I love Tinder. Do you know when you ask yourself in life what move you on? Yes. I’m 31, and I realized that I want to work for Tinder. I never ever had a dream or goal in my life, and, for the first time, I’m doing something I love: researching Tinder and social connections. The way people portrait themselves, the self-presentation behind the lines and pictures. God, I want to know more about people, get into their minds through their Tinder’ profiles. For me the future of mobile social media it is on Sean Rad and crew’ hands. It is more than a dating app. And this is part of my story.
Living here in Oslo for almost 4 years showed me how hard it is to get to know people, make friends, or simply sit and share a beer. I started using Tinder while doing a project for Expedia, where I was travelling around Scandinavia alone and I had tasks, such as invite people for dinner, take selfies with strangers, etc. I’m quite a shy person, and in Norway, it became an impossible mission. So, I downloaded Tinder as a way to invite people (any gender or sexual preferences) to join me and help me to accomplish my missions. After this, I decided to write my master thesis about Tinder. I am particularly interested in New Medias/ Technologies, so I decided to research about how mobile applications/media combined with Social Media affect our lives, in a communication perspective, making a case study of Tinder.
In the age of mobile media, social interactions prioritise proximity and depend on our material engagement with the world. Interpersonal attraction on dating apps indicates that the virtual connections will eventually be converted into real-life connections. So far I have used Tinder in: Brazil, NYC, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Hong Kong, London, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Malta, (note: when I call the country, it is because I’ve used in more than one city).
Social media has transformed the way people meet, interact, even live. New forms of personal communicating and connecting with others is often received with scepticism until people start to face it as a new opportunity to interact with others. It has become a reality that relationships are even more formed in cyberspace, before manifesting in the “real” world. In the age of mobile media, social interactions prioritise proximity and depend on our material engagement with the world. Tinder, in my opinion, has everything to build a strong mobile social media community, stronger as facebook, focusing not on just dating, but more on friendship. People are so busy nowadays that sometimes they do not even have time to meet people. To share a beer. A nice dinner. We all know the power of the smartphones and its applications.
Tinder has more than 10 million daily users in 196 countries. Okay, let’s focus on my “profile”. Brazilian living in Oslo, master student, journalist. I love to travel, photography, coca-cola, beer and Disney. Researching Tinder. Boom. This. I ended up deleting the “researching Tinder” because wasn’t helping me to get information at all. So I’m basically acting as an observant participant.
I have never paid for the monthly fee (yet), so, have not tried the Passport feature. (Update: Ok, did not resist, I’m in Oslo at the moment, swiping in Lisbon, where I will be tomorrow).
As I said, I used for the first time here, in Norway. So far so good. But I must admit that the fact that I’m latin, black and Brazilian “helps” to catch the attention in Scandinavia. Thus, people around here are so beautiful, that no one can even imagine it. One- night stands are so common in Norway (prob Scandinavia as well), that the main focus on Tinder it is sex. Then people starts dating for a while until they understand that they are in a relationship. After lots of dating, sex and alcohol. First must work in bed, then, some talk and common shit.
In Rome for a school field trip, I realised that Tinder was filled with American tourists and charming
hot Italians looking for hookups. Of course, I can not generalise how is the use there, but all people I match we had direct talks, straight to the hookup point. Good for whom were looking for easy sex, not my case at all. Some chats were so disgusting that I basically stopping using it in Rome after my first day in town.
Hong Kong was funny. I matched mostly Scandinavian people, who I still kept contact. Had no time to meet no one, though, but since HKG it is a mecca for technology, I got quite interested. Smart people. Which I like. It is always lovely to discuss things I love, with people who understands it, such as planes and startups.
Turkey. Weird. Really weird. People are professional stalkers. Some came up with my full name. Just. Weird. Used one day, never ever again. Was insane. Crazy. I’ve reported more than 10 people. Never happened before.
I went to NYW for a couple of days with a friend. Of course, I would check out Tinder. And it was insane. While in Norway people won’t give a fuck if you work for a big company or for the Post Office, in NYC it is a big deal to show up that you have gotten a great job in Manhattan or whatever. Bullshit me.
People are different. Of course. If you are travelling around, the chances of a hookup increases, since you both know that you won’t meet ever again. Then it is a choice of the “couple”. I used Tinder basically to get to know locals and get tips on the city. But we all know how easy it is to get a fuck, let’s be honest.
Wait. I totally get if you tell me that Tinder it is a hookup app, or whatever. People have needs. Sex it is part of it, let’s not be hypocrites here. But, there are people on Tinder looking for a relationship, a nice girl/guy to hang around and share moments. Or friends! I have made so many nice friends that I still keep in touch, that it is insane. Nice people, cool to hang out. Probably good matches for a lot of people I know.
What did I have learnt? Use Tinder. Use Tinder when you are travelling around. Go. Explore. Meet different people. Regardless of obvious difficulties like linguistic and cultural differences, dating traditions vary widely from country to country. Thus, mobile social media it is so powerful, that you have no clue about it. And that it is why I love Tinder and I’m researching it.
Are you in Lisbon for the #websummit? Talk to me on SoMe: @polyannar or, match me on Tinder hehehe
PS: I’m a researcher. That’s why I’m on Tinder.