Do men agree to meet taller women?
Tinder, the place of longing - What men and women actually do with Tinder
Reading time: 10 minutes
She's ticking. Ticks and ticks. All the time. And louder and louder. Louder and louder. It robs her of sleep: my good friend's biological clock, let's call it Jennifer.
Jennifer has to hurry up if the dream partner and the offspring are to be anything else. But where can you find love?
Can that go well?
With her life advanced, Jennifer is no longer picky. That means: with the partner, of course. But not with the means to find it.
So Tinder is also an option. Tinder, that ominous mobile dating app? For a serious relationship? Can that go well?
In 2012, a few students from the University of Southern California launched the app as an uncomplicated mobile flirting tool at some American colleges. From there, Tinder conquered the dating world within a year, including in Switzerland.
The flirtation can begin
Official usage figures are rare. Tinder only says that the app connects 26 million people every day. They are available in 43 languages. The main target group are young adults up to their early 30s. Few of them are over 50. There are four women for every six men.
An account is created in no time: The app accesses pictures and information from the Facebook profile, a few additional details about preferred gender and age, and the flirt can begin.
Any data protection concerns due to the automatic data transfer? The users don't seem to care: the main thing is fast and uncomplicated.
No long questionnaires
Recently, a Tinder account can also be opened without a Facebook account. In the data protection guidelines, however, Tinder points out that the app exchanges data with “partners”. A named partner besides Facebook is Amazon. Tinder runs on its web infrastructure.
Do you need to answer any questionnaires that use a fabled algorithm to create a partner match? Not on Tinder. After logging in, the app only shows the profile pictures of other people who are nearby. Thanks to geographic cell phone location.
Better wiped away than embarrassed
If Jennifer wipes away the profile picture she received on the cell phone screen to the left, that was it: no sympathy, no date, no sex, no love. By swiping to the right, Jennifer signals a "Like": she wants to get in touch.
Only if the other person swipes Jennifer's profile picture to the right on their own screen can Jennifer get in touch with the person.
According to the inventors, this mutual agreement was the central point in the development of the app: Thanks to Tinder, the risk of receiving a basket for personal contact is eliminated. Better to be wiped away than to be embarrassed.
Tindering is like scratching tickets
Jennifer has now also started swiping left and right. Sometimes she shows me the photos on my cell phone - they are reminiscent of Panini pictures. Admittedly: the app is fun. Wiping is like a parlor game or a scratch card: win or lose?
Many call this the paragon of superficiality. An awakening of lower instincts. But: It is hardly anything else when you look at the guests in a restaurant and find the most attractive woman or man for yourself.
With this «gamification» the search for a partner becomes playful, it loses a possible stubbornness. But it doesn't make it an easy game. Will my girlfriend actually find a serious partner this way?
Raw Sex or Romance?
Tinder is publicly decried as a platform for the quick number: Quick and easy to install, quick and easy to contact, quick and easy to coit. This is how quick and easy conclusions can be drawn. But is that also true?
Due to the meteoric rise of Tinder to a worldwide dating phenomenon with unique publicity, the first social science studies have emerged. The results paint a more nuanced picture of why Tinder is used.
Mobile dating is becoming more and more normal
A Dutch study, Link opens in a new window, found six motives for the use of Tinder in young adults: love, sex, easy way of making contact, self-affirmation, thrill, trend. Are the sex contacts the strongest motive? No: The desire to find a partner is just as great - for women as for men.
“Finding a partner online was a taboo for a long time. Our studies show that with Tinder it is becoming more and more normal among young adults to look for a serious partner via mobile dating, ”says study director Sindy Sumter from the University of Amsterdam. The Dutch study results are not alone.
It always takes a little luck that two people get together: For a day, Radio SRF 2 Kultur traces stories of how people met each other.
A British study, link opens in a new window, comes to the same conclusion. It is also noteworthy that two out of three people state that they also use contact information pages or dating portals in addition to Tinder. If they were only interested in sex, this would hardly be the case.
Tinder, the swipe-and-away app?
In contrast to the love motif, there are big differences between the sexes when it comes to sex. The hope of a hot affair is much more pronounced in young men than in young women. The daring men appreciate the simple way of contacting them via Tinder.
