This week I decided to try out Tinder. I usually use OKCupid for dating, but since Tinder is The Next Big Thing I figured I should at least figure out what is going on with it. The general impression I have is that Tinder is a hookup app, mostly there to help people find one off sex partners. That isn't something I am especially interested in. If I got randomly propositioned by somebody I was attracted to then I probably wouldn't turn it down, but the idea of slogging through hours of texting and swiping and dates with people I find tedious to get laid once seems not worth it at all.
But in the interest of discovery, I gave it a go anyway.
The two main takeaways I have from my limited experience is that Tinder is heinously buggy and that dating on Tinder is a complete waste for people like me who are only interested in a tiny minority of the population. The bugs I experienced mostly related to Tinder constantly giving me turtorials and then when I get to using it, reverting back to 'new user experience' and giving me tutorials again. It also had login problems, constant loading issues, and was otherwise a complete mess.
Tinder is mostly a waste for me because it is built on the idea that people will spend time chatting with one another about inane stuff before actually figuring out if they have anything in common or have a bunch of deal breakers between them. Notably I am married and polyamorous, so the great majority of Tinder users run screaming when they realize who I am. I put that up front in my profile of course but it seems that nobody reads profiles; they just swipe based on pictures. As soon as I match with people though they show up in my match section, and then shortly they disappear again. I can only assume that they see the match, read my profile, recoil in horror, and then swipe me away. I only tried to send two messages but in both cases the message recipient vanished from list shortly after.
I suspect my technical difficulties may be related to my sorting difficulties. Tinder, noticing that I have zero matches, assumes I must be a new user and tries to give me the tutorial again. It isn't a surprising algorithm but it is super annoying in my particular situation. I had matches Tinder! They just went away when they learned the horrible truth!
At any rate it seems like a pretty worthless endeavour. People who would be interested in dating me are a tiny chunk of the population, mostly because of the polyamory thing, but also because I have plenty of other weird stuff going on. I don't match well with people because of my strong atheist beliefs, socialist political tendencies, and nerdery. Tinder works about as well as chatting up totally random strangers at a bar would and holy hell am I not interested in doing that. My chances of actually finding somebody who would tolerate me are not good and my chances of finding somebody I can tolerate are even worse.
I could presumably not mention my lifestyle, take off my wedding ring, and use Tinder as a way to generate a bunch of one night stands. Which, to me, sounds remarkably unappealing. Deception sucks, small talk with randoms sucks, and sex with no connection is just not that exciting.
I think I am far better off using a system that leverages the power of computer sorting algorithms to help me find just the people I want, because that is awesome, rather than a system that emulates chatting up a cute random person at a bar, which is the worst. Back to OKCupid it is.