Thursday, 4 September 2014

You can’t start the fire without the spark... literally!

Bruce Springsteen, back in 1984 waxed lyrical about dancing in the dark and that fires need to be started with that initial spark... how very true he was. Before you wonder why I am taking apart one of his most successful chart hits I had better bring this post to the point... Tinder, or the dampest squib of an app I have had the misfortune to sign up to and use. 

Of course it is rare to find a tech based post on the pages of this blog but this supposed dating, socialising and porking ‘phenomenon’ has been as much of a curse as a blessing to poor naive fools such as I who have been beguiled and subsequently disappointed by this platform that offers so much promise but delivers so little. 

For the uninitiated I will give a brief overview. Tinder effectively allows you to judge people on their appearances within a certain radius of your choosing. Using a simple swipe method you can choose from a selection of tastefully appointed photos to ‘like’ or ‘not like’ a person using a simple swiping method, right for yes, left for no. On occasion you might get a match, meaning that you have both like each other or, more likely they have fallen for the charms of your quite flattering and utterly charming photos. The match allows you to start messaging each other and here, supposedly the magic starts to happen, casual sex aplenty, a future spouse, blah, blah, blah. 

Now, before I am cast a terrible old cynic by readers I do have it on some authority that Tinder has worked for some people, I am yet to be convinced. Call it a case of sour grapes if you will some might say that I only have myself to blame - photos displaying my crows feet and prominent jaw or an honest photo that indicates my five foot four inch stature might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, I have had a few matches in my time and it is through these that I have found the flaws in Tinder, at least where I am concerned. 

Like any good argument, let me give a few case studies to prove my point, although I am sure it will probably make the readers think that the fault is entirely with me, my acquired personality and rugged looks! 

Tinderette #1: A nice girl, the only person at fault was me. I was too overbearing and completely fudged it with nervous texting like a gambling addict on a one arm bandit. Here I could not blame Tinder. However, I liked the lady in question’s slight when she let me down gently. ‘I’m not sure your personality quite fits with mine’. 

Tinderette #2: Again someone who seemed very nice and we ended up sharing rather a passionate kiss or few after what I thought was a very successful date. Message comes through but days later to let me know that after a serious relationship she was not sure if she was ready, apparently I had opened her eyes to the difficulties! Oh well! 

Tinderette #3: This was a neuroses and paranoia overload. Very nice but the need for self assurance became overbearing. I must say that I was attracted, enjoyed the company etc. but the amount of messages asking me to justify why I was interested became bizarre. Surely her personality, her looks and the attraction were enough. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be but at least we parted after 3 or so dates friends. 

Tinderette #4: This was truly the pits. A good looking girl started messaging me following a match and expressed an interest in meeting up. Great, thought I  and asked where a good location might be. Well, came the response, I live in Sussex and you live in London. I then suggested that we meet in Guildford, bearing in mind that for me it was a good 1 hour journey there. However, spurred by curiosity and the messaging that had taken place I was intrigued and, having no plans on a particular Saturday night I suggested a few cocktails at one of the city’s chicest bars: MKB. Having arrived there on a sultry spring evening I proceeded to order a double Canadian Club on the rocks, smooth I thought a real player’s drink. The bar was empty at 7:00pm, obviously Guildford hadn’t warmed up yet, the sizzle of nightlife hadn’t quite caught on yet. So fifteen minutes went by and then a text telling me that my date would be 15 minutes late. Fine, I thought, saw off my drink and ordered another. 30 minutes, 45 minutes... I was starting to get a little irate, tapping my flat, loafered foot on the polished floor of the club. People were starting to look at me with a tragic pity... oh dear. After 60 minutes of naive waiting I soon realised that this date might not materialise and that I had come down to the jewel in the home counties’ crown on a fools errand. Sure enough an hour and a half later I got a text telling me that she was ‘tired and frankly couldn’t be bothered’... delete (followed by an hour’s commute back to London!) 

Tinderette #5: This was most recent and the one that really inspired me to write this post. This particular person made first contact, became attentive and on my suggestion was keen to meet up for a drink. We had arranged it for this week and it seemed that two attractive people were going to meet for an evening of, if nothing else, amusing banter and interesting conversation. Alas, as I looked on my phone this morning I found that I had been de-matched by this particular person for who knows what reason - i had not been in touch since arranging the meet, maybe there was my error. Thank goodness I did look, or I would have been at a loose end around the South Bank for a long time (sometimes I live in far too much hope!). I was more put out by the method than anything else. I felt it rather cowardly, can people not confront it head on, I certainly wouldn’t have been offended if I had been shot down flames... I’m used to it! ;-)

Anyway, five examples for you to make what you will of this rather inconsistent app! Let’s put it this way, when they ask me at regular intervals for feedback I feel less than charity and perhaps because that I am too keen, a jack russell personality if you will, for the app. It’s hard to gauge anything through mere texts and perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at my success rate, but it’s difficult not to feel a little chagrin. 

Will I stop using it? Ask many of my friends who I oft complain to about the general disappointment of Tinder. No, of course not, it has its fun and, unfortunately, like so many of its users, I live with a slight hope that something good might somehow, someway come of it! 

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