Harry Cole

Tinder has taught me that I am both a snob and a slut

The Tinder dating app is disgusting and brings out the worst in its users, but it’s very addictive

30 November 2013

10:41 AM

30 November 2013

10:41 AM

Given that smartphones have encroached on every other aspect of our lives, it was only a matter of time before we sunk low enough to surrender our most base instincts to our palm-held masters.

Well, congratulations humanity, you’ve gone and done it: you no longer have to leave your house to casually survey eye-candy and make that silent personal decision on first sight — would you or wouldn’t you? You no longer have to pay for a drink before scanning a nightclub, compiling a mental list of those around you: ‘yes, no, no, no, yes, hell yes, no, no, both at the same or neither’, etc. Instead of the joy of chatting up a total stranger in public, welcome to the seedy world of Tinder, the iPhone app that’s been lowering sexual standards since 2012 in the US, but has recently swept London.

The concept is painfully simple. You choose a picture of yourself, indicate your sexual preference, and you’re away. A pictures of a girl, her age, a bio line and her distance away immediately popped into my screen. If I liked what I saw I could swipe the picture to right, if I never wanted to see that person again I could swipe to the left. My picture is out there popping onto girls’ phones and if we both swipe right, then, ta da! You are matched, which fills you with a warm sense of satisfaction approximate to about an eighth of the feeling you get when you catch the eye of someone pretty and just know.

Once you are matched, the painful private conversation can begin and the rest is up to you. Tinder claims to have made 100 million matches so far, and says that there have been 50 proposals of marriage, though let’s not pretend it’s all chocolate boxes and roses. The seedy side is never far away. Female friends who are regular users report grossly impertinent demands for nude pictures and/or sex almost as soon as matches have been made. Luckily — and unlike in real life — there is a block -button.

Late to the party, I open a bottle of red and kick back for a merry evening of swiping. It immediately becomes clear that Tinder is horribly addictive, like a very aggressive, sleazy game of snap. Side effects: ‘Tinderitis’, a repetitive strain injury from too much thumb swiping. Also a deep sense of self-loathing.

Little black dresses: good. Right swipe.

Girls in Barbours and wellies: good. Right swipe.


Bungee-jumping or photos of you stroking a drugged-up tiger on your gap year: bad. Left swipe.

The bikini shots often seem wildly misleading when you click on the additional photos, but who has time for that? Right swipe.

Group of four girls, three of whom look pretty? Right swipe: worth the gamble it wasn’t the ugly duckling.

That amusing photo of you in fancy dress? Left swipe.

And is it just me or has every girl in London been to that festival in India where everyone throws paint about? Left swipe.

You had me at the picture of you with Michael Portillo. Right swipe.

The generic blurred picture of you in a nightclub with a cocktail that was clearly so expensive you thought you better record it for posterity. Left swipe.

My adventure into the Tinder vortex taught me many things. Not least that the British gap-year student appears to have done more cultural damage to -Vietnam lately than the Americans ever achieved.

An hour or so later, I want out.

It wasn’t the ‘look at sensitive me with African orphan’ pictures that annoyed me the most. Nor was it the beach star-jump action shots; nor the Machu Picchu/-facing away from the camera scenery shot. No, what it comes down to is that Tinder confirms your own worst fears about yourself. When it comes down to it, I am a bit of snob and a bit of slut.

There is an argument that Tinder is a progressive social construct which is helping to make online dating acceptable and that that is a good thing. I disagree. If you are not capable of holding real-life conversations in the hope of eliciting romantic outcomes, then you should not be allowed to use technology to cheat. If you are looking for casual sex, that is one thing, but anything more and you are building a relationship on a lie. In bypassing your own failings by using your phone, you are only heading toward disappointment.

By swiping your thumb, you can ‘meet’ 500 potential partners in an hour — more than our ancestors would have met in a lifetime. Just because there is way to make something easy through using technology, it does not mean that it’s necessarily a good idea. Tinder is another nail in the coffin of western civilisation. And with that, your correspondent would like to say that he made his excuses and left… but it is very, very addictive. Left swipe.

