You haven’t had much luck with your love life yet, you hate feeling left out when you see your friends hanging out with their specials someone’s, you feel you are missing out on something magical, no matter how many dates you go on, it never clicks, there’s no spark.
So you think maybe some speedy Tinder swiping might help you? Or maybe answering all those matchmaking questions on OKCupid will solve your problem? Think again.
These apps might be easy and fast, but they are dangerous and unhealthy. Even if you ignore the whole issue of starting something intimate in the veiled world of cyberspace, full of treachery, catfishing and cheating, there’s a lot more about them that could be harmful. The very concept of Tinder, TrulyMadly, Woo, Bumble, OKCupid and such apps is flawed; it sells on making you feel bad about yourself. You are being led into believing that you are going into an online version of speed-dating, but what actually happens is that you are being judged by innumerable people for something you aren’t.
The swiping practice on Woo and Tinder, in its essence, makes you commodify yourself. It makes you feel insecure enough to crave validation from a bunch of strangers. It makes you sell yourself as a product. Your pictures become the advertisements, your bio becomes your product description. TrulyMadly even takes away your identity, your name being shown as a bunch of ‘xxx’s, and sells you on the basis of a few hashtags of your choice wherein you describe yourself. The only necessary requirements on TrulyMadly are your height, city and age, much like the size/colour/price tag stuck to the back of products. You are then put on the shelf of an online store where people ogle at you, judge you, compare you, weigh your pros and cons, check out your features. Something you’d never want to go through in real life, right? Then why agree to this torture just because you want a date?
This self-degrading practice of “describing” yourself is taken further with images of your body. A good majority of men on these apps post shirtless pictures of them working out, or in flexing postures. Women, on the other hand, show off their flawless make-up and hair-dos. This lowers your self confidence, makes you dependent on compliments to feel good. It harms your self-esteem permanently, to an extent that you might actually become incapable of loving yourself without the reinforcement of it by stranger. Seriously, you think you will meet your soulmate through such apps, that sell you these distorted ideas of beauty and desirability?
Tinder and its likes, although categorized as dating apps, are more or less known as platforms for hook-ups. And while you might meet a charming man over there, underneath the façade, all he might want to do is charm your pants off, quite literally.
Lastly, it is addictive. The high of a match, having a fresh score of matches lined up for you after you changed that display picture or put in that witty bio, will make you keep swiping in hopes that maybe one in this sea might turn out to be the right fish for you. Even if it happens, and you find someone you could actually connect deeply with, remember how it all started. How they might have checked you out like a piece of meat on offer and chosen you to be worthy of their time. Along with a dozen others. Because up here, you’re on sale, you’re never the only chosen one.
So if your idea of romance and love is a shallow relationship built on mutual flattery and constant bouts of insecurity, congratulations! These apps are definitely the place for you. But if you actually respect the relationships in your life and around you, please take the difficult path and wait for your one. Don’t let such experiments scar your ideas of love and self-worth. You deserve a lot better than what Tinder or Woo might offer you.