According to a British study, this is expressed by the fact that men answer practically all women's profiles positively: once a man has reached a match with a woman, it can still be decided whether or not there will be a meeting. To the chagrin of some women. Male study participants explain their behavior by saying that they hardly ever achieved a match if they were picky from the start.
Women, on the other hand, behave in exactly the opposite way on Tinder: Almost all of them state that they only like those profiles that they find really attractive. This behavior leads to a significantly lower number of positive answers. Which leads to the annoyance of most men who unconsciously see their indiscriminate behavior confirmed.
This is where the motive of self-affirmation comes into play: On the internet, Tinder users complain that they are literally left behind. So the desire for self-affirmation can turn into self-devaluation.
So Tinder is only attractive to attractive people when it comes to self-affirmation. It thus underpins the well-known social-psychological phenomenon that attractive people often have it easier in social life.
The Tinder dream prince
The next time I see Jennifer, she's on cloud nine: She found her prince of dreams on Tinder. In a short period of time, he and she found a lot in common via chat. They share social ideals and a passion for diving.
In short: it has to be! Alone, the “Reality Check”, a first meeting, is still pending.
There is (still) no financial success
Tinder's success as a table talk and media topic is much greater than the financial one. Like many other American Internet stars, Tinder initially pursued global rule.
The Tinder operator "Match Group" is now trying to turn the hype into face value with additional paid services. If you suddenly regret a swipe to the left, i.e. rejecting a profile, alone in bed in the evening, you can undo this faux pas thanks to payment. Uff!
No threat to other matchmakers
Tinder is not (yet) a financial threat to the online dating industry. Big money is made by websites that promise a reputable dating agency. And those who specifically focus on naked sex (“casual dating”).
This also applies to Switzerland, as Daniel Baltzer says, who maintains an online dating comparison service in this country. Correspondingly, the Match Group also operates classic contact portals and dating sites in addition to Tinder, such as the eponymous site match.com.
These international sites mainly contribute to the group's multi-billion dollar annual turnover. In its 2017 financial report, the Match Group emphasizes that the paid Tinder additional services are being used more and more without giving any specific sales figures. So Tinder is more of a complement than a threat to previous online dating.
The spark does not jump over
Jennifer is devastated. It was then that she met her Tinder dream of a man with whom she had already envisioned joint social projects and many dives in paradisiacal seabeds - and then this: He is a head shorter than her!
And even more shocking, even though they seemed to have so much in common - the chemistry stayed cold. No spark, no reaction. That is what is really disturbing. She could have overlooked the size of her body.
What now? Jennifer's clock keeps ticking.
What makes Tinder so attractive
Despite all the fuss, Tinder does not revolutionize couple or sexual behavior: If two people meet on Tinder, the visual factor alone does not decide what will become of the date. But also other “lower instincts”, such as the olfactory factor: two can smell each other or not.
But what makes Tinder so successful?
- Online dating has never been easier, faster, or more convenient. These are well-known guarantees of success for web services, no matter what kind.
- Tinder is a new type of online dating, or rather online flirting. The app complements the previous offer and is an entertaining pastime on the sometimes arduous and long journey of finding a partner.
- Although decried as the "sex site", Tinder does not comment on it. The platform describes itself as “the world's most popular app for meeting new people”. The purpose of getting to know each other remains open. This is exactly what stimulates the imagination and is the great success factor.
Happy ending, different
As a distraction from her broken Tinder love utopia, Jennifer roams another social internet facility that is about "friends." And then suddenly he is there.
Appeared from virtual nowhere - not from turquoise water, but the main thing: Appeared! The dream boy from back then on the playground, with whom every girl was secretly in love.
At the time, Jennifer failed to address the boy. With too many butterflies in your stomach, it's hard to talk. And now this boy is back as a man. This time she gathered up all her courage and wrote to him.
Perhaps getting in touch online actually helps overcome shyness. In any case, he will be her partner and father of her sweet bundle of joy.
The great human longings
Love often goes down winding paths. Online, offline or both. With and without Tinder. The dating app implicitly addresses all great human longings: intimate love, gigantic sex or both together. It is not uncommon for it to remain a longing.
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