is designed to make pictures of yourself more beautiful. Say what??)

If you're single, and this thought is depressing you, please do NOT resort to Tinder. It is attention-inducing and utterly repulsive. Fair enough if you're age 30 - online dating might be your thing. But please don't be sucked into this completely irrelevant and annoying app which only promises awkward confrontations and deception. If that's your thing - by all means, lap it up. But I'll only say "I told you so" when things don't go quite the way you planned….

NB: Maybe you just want to use it for hooking up with buff people, in which case, by all means, the platform is yours. 

NBB: For all the overly-sensitive readers out there, this is supposed to be a slight exaggeration on my real feelings.

20 Dec 2013

Snaphatting "Uglies" and Beyond

Ever since joining the iPhone brigade (I decided that having a Blackberry for 3 years wasn't doing any favours for my social life), I have been taken aback by all the shamazing (thanks Scherzinger for that one) apps I can download in a matter of moments. My silly little crapberry (oh hey autocorrect, stop trying to change it to "cranberry" - that's just insulting!) which unsurprisingly enough, died a most agonising and drawn-out death, is now sitting powerlessly (literally) in my bedside table drawer. Why won't I throw it out? Oh ya know…brings back memories of those times when the battery used to fall out of the back and of me yelling at it to come back to life. #classiccrapberrymoments

And my iPhone (albeit the 4 because I'm stingée) provides much more amusement than my Blackberry ever did. I mean, trying to Google something on a Blackberry is about as fast as snail with a limp. And who uses BBM now anyway? That's soooo last year (and beyond). But now, thank heavens, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of Apple (you know what the doctor says about apples..), which means loads of fun apps to keep me in touch with my sociable side...

My current 'fave' has to be snapchat. I think it's the fact that it's just so simple to use - it cuts to the chase. It doesn't try to over-complicate photo or video sharing or bring in fancy new design features unlike some of its competitors (touch wood/maybe I'm missing out on all the advanced snapchat features cos I iz stoopid). Unlike instagram which involves turning every moment into one of grainy nostalgia, snapchat records moments as they are, dependent on your quality of camera. And the best bit? Those moments are only available for your friends to view for up to 10 seconds! WARNING: if you place yourself in the "I like to send drunken snapchats" category, then this can be incredibly dangerous because you'll have literally no record of its contents on your phone in the morning. 

My new favourite procrastination method is sending "uglies" to members of my family and/or best friends. Of course these "uglies" (i.e. incredibly repulsive selfies) are rarely shared with anyone bar those closest to me. Why is this? Oh you know, the fear that they might get into the hands of a boy I fancy and ruin any chance at a romantic liaison…and I trust my family to love me, even when I'm sporting five chins and rabbit teeth. Although I was slightly put off when I received an update from snapchat, informing me that a few of my "uglies" had been "screenshotted" by said individuals. Let's hope they don't come back to haunt me later on in life…

And most recently I decided to hold an in-house "Miss Mount Bures" (the tiny village I live in) competition. Each one of the lads (aka the sisters - moi, Sash & Rejay) made a 10 second video application via snapchat on why we thought WE should be crowned "Miss Mount Bures". The competition was (slightly) rigged since I was the judge, so, naturally, I sent them back "refused applications" because they didn't fit the "really really good-looking" criteria (Derek Zoolander style). I thought the whole thing was hilarious and cracked myself up in the process. The things one does to avoid essay writing…pfft. #procrastinationbaby.

But imagine a world where you had to impress a future employer over snapchat. Job applications would no longer be the long, drawn-out applications they are today, but rather, a 10 second statement or film of some sort to explain why YOU have what it takes to be the next top dog.  Nope, I'm struggling to imagine it too…So in the mean-time, I'll stick to sending uglies to my sisters. And hope that I don't accidentally tick the wrong name and send it to a real-life hottie...