Perhaps I am behind the times, or maybe more disconnected then I previously thought, but I only just heard of “Tinder.” For those of you who may be like me and living in a hole, Tinder is a new social discovery/dating/hook-up app that uses your Facebook profile picture and location to suggest other people to you based on your location. You look at this stranger’s picture, decide whether or not you find them physically attractive, then you can like or dislike them. You can zoom-in your location so closely as to be suggested to others within the same bar. So, instead of mingling with people at the bar, you pick out the people around you by checking out your phone to see who is attractive.
“It’s like real life, but better,” claims Tinder advertising. Now you don’t have to lift up your head and look around. Instead, you can dive into your phone to find people you’d like to meet. You could literally “like” the person sitting next to you at the bar instead of turning to talk to them. Why is this “better?” Does the expressed shallowness of tinder relieve some of the pressure of meeting new people? This app functions with the understanding that the relationships spawned are based solely on physical appearance and the opportunity to hook-up. While these types of interactions occur in everyday life, you wouldn’t approach another individual on the street and say, “Oh, I like the way your face looks, let’s hook-up,” (or maybe you would). This app is yet another example of a shift between our physical “real” world into the internet world, and how social media and apps like tinder make us more dysfunctional in the physical world.