Elsa’s adventures on Tinder

Kate Ellison 6 June 2015

TCS has probably already published articles about Tinder. All pretence that I don't spend my free time trawling through the TCS archives aside, I know it has. But I'll take you through my adventures anyway. Now that the exams are over what else have I to do?

Becoming the kind of person who has Tinder:

In a fit of post-exam boredom, I decided, at the persuasion of a friend, that it would be a really good idea to download Tinder. I'm intensely curious about other people and prone to spending hours on social media, so it seemed like just the thing for me.

Looking poised but not too poised

It wasn't a smooth journey. The first hurdle was a selection of adequate photos – nice ones, so that people as shallow as I am wouldn't swipe left on sight, not too posed or degrading – interesting, quirky. After spending a good half hour taking selfies in flattering lighting (read semi-darkness) laughing to myself in an attempt to arrange the perfect 'good humoured yet unstaged' shot, I discovered that Tinder photos have to come from Facebook. How could I possibly retain the deep respect and admiration of all of my Facebook friends if I posted a gloomy photo of myself laughing at the middle distance to the left of camera?

And the Swiping starts

Eventually I dredged up a few dodgy previous profilers – realising in the process that all my favourite Facebook photos involve a lot more landscape than human – and finally got down to swiping. I began by diligently reading every single bio – from 'I have a small dick but….' to 'I'll make your dreams come true.' After a while I got bored and succumbed to snap judgements based on physical attractiveness. The biggest challenge turned out to be remembering which swipe direction meant what, much to my friend's frustration (it's left or right Elsa, sort it out). It wasn't long before I developed a few set rules. Mirror selfies are an immediate no. As is unnecessary shirtlessness (we get it, you have abs, stop showing off). Some people have misspellings in their bio – it would never work out.

Making contact

I found out that I'm quite generous when it comes to swiping – running out of my allocated number of likes on the second day (meaning I had to either wait 12 hours or upgrade to the premium version of the app). However, I had enough matches to be getting on with by this stage.

Initially I felt somehow entitled, working on the (somewhat flawed) logic that if I had swiped right (or left – whichever the yes one is) then the ball was now in their court. It's probably the patriarchy's fault. According to my street-savvy Tindersmart friend, you're not allowed to open a conversation by asking what something thinks about the monarchy, membership of the EU or drinking society culture. After a few hours I changed my bio from something meaningless about chocolate to a demand for interesting people. This made my friend laugh because 'If they can't deal with you on Tinder then they won't cope in real life’. I admit that I can be a bit intense, but who said anything about real life? It's dangerous to meet up with people you find on the internet.

The Tinder Break-up

On the second day, a Tinderationship blossoms. We survive three rounds of awkward echanges about Ireland before he suddenly disappears. Distraught, I message my Tindersmart friend for advice, only to learn that 'unswiping' is a thing. A ten minute break-up period ensues, involving me wondering 'why he would just leave like that' and the aforementioned friend telling me to get a bloody grip, you've known him for literally half an hour. Eventually I recover and scroll through my matches again, only to realise that he hasn't in fact disappeared at all. And that I hadn't noticed a spelling mistake in his bio – it would never work out.