Upon reading this question, I thought to myself, "Hmm. My dating life is pretty close to a blank slate, and I know extremely little about Tinder, so perhaps I'm qualified to evaluate this situation objectively." Thus convinced, I downloaded Tinder. Here is the process I followed.
- Download Tinder.
- Search for a way to sign up without using my Facebook profile.
- Debate the merits of creating a fake profile so I can do this anonymously and not have to talk to any strangers.
- Give in and sign up with Facebook.
- Make sure the pictures of me are decent, even if this is just for experimental purposes.
- Notice that the info on my FB profile is out of date and wonder whether it's worthwhile to fix.
- Update age preferences because 30 is a bit old for me. Settle on 26 as the upper limit.
- Look at pictures of men and realize I don't know the difference between swiping left and swiping right.
- Google "How to use Tinder"
- Learn from WikiHow that I should be the only one in my Tinder pictures.
- Go back to Tinder and change my pictures.
- Look at more men and realize I forgot to learn what swiping means.
- Google "How to use Tinder" again.
- Panic about the idea of talking to strangers and even potentially dating them. Wish I had created a fake profile after all.
- 3:04 p.m.: Begin swiping.
- Wonder why all the men are Tinder are so hot and muscular.
- 3:05 p.m.: Get my first match. Success!
- Panic and realize I am definitely not brave enough to message anyone I've matched with. Hope that some of them message me so this experiment is worthwhile.
- Realize I left the minimum age at 18 and acknowledge that I have no interest in cradle robbing.
- Change minimum age to 21.
After those brief 20 steps, I continued swiping, alternately hoping that men would match and message me so I could do this experiment properly and hoping no one would message me because I'm a horrible coward.
A few disclaimers: I only had two days in which to conduct Tinder research, because I started my experiment when this question had already hit 50 hours. I also swiped enough to use all my "likes" each day, in order to give myself the broadest pool of men possible.
In the two days that I Tindered, I matched with around 100 men and had conversations with 11 of them. I was asked on an actual date by two of them. Since that asking-out only happened this morning, thus far I haven't responded. I'm not sure I will respond because I'm not sure I trust internet strangers whose only qualification is that they find me attractive.
Here are my conclusions: Tinder isn't the worst, per se, but I can imagine it would be very frustrating if you were actually hoping to get dates out of this. Even though I only spoke with a few men, I grew to really hate the question "How are you?" There's no way to answer that question that sounds interesting, especially when you're just starting to talk to someone. Or maybe I'm just bad at internet flirting. That is also a distinct possibility. But most of the conversations I had were rather bland, and unlikely to lead anywhere.
In terms of the pool in general, I have 2 complaints that are perhaps unique to the Utah area: too many men had missionary pictures, and too many men had children in their pictures. Neither of those things make me want to date you.
Tinder could be beneficial for people. I got asked on two dates in two days, which I suppose messes up my six-month dry spell. It also helped me define what I'm attracted to in a man. But would I recommend it for those hoping to meet their soul mate? No. Definitely not.