My grandparents were childhood best friends who carved their names into a bridge somewhere in Auburn, New Hampshire. My parents met working together in a lumberyard in Los Angeles. My brother met his wife while serving in the Navy overseas. Two of my best friends met at my birthday party in Santa Monica two years ago.
I met my boyfriend on Tinder.
And the one before that.
And several very nice but non-committal guys I drifted in and out of half-assed relationships over the course of year. And one stalker, if we’re going for full disclosure here.
But, all things considered, I’ve had a pretty good run on Tinder. And I’m not the only one. The media loves to shit on Millennials for our impatience, selfishness, dependence on technology and strong selfie game but it’s those very so-called “faults” that are enabling us to change the very landscape of modern dating.
That’s a very, very good thing, people.
Tinder is about as shallow as it gets, not that traditional dating isn’t already. You see someone you like, you swipe right. If you’re not impressed, you swipe left. It’s anonymous until you make a match- or the algorithm bugs out and shows you someone you already know in real life (Or in my case, an ex-boyfriend. Thanks, Tinder). Mutual friends are listed- which is great for modern ladies who want to make sure that their match isn’t a murderer. Common interests are imported from facebook so you can be sure to weed out guys who only match you on “Victoria’s Secret” and Family Guy.
Millennials aren’t lazy, we’re just busy. Life is too short and full of other stressors to play dating games or pussyfoot around what it is we want out of a relationship. There is no longer that stigma of being “too forward” or “demanding” when it comes to modern dating. Only want to hook up? Cool, put it on your profile. Looking for someone to get into a long term relationship with? It is totally okay to let your date know in the first five minutes. We’re busy people. We’ve got more debt than any other generation alive today and crappy jobs to pay them off with- there’s no time to pretend you don’t like someone just to make them like you more.
Tinder eliminates the guessing. When you match with someone there’s already the knowledge that, at least on a superficial level, the other person finds you attractive and wants to talk to you. It’s the poor man’s matchmaker and there’s no denying that it’s outgrown its initial draw as a skeevy hookup app utilized by frat bros and, in my experience, that one roommate in your same-sex dorm that keeps trying to start a thriving weed-dealing business. At any given bar in Los Angeles on any given weekend you’ll see at least three people conspicuously swiping right or left. Tinder has cemented itself as a key part of modern urban dating and, in the hands of its millennial users, eliminated the guile and guesswork of previous generations of courtship. The app, like anything else in life, is what you make of it- but what we’re making it is an impressive cultural staple and a game-changing innovation.Image Credits: Courtney Carmody, Tinder