Tinder Surprise: A Guide to Online Dating

We take a look at the shallow minefield that is internet dating and how Tinder's potential for no-strings-attached sex might not be such a great thing

Article by John Stansfield | 09 Sep 2015

Whenever any new visual technology is invented it is immediately used to further the pornography industry. As soon as the nickelodeons began to litter the promenades of yesteryear there were smut pedlars with their own kinescopes of flappers flashing their gussets. In the great video wars of the late 70s and early 80s, VHS helped see off competition from the vastly superior Betamax format by allowing pornographers to use their inferior product to further the ill-gotten gains of the San Fernando Valley. Where pornography has led the market, dating has not been far behind. Just google '80s video dating' for a lesson in how not to woo the opposite sex – and also a reminder that technology existed before the internet and it was gloriously grainy. 

With the dawn of the world wide web (that’s what that fancy 'www.' that you don’t even have to type any more stands for, gang!) came of course the utilisation of such high speeds of information for the furthering of interactive sex watching, and its cosy bedfellow, interactive sex doing. Internet dating has become a lot more socially acceptable over the years to the point where kids will be asking their future parents which site they met on and ranking them from Craigslist to Match.com.

When computers turned into the handheld devices we now know as phones, it was the homosexual community that recognised the ease with which they could hook up via the use of this technology, with 2009’s Grindr. Somehow, though, it took the hetero world some three years to catch up, with Tinder taking its bow in September of 2012.

As we’re sure you’re already aware, Tinder offers users the chance to be outwardly shallow by swiping right to say you like the look of someone, or left if you think that they are a horrible wolf-monster that should be fired from a cannon directly into the sun. Unsurprisingly, it has also led to the ease with which people might put their junk on or in each other.

Tread carefully with this newfound power, however. It's not just the blows your ego will take when matches burn out quicker than those that lit on Mars, but the fact that you are essentially meeting strangers who have one thought in their mind, and it’s definitely not to start a long and loving relationship based on trust. It’s for doing the no-pants dance. Which is super cool, but watch out: for with every app home run there are at least 100 cautionary tales. For example, Tinder is a great place to go mugging. You already know they have a nice phone and are nearby, so why not just take a shiv and double your prizes.

Alienating human contact by way of messaging people in the same room as you via your mobile telephone is all well and good, but until the thumbprint verification of a user can also check the blood and urine work (surely the sexiest phrase ever associated with Tinder) for venereal diseases then you’re risking your ovaries/testicles just signing up for a good time in the Tindergarten. And though everyone seems to want HPV since Lena Dunham’s character got it on Girls, it is sooooooooo 2014. We’re not certain where all the good men or women are but you’re more likely to find out by talking to the ones nearby than checking if they’re good to go on your phone. You never know, the results may surprise you. Or everyone is awful and the world will be over soon. So don’t worry about it.