Many of us have heard of dating apps, portals and the like. But what is this medium, how does it work and what are its benefits and perhaps harms? This article will look at the Tinder dating app, how it works, the psychology behind it and the potential dangers.
Tinder is an online dating app that can be used on both your computer and your smartphone. Around 10 million users log on every day looking for new friendships, dates, short night adventures or the love of their life.
Tinder, also known by its other, more popular name “Tinder”, is an app that is relatively easy to use and accessible to most people, and is aimed at a wide range of ages.
In order to access the platform, you need to create an account, either with your mobile number or via the more popular network Facebook. There is also the option of signing in with a Google account.
Then you just need to define who you are interested in: men, women or both genders. The next step is to choose the distance you want to search for singles. Of course, for the feature to work properly, you must allow the app to see your location. If you don’t, you won’t be able to play any dating games, as Tinder simply shuts down.
Obviously, photos are required for each profile. You can upload up to 9. Of course, if you are not satisfied with this number, you can add a direct link to your Instagram profile.
All you have to do is create a personal description for other users to see, and you’re ready to use.
Don’t forget that there are several other ways to “dress up” your account to make it really stand out. You can add your place of work, your job title, the school you attended or are still attending, your place of residence and even your favourite song. The latter is not limited to your musical tastes – if you also join Spotify, your favourite artists will be featured.
But how does the whole dating process work? Well, the other user’s profile is thrown up on the screen. If you’re interested in that person, a swipe to the left means you don’t like that person. A swipe to the right means you like them. If a new friend sees your profile and also says they like you, the app cheerfully announces “It’s a match!”, which translates to “You’re a match!”. You or the person you’ve “matched” can then message each other.
Of course, if you can’t decide whether the photos are enough to show affection, you can tap on the other user’s profile at any time to see all the additional information listed above and make your decision.
The psychology behind Tinder
You can hear a bunch of success or failure stories that can be traced back to the dating network in question. But what are the psychological consequences of using this app?
Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson, who has written a number of books on psychology, has this to say about Tinder:
“It is worth noting that it is highly addictive. I have read that young people now prefer the correspondence mode of communication to face-to-face contact.”
The man highlighted the whole “like/dislike” process as a real technological revolution. It is called “Swipe”
“This revolution makes it less painful for men to be rejected as partners in the first place. That pain is reduced to zero. It becomes irrelevant because the other person doesn’t even know you.”
A psychologist says you can “swipe” to your heart’s content and it won’t cause any feelings like rejection. It becomes less important than losing your favourite computer game.
“What is important is that this app makes women look at sex differently. Girls who don’t want to play intimate games on a first date are immediately pushed away by those who have no problem with it.”
Jordan also said that all the joy of a normal relationship is removed and the whole journey to intimacy becomes non-existent. Using Tinder for one-night stands (which is very common), he said, sort of removes the point of investing in a long-term relationship, because there is always the possibility of simply “swapping” your partner for a better one.
Dangers and blackmail
For those who are curious about how to attract more sympathy, there is a wealth of content on the internet. How many photos to use, what kind of photos to take, what to say in the first sentences of a conversation. Unfortunately, however, no one talks about the dangers behind this.
The app is mostly used by young people, and although it is stressed that each user must be 18 years old, this condition is often “circumvented”. In most cases, minors change the age of birth of their Facebook account to gain access to Tinder.
Of course, attempts are being made to combat this. If there is a suspicion that a minor’s profile is visible, this can be reported. The profile will then be reviewed and the person, who may be under the age of majority, will be blocked from accessing the app.
It should not be forgotten that the risk is also real for persons who are authorised to use the platform. It is never clear what kind of person might be hiding behind fake photos that they can ‘borrow’ from Google. There is always the possibility of deception. The English term for this is ‘catfishing’, which means ‘catfish fishing’, where a person pretends to be someone else, in other words, steals another person’s identity.
Child molesters, psychopaths, rapists and other extremely unpleasant citizens can also join in dating games in this way. It is therefore always a good idea to take a few precautions to avoid potentially dangerous confrontations:
- Check if your crush has social media.
- Use Google’s Image Search service to check if it’s a stolen photo.
- Offer to talk on your mobile phone, preferably with a video function to make sure it’s the same person.
- Be critical. It is still a person you do not know.
This last point may seem strange, but there are many cases where intimate photographs are sent to a friend to arouse sympathy. Here’s what a guy who was sorely disappointed by his experience has to say:
“She looked like a model, and when we started talking, she was very friendly. I seemed to be dreaming.”
The girl replied, the conversation gained momentum and soon the guy was persuaded to make a Skype call. Of course, the topic soon turned to sexual games. However, things changed very quickly when the girl suddenly started terrorising the guy. The guy received threats that photos were taken during the Skype call and that all the material would be made public. The condition was that if the girl received 800 dollars up front, the photos would not be made public.
“Suddenly, she started showing me all the photos, then opened my Facebook account and showed me profiles of my aunt, my sister, and even the company where I worked. I was in a panic.”
This is just one of those stories where a casual romance quickly turns into a horrific incident. According to statistics, there were more than 21,000 such incidents in 2018, where money was demanded from the victim, taking advantage of romantic interests. And this data only covers the US.
Experts say that Tinder scammers are not as dangerous as they seem. Here’s the story of the guy in question. After sending the girl 800 dollars, the next day she demanded another 1500. Later, the guy checked that the bank account to which the money was sent was in the Philippines. When he started to ignore the aggressor, she simply stopped texting him.
Later, he resentfully said:
“I know that many people would not be fooled, but if a vulnerable person is found, there is a lot of money to be made from it. That makes it very dangerous.”
Months later, the man said he was using Tinder again, but was now much more careful and cautious. Reflecting on the experience, he smiles that it was too good to be true.
“Yes, I’m using the app again, but now I’m more cautious about the likes I get, and I block the ones that look fake.”