Well yes, Princesses also use Tinder. Or at least a Princess: me.
And I didn't sign up because I wanted to do some social experiment to tell about these pages. Which some of you thought because, immediately after creating the account, I received a series of messages on Instagram like “But is that you? Will you make a video? Will you write an article? " along with "Oh my God, they stole your photos and created an account on Tinder!".
But no, no Princess has been mistreated or forced to join the most famous dating platform in the world. In August 2021 I simply said to myself: “Ok, I need to know and interact with new people”.
Tinder seemed like the most practical solution to me.
Since that time 6 months have passed. Of chats (many), meetings (few), carefully given likes (below average) and strange quizzes that should help you find more easily people who have the same interests, tastes and goals. All of this in two states because, during our short stay in the United States for CES, I thought well to translate my bio into English and try to use it.
That's how I gained some experience and decided to share that with I have learned in these 6 months, giving maybe useful ideas and suggestions for you, that you want to subscribe or that you already use the platform.
6 months on Tinder: what have I learned?
When you confess to someone that you have signed up to Tinder the typical reaction involves winks, allusions, digs because in the common imagination "Tinder = sex".
I will not lie to you: there is that too. If the app is associated with the classic "hit and go" a grain of truth had to be there.
The reality, however, is a little more complex than that. To be honest on Tinder we look for a little bit of everything: love, sex, friendship, uncomfortable third parties, psychologists who listen to our outbursts for free, doctors and lawyers "because you never know" (and yes, this is taken from a real "bio").
All this, however, you notice and understand later, when you have already started using the app and understand its mechanisms. Before reaching this point you will have to face anxieties, second thoughts and mini dramas, starting from the very first: the registration phase.
Getting started is easy
God, maybe not quite easy. First you need to convince yourself that it is the right choice. Which is just an app like many others. Which is normal to meet people online.
After all, I said to myself, I started meeting people on the net when he was a loser. When we were the usual 30 people in a chat whose name I don't even remember. Neither chat, nor people.
Tinder is in fashion now.
And it is following this flow of thought that I found myself, at the end of August, with the smartphone in hand waiting for the app to finish the installation.
By now I had taken the hardest step. At that point I just had to sign up.
I hadn't considered that there were choices to be made. There are photos to select, 5 interests to indicate and an entire biography to write. Basically an afternoon's work. On the other hand, you cannot select images at random, they should say something about you. You can't even underestimate the bio because you have to help other users understand who you are, what you do, maybe even what you are looking for because nobody wants to waste time. And already here I had a big problem because "meeting new people" means everything and nothing. In the end, I violated what I thought was a fundamental rule: declaring your intentions. I ignored it and went further, to the 5 interests that caused me a decent stomach ache. Five interests are very few! I like science, space, TV series, cinema, museums, travel, technology, video games… The list is very long. In the end, I picked things that, in my head, could lead to interesting encounters and saved the profile.
My obsession with bio
During these 6 months I have edited the bio 3 times. This is because, with the passage of time, I have begun to develop a obsession with the biography and I will explain to you why.
I realize that most people decide to swipe right (which means "yes, I like you") or left (which means you don't have the X-Factor) based on the photos. Indeed, the first photo.
However, if there is a bio to fill in… why don't you do it?
Why do you leave it empty?
Why do you write “I don't know how to describe myself” in it?
I mean, we all went to school. I am sure that, with a little effort, a couple of sentences to say who you are, what you do and what you are looking for you can compose them.
Here, to be clear, it is not even worth writing "talking about me is not my strong point", "if I tell you everything what are we talking about?" or "why describe me when we can get to know each other slowly".
How do I know if we have something in common? Are you interesting? Is it worth investing my time?
And we can apply the same argument to those who say “I don't like texting, it's better to see each other immediately“. We all agree that a coffee, a beer or a pizza is better than a chat, but you can't think that people decide to go out without having at least a vague idea of what to expect.
Write something that represents you.
"We'll say we met in the library" doesn't say anything about you. I don't want to break your dreams but I have read this sentence - and the other variations with supermarkets, bookstores, museums and the like - at least 80 times in 6 months. He made me smile the first time, I confess, but then I discovered that it was not a symptom of sympathy and originality.
If everyone uses it, it doesn't work.
And then please, just put the height as the first and maybe only information. I understand that for some it is relevant but is it really the only thing you want to say about yourself?
Then adding “with me you can put on heels” does not improve the situation, also because - and here I will tell you a secret - we do not need permission.
I know, you are probably thinking "but how long do you make it". You are right but there are two distinct reasons why I think it is essential to have a bio. The first, I have already anticipated, is that it helps to understand if there can be a common basis or an interest to be explored. The second is the coupling.
Taking the first step on Tinder can be a nightmare: you don't know how to start, you don't know what to say and you live in the anxiety of not being original enough. Not to mention that "how are you?" it's not a question you should ask about a dating app because no one honestly answers this question when a stranger asks it. Would you ever say to a person you met on the street "I had a terrible day", "I've been sick all day thinking about my @ ex" or "I've been a bit depressed lately"? Of course not.