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Show comments
  • Davey4Lyfe

    People your age shouldn’t be allowed on tinder anyway, and certainly not looking at the girls you seem to be looking at

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      It’s different for men, isn’t it? They’re not cut off at the knees romantically as women are. You know how they talk about ‘cat years’ and ‘dog years’? Well, woman years are a lot shorter than man years, match- or mating-wise. Not because of their personal qualities, necessarily, but in terms of what men want and expect. As Marcus Berkmann says in his book, when men age, they get an ever-greater number of women to fantasize about, ogle, chat up: mere girls to women their own age. As women age they get an ever-decreasing number of prospects, who are nearly always older (same age if they’re very lucky) and in some cases with one foot in the grave!

      • Davey4Lyfe

        no idea what you are talking about

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          Oh come on. It’s obvious. A man of 65 can look at women half his age and not be scoffed at. A woman’s romantic sell-by-date is up long before then, unless she wants an oldster as a lover. That’s why it doesn’t matter if the author of this article is a good deal older than the girls he’s been looking at on Tinder. Who’s to say that one of them wouldn’t go for him?

          • Davey4Lyfe

            ohh right ok. i personally think its a bit dodgey but maybe thats me. I’m gonna say that almost all of them wouldn’t, most of the ‘young ones’ i come across are fellow students who are looking for other ‘young’ matches, not for some middle aged man. if they want that, tinder isn’t the best place to look

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            Yeah, agree with you there.

          • MarieMackinnon

            Nobody is looking at middle-aged men.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

            Get back to me about that in 15 years (I’m a woman, by the way).

          • Goodluck Jonathan

            Women are always telling me and my brother how hot our dad was.
            I don’t understand it he had a receding hairline and a beer belly, but anyhow it’s clearly not the case. Anyhow he’s passed and my mom… no surprise, dates middle aged men?

            Why are all your posts angry and inconsistent with reality?

          • MarieMackinnon

            We scoff at men of 65 chasing after women that look like their granddaughters. Good thing most of them are in the grave within 5 years.

            These men are a joke. Sad thing is, they’re the last ones in on it. Like you, they are disconnected from reality, thinking women actually care what they think.

            You can get back to Call of Duty now.

          • Aaron Jeethan

            Reality is upsetting to a lot of women. You’re not alone.

          • Status Quo

            You patronising arse! Old men chasing younger women is not appreciated by the majority of the fairer sex, and most reasonable men. Of course many men like to see it (and dwell on it) as it boosts their flailing egos. And the media and Hollywood in particular revel in pairings of attractive young women with less attractive and/or much older men reinforming some men’s belief that this is what young nubile women want. But it is supremely undignified and unpleasant to behold. Women go for looks and youth too. With economic independence women are loosing any incentive to enter into relations with older, balder men. Amen to that.

          • Aaron Jeethan

            I understand. It’s tough being middle-aged when men your own age are dating younger women and treating you as if you were invisible. It hurts.

          • MarieMackinnon

            You have no clue how old I am, and it doesn’t matter if you did.

            I could not care less what males choose to do with their lives. If old pigs want to troll OkCupid and harass women who laugh at them, and think they look cool doing it, I could care less.

            Males seem to think that women go around actually caring what they do. We don’t. Get back to looking for mail order brides from third world countries, because only women looking to escape monsoons would put up with your garbage.

            You’re obsolete. Deal with it.

          • villageshop

            MarieMackinnon – you’re far, far too angry to support the claim of not caring!

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

            So angry, she mistook me for a 60ish man that watches porn and plays computer games. I suppose her avatar is likely to be her. She obviously didn’t think my avatar is me!

          • mwnciboo

            You say “You could not care less” but yet in your previous post you say “You Scoff”, so do you often comment on things you don’t care less about or are you enjoying being in that ivory tower of condescension with that faux facade of superiority. Humans (regardless of their gender) should be free to as they will, you judging people and making sweeping statements about the Human race, doesn’t make you right. If you cannot be nice, then at least do no harm. Primum non nocere.

