Are Dating Apps Like Tinder Strictly Superficial or a Good Way to Find Love?
A recent NY Times article titled “In Defense of Tinder“, makes the point that Tinder may in fact be a more honest and better way to meet people than online dating. This is an interesting perspective that could create quite a stir. The author, Eli Finkel, is a psychology professor at the Kellogg School of Management. Apparently, over the years he has conducted several studies about dating, attraction and relationships. So his opinion provided in the piece is backed up with learning from real research.
According to his work, the idea of browsing to find a compatible mate is nonsense. Finkel says you cannot glean the proper information from a written profile to determine if you’ll be a good match or not. He also dings sites like eHarmony that use an algorithm, pointing out how that is just as ridiculous since it relies on what people say about themselves. Frankly I couldn’t agree more.
To me, the point of online dating is to quickly jump start your dating journey and give you access to known singles. You still have to do all the old fashioned work of sorting through potential mates – but you do this after meeting the prospects. While some basic weeding out can certainly be done, too often people severely limit their options which is a shame. When you rely on matches or over think each profile, you miss out on the beauty of this dating avenue.
However, Finkel feels Tinder, a dating app for your smart phone, is based solely on attraction. As a result, the professor claims it’s a more honest approach, bringing people back to dating basics. The idea is to meet spontaneously without a lot of background data to see if there is chemistry. Hmm, that’s interesting. After all, that is how people used to meet. You didn’t know what books a potential date had read, or his political leanings or how much he liked to exercise.
In fact, Eli insists that Tinder, with it’s potential for meeting within minutes of viewing a photo and swiping the screen right to indicate attraction, is better than online dating. There’s no tedious emailing, no lengthy browsing for the perfect profile and no worry about spelling. Just raw attraction so you can decide to meet face-to-face or not.
The one thing online dating did for the singles population is give people a vaster universe of singles to choose from versus people you might meet at a bar or singles dance. Finkel explains that is what Tinder does really well – provides loads of dates to choose from based on looks alone.
I can’t help but feel this university professor makes an excellent point. I encourage you to read the article and decide it’s merit for yourself. Think about it – before online dating, people met by chance or fix up. Now you have access to a pool of singles who are ready to meet at the swipe of a photo. While many people on Tinder use the dating app for hooking up, some are definitely seeking love and wanting to meet new prospects.
There might be an age group that is best served by a dating app, but the article didn’t get into this. So, it’s up to you. To Tinder or not? I would think if you live in a large metropolitan area, it’s worth a shot. If you do decide to try it, please let me know how you do so I can report back to others.