It’s important to accept the fact that online dating is a thing. There is nothing wrong with online dating, and choosing to meet loved ones in that way is something that people can do and it definitely allows certain people to find love. However, there is something very different about Tinder, and apps similar.
Tinder gives you images of people and you swipe right if you like the person’s appearance, and left if you are not interested. While simple, and enjoyable, it creates many false ideas about relationships, self-confidence, and human connection.
Tinder creates the idea that what you see is what you get, but it also expresses that relationships are about getting, rather than giving. Look at how many online dating sites, including Tinder, start the process: you create a profile, showing off your strengths, interests, and hobbies. Instead of creating an image of yourself, you create an advertisement for yourself, only showing what is best about you and hiding your weaknesses. When one reads these, they are looking at what they will get out of you by being in a relationship with you. “This person like playing Munchkin, I also like playing Munchkin, we would get along well.” A relationship where two people are getting from each other but not giving creates expectations, and when those expectations don’t get met, they become disappointed. Many marriages fail in society today because couples never actually knew each other intimately and genuinely, but expected each other to fulfill each other’s happiness and life goals. It is impossible to live up to such a standard. Relationships about getting only bring disappointment, relationships about giving to each other bring life, and that is something you cannot get out of an application like Tinder.
Tinder creates a space for people to remind themselves that they are still attractive and acceptable to others without changing anything about their character, when in reality, the piece of a person one will connect with the most is the heart. Many people today struggle with self-image and self-confidence, they feel that their body is not how it should be, or something is just not right about them. Tinder allows people who struggle with body image to create a boost to their confidence because through every match that is made, you are reminded that someone thought you were good looking enough to swipe right. While this is a good thing, to be reminded of someone’s outer beauty, it creates a false sense of self-confidence. It enforces the idea that I am beautiful because other people think I am beautiful. The only way this can be continually reinforced is through constant manipulation of self to maintain an image of what is considered ‘attractive’ to others. There is no acceptance of your appearance, nor is there personal reinforcement of integrity, there is only the push from outside influences that your acceptance comes from your attractiveness. This has created people so desperate for attention and positive reinforcement that it has created people who only see others as a mouth to tell them their worth. Endlessly exchanging compliments and begging for positive words. It’s unhealthy, and it won’t end in a healthy relationship in the long run as well because you will be looking for your acceptance through other people when you need to accept yourself who you are.
In college, your best friends will not be made until the second semester of school. This is because the first semester you have to feel through all the artificial bullshit before you find people who will help you grow as a human being. At first, you find people who echo yourself(You like alt-rock? I like alt-rock! We must be best friends), but over time, you learn the true character of many of these original friends(You may like alt-rock, but you’re a dick. You treat your friends like trash and refuse to do well in school), because while you may share interests, you do not share values. Even then, people who choose to live in an echo-box of their own opinions generally do not ever grow out of not living in one. Get out of your comfort zone, go meet people different than you, and grow up because of it. Genuine, human connection is not done through an app, but through the heart. You can use an app, but it is not the imperative.