Here the biography saves you because you can find a foothold, something to help you make a nice joke or a question with which to open a speech.
I received a match
In September I had my first meeting. And it went wrong.
But first things first.
The first few days on Tinder I can hardly remember them, maybe because it takes time before a match and, consequently, before a real conversation with someone. Then it happens. One day, like a bolt from the blue, someone writes to you.
And it is not taken for granted. Taking the initiative is difficult and, as I told you above, it is even more difficult to write something that is not trivial. In fact, my first conversation started in a very obvious way, with a “Hello Erika”.
Not quite the brightest of bindings but, up to that point, it's not like I've done much better. So I replied.
This is how I met C., a photographer with whom I chatted talking about more or less for a few days. Then he came the weekend, he offered me to go out and I said to myself "Why not?".
It was one of the most awkward and boring nights of my life.
We just shared a passion for technology, and I held on to that, hoping to be able to get to the end of dinner as soon as possible. Yet time never passed and, as the conversation got more serious, I began to sense a bit of underlying machismo that did nothing but irritate me.
In that moment I realized that there was no future. And it was my fault. That is, if I was there, sitting in that club, to be told that Tinder is like Postalmarket, it was because I was convinced that a banal chat could become an interesting chat. But no.
To tell the truth, you can't even take the opposite for granted. That is, a conversation that seems stimulating to you does not necessarily turn into a satisfying encounter. Or in a meeting in general.
Sometimes you will have to contend with the ghosting, from the English "to ghost" (to move stealthily).
Ghosting is the practice of interrupting all communication and contact with a partner or someone you are dating, even for no apparent reason or any kind of warning, completely ignoring any attempted contact. (Wikipedia)
In fact, among the many gifts of the XNUMXst century there is also this wonderful practice that, apparently, we millennials have invented.
I tell you: the humans of the future will judge and hate us for it.
I think it is one of the most useless and cowardly things on the planet.
I experienced it on my own skin and found it horrible and meaningless. Why shouldn't you tell me what's wrong? Or just tell me that something is wrong? Why not give people the opportunity to do some self-analysis? That's why I started doing it, that is, explaining to the people I wasn't getting along well with why. Maybe not always with the right words or the right way, but it seemed like a better approach than total disappearance.
Let yourself be surprised
After 2 months of Tinder, the balance was disastrous. There had been chats, meetings, disappearances to report to Who saw it? and some escapological tricks worthy of David Copperfield, but no report worthy of the name.
At one point I thought about throwing in the towel but then I received a message that, among other things, said: "... being passionate about technology I must confess that I have been following the YouTube channel for years and I congratulate you".
Seeing each other was more difficult. It took us three weeks to set up a meeting. Partly because of me and my little social anxiety problems, partly because life always gets in the way.
And - this will probably surprise you - it was no less embarrassing than at other times. No matter how many hours you've spent on the phone with someone, the first face-to-face is always weird. He always carries with him expectations, anxieties, more or less justified doubts.
You notice the difference later, when you realize that you don't have to struggle to find topics of conversation, when you realize that there is already underlying complicity, when you don't spend time looking at the clock, when you come home and think you want 100 more you meet like this.
That specific event, which today has become a true friendship, rebalanced my relationship with Tinder a bit and taught me something vital to me: it is important to be surprised. We all have hopes, a vague idea of what we're looking for, but it's okay stay open to the possibilities.
Tinder in the United States
On December 31st I boarded a Swiss Air flight.
Destination: CES di Las Vegas.
Or rather, I land in Los Angeles and then take a car and reach the city of sin.
Once outside the airport, while I was on the shuttle that was taking me to the car rental, I said to myself: "This is my chance to use Tinder in the country where it was born."
Three hours later I was in my hotel room with my smartphone in hand, trying to figure out if there was any real difference with Italy.
At first I thought it was all the same, then in Las Vegas I started to notice something: compared to Italy iThe number of single mothers on Tinder - looking for company, including friendships - is huge while far fewer people have approached the app because the pandemic has prevented them from getting to know other people in the old way. I got the feeling that using the most popular dating app in the world was normal. How to download Uber or order on Grubhub (the equivalent of Just Eat).
The question you are asking yourself at this point, however, is another: did you match? Very very much, especially after translating the biography into English. Judging from the conversations I had, the reason for the interest was a great classic: foreigners - moreover Italians - are always more interesting than natives.
If you go abroad, remember this.
Will you continue to use Tinder?
If you are expecting other suggestions, well… I don't have any. In reality there are still a lot of things I'm trying to learn and understand. For example, why do you sign up on Tinder and then say "I won't be here long, write me on Instagram?". Or again, why do you have accounts with random names and then the bio that says “My name is Carlo, not Armando”? How did you get your own name wrong when signing up?
And it is to remove these and other doubts that yes, I will continue to use Tinder.
Despite the embarrassment of dating, ghosting and empty conversations, I am still convinced that in 2022 it is a useful tool for meeting new people. And then, even if it goes very badly and you manage to bring home only one valid relationship, don't you think that, for that single relationship that works, it is still worth it?