…the following is a transcript from a make-believe court session for a case some single women have brought against the free dating application Tinder.
The courtroom is filled with chaos. The lawyer for Single Women has just made a strong case that the application causes people to be too judgmental, too superficial, and too narcissistic. Based on the uproar, most people watching agree with this opinion and think Tinder is an unacceptable dating application.
The judge waves her gavel several times and calls for order. Eventually, the courtroom quiets down. She calls forth the defense counsel. The lawyer for Tinder is in her late 20s, clearly hard-working, well-dressed woman. As she stands, she sets down her phone she had just been using and a hush falls over the courtroom. She smiles, looks around, and begins to make her arguments.
Ladies of the court. I understand where my opponents are coming from. I really do. An application like Tinder can seem to bring out the worst in people, causing them to make snap judgements about each other and to go out on dates based on little to no information about the other party. I get that it seems this way.
But let me share with you my own personal Tinder adventure.
I work constantly. As you can imagine, being a successful lawyer is a full-time job. I dedicate a lot of time and energy to my career. I don’t have the time right now in my life to go out to a bar every single night of the week and sit around hoping some man I find attractive will be there, come up and talk to me, and find out we have things in common. The odds aren’t in my favor for that. They’re in nobody’s favor.
But when I use Tinder, I can automatically see other men in my area who are interested in dating. I can look at their pictures and determine if I like what I see- both the type of man they look like and the types of pictures they choose to put up. And I can make that judgement easily by simply swiping my finger one way or another.
Yes, I said judgement. We are all constantly judging each other. If a man comes up to me at a bar, I immediately judge him. Even if I say I’m not doing it, thousands of years of evolution are ingrained in me to immediately assess within seconds if I’m interested in this person as a potential mate. Tinder just allows us to do it more quickly and more efficiently, so we can spread our dating net out even wider.
I only have the capability to talk to people who have also said that they might be interested in me. This way, I don’t have to waste my time or energy pursuing men who aren’t interested in me. Again- it allows for more efficiency so I don’t have to waste my precious time.
And my opponent talked about how Tinder forces you to be superficial. I completely disagree. It doesn’t force you to do anything. If all you want to do is scan people in your area and see who thinks you’re attractive by seeing how many matches you can get, you can do that. If you are just feeling low and want to be reminded that there truly are plenty of fish in the dating sea, you can just collect matches and be reminded that you’re beautiful. If you want to send flirty messages with relative strangers with no strings attached, you can do that. If you want to actually meet people and go on dates you barely had to do any work to set up, you can do that. If you want to meet an actual potential mate, you can do that. If you just want to look at random men’s instagram pages, you can do that.
It doesn’t force you to be anything. It’s whatever you want it to be.
We’re expecting more and more of our potential partners these days. We’re living longer and romance has taken over our narrative. In the old days, you married the first suitor that came to your door. And you stayed married because you didn’t have any other options. And you only lived until like 25 years old. Now we go out hoping that in a sea of billions of people, we might happen to accidentally run into our soulmate who be our everything for the next 70ish years.
I’m a practical woman, so I’m not buying it. I want to meet someone who has interests in common with me. I want to meet someone who has friends in common with me. I want to meet someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. And I want to have options. And I want to do it all without taking away too much time from my own career and personal goals. Tinder allows me to do just that.
Yes, it’s different from our notion of dating in the past. But dating has changed immensely throughout the years anyway. This is just another evolution of dating. And it’s not the end. It just an option. One of many now available to us lucky modern women.
And all practicalities aside, Tinder is fun and it’s great for your self esteem. It’s hilarious to see some of the types of men and the pictures they choose to put online. And if you’re sitting in your sweat pants eating chocolate ice cream alone on a Saturday night, you can still feel beautiful because someone on Tinder decided to “like” you and create a match.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s an all-around win.
The court is silent for a moment as the women look at each other. Tinder’s attorney takes one last look around and begins speaking again.
And one last thing. I was in relationships for a long time. Their constant failure had me feeling low. My self-esteem had taken a beating through constantly putting up with behaviors I shouldn’t have. My latest one had left me absolutely heartbroken. I didn’t know what I wanted. And I was overwhelmed by how to re-enter the dating pool after such a long break from it.
So I joined Tinder. Just for fun. I didn’t want to take the time to create a more extensive online profile. I was open to anyone or anything.
Immediately on Tinder, I started getting “matches” that made me feel good and gave me hope for the future. I went on some dates with men I already knew I thought were cute. Most of them were duds. Some were fine but not spectacular. But one date I went on was fabulous. I liked him immediately. He made me laugh. He was everything I had asked the universe for. We’re still dating. He takes me out, shows me off, and makes me laugh. And I met him by taking a chance simply swiping right on Tinder.
What will happen with this relationship? Who knows. Only time will tell. But I do know that I’m dating him because I want to be dating him. I know there are plenty of other fish in the sea. I’ve dated many of them. None of them are like him. But I’m sure there are other wonderful ones out there, waiting for me on Tinder if this one doesn’t work.
I’m in a healthy mindset for once in my life. And that’s thanks to Tinder.
I rest my case.
The young lawyer sat down. Looking around the courtroom, everyone was looking at their phones and using their thumbs to swipe pictures either left or right.