A Brief Flirtation with Tinder

Well it’s not an adventure that took me anywhere but it was a mini adventure.
Many people I know have tried Tinder. They’ve chatted for days about this that and the other, they’ve swapped whatsapp information and Facebook names and have even had meet-ups (I hear these are commonly known as dates). Some have gone very well and led to further courting or friendships, some have gone interestingly, and some not so well. It all makes for fabulous gossip over a glass of wine in the evenings.

Having said this, whilst embracing other people’s use of it whole-heartedly, I must say I was very anti Tinder for myself. I didn’t think I’d get on well meeting and talking to people via the medium of messenger. Too impersonal I felt. Too clinical.
I have now been told by quite a few people (my mother and sister included) that I should try it out. I have thus far resisted but upon returning to Spain I thought ‘why not? It can’t be Ll that bad.’ At best I make a friend, at worst I have a vague conversation that goes nowhere and at least I’ll get a little Spanish practice, so in the spirit of my New Year’s Resolution of being more informed on things, I signed up. How could I claim to have an opinion on something I had not tried for myself?
Tinder, as I have now found out, entails judging people on 1 or more photographs (sometimes none) and more often than not, no description whatsoever. Added to this, is the fact that Spanish men all appear to be models, or so their picture would have you believe. These are a bit too much really and instantly off-putting. Well, I started timidly, thoroughly checking out these photographs for signs of a shared hobby or interest. At first I hit a whole lot of ‘nopes’. Clicking yes yet seemed too keen, and would make the experience ‘real’ as it were. Eventually hiwever, I realised I’d have to say yes eventually so found one or two interesting looking individuals who actually had short descriptions.
I eventually got more into the swing of it and hit yes a few more times. I came up with a few matches and even had some vaguely interesting conversations, mostly consisting of the same information again and again.
Where are you from, what do you do, what are your hobbies etc etc. All those questions you go through on the first day of school. I did indeed get some good Spanish practice though one of the problems I had was remembering which language I was speaking to which person in.
Eventually, after a mere 3 days, I was bored of it. It felt, as I had originally imagined, very clinical and not all that real. I’m not very good at communicating through the medium of message – sarcasm and wit are lost in translation (without which I am nothing) and I can never really gauge sincerity. I also lacked the ability to utilise facial expression, gesture and my, fairly loud, presence to assist me. This made things difficult enough in English, but to then try and do this in a language I’m only JUST getting the hang of made things quite tricky. Switching between Tinder and Spanishdict every 2 mins and having to ask my flatmates for translations made even quite simple conversations complicated.
Perhaps I’ll have another go in a few weeks on a lonely afternoon, but for now, I think I’ll stick to meeting new people the old fashioned way, though friends or sat in a bar with a drink in my hand.

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