          • Retrograde

            Well aren’t you just the most unpleasant individual I’ve had the misfortune to read in a long time.

          • Goodluck Jonathan

            Well I just read your post history.. it all makes sense now. Have a nice day, I feel for you cause women have me feeling bitter sometimes but I remember that I have friends and siblings in nice relationships with no gripes about their spouses… maybe you should think about that.

          • HollywoodNeedsHelp

            You’re craaazy. Like, the kind of “run like hell when someone meets you on a first date” crazy. You start off with addressing him like he’s talking to you, when he wasn’t addressing anyone. Do the world a favor and don’t reproduce. We have enough problems as it is. Maybe when you start treating men with the same level of respect decent men treat women they’re interested in, you’ll find happiness and stop being so bitter about everything.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

            I agree that women go for looks and youth. Or would, if only they could find them. I cannot remember the last time a man knocked me out with his good looks, never mind youth (although the recent model for yoga products did have me looking twice, despite the fact that he seemed to have a tattoo, which was disappointing). People mention Brad Pitt a lot. For the life of me, I fail to see why. Jim Morrison was beautiful, but he was big before I was born. It’s almost as if men don’t ‘do’ gorgeous. As a consequence we women must look for other things….
            As for economic independence, I wish. Speaking for myself as a writer, my vocation gives me no independence whatsoever. Not all of us fit well as cogs in the commercial wheel.

          • MarieMackinnon

            Males are completely disconnected from reality and think the fantasy world they built in their heads somehow qualifies.

            You are not alone. Get back to Call of Duty and be quiet.

          • http://michaeldaaboul.tumblr.com Michael Daaboul

            Hm. Your post history is concerning. It seems you have some vendetta against men, is this due to past experiences?

            I don’t mind intellectual posts or healthy debates. What you’re doing is not shining a positive light in your direction. Your “opinion” is borderline abuse.

            “You’re a deluded loser living in your mom’s basement, blaming your lack of a life and your fat ass on women and movements you know nothing about.”

            You’re not only generalising a whole gender, you’re being sexist and stereotypical as well.

            Furthermore, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau in June 2013, 16 million gamers are female in the UK. So maybe you should drop that stereotype you have been using. Oh, and porn as well.

            The people who are replying to you above do so in a respectable manner, maybe you should show some common courtesy.

          • HollywoodNeedsHelp

            Looks like we have someone that hates all men. Why don’t you become a lesbian already and whine to your dom about how all men are terrible because of your own poor life decisions.

          • Ray Mondo

            “You can go back to Call of Duty/Porn/that rape thread on Reddit now”

            You’ve spat that same bar for like 3 comments or more. Can’t you think of anything creative to use on random guys you’re winding up on the internet? You’re trolling them, but in such a boring way.

            Also, I’m sure I’d get you giggling if I spoke to you for 5 minutes. There is no way you hate all of us…

      • MarieMackinnon

        Keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. Keep telling yourself that.

        You’re not going to be going out with college girls when you’re 65, as you aren’t now. I have the sneaking suspicion you don’t look like a young Brad Pitt.

        People do scoff at those old male idiots pumping themselves full of Viagra and getting hairplugs in desperate attempts to hang on to their youth. They are a joke. Women laugh at them constantly because they are fools. The sad thing is, you are hilariously clueless and think we take these old goats seriously.

        You have no clue what prospects women face, in their 20s or whatever other age.

        Males are so hilariously out of tune with reality and what is going on with women (most of women are busy with work and school, since males have shown they’re largely worthless) it actually makes me laugh.

        You can get back to your porn now. Women do not care what you think.

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          I agree, Marie: it’s hard to find a good man that can offer a good woman all that she deserves.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rcOVJBMYQ Winston Blake

            Sluts and whores are superior creatures… they can bathe and are exactly what they were before… the men are changed forever…

            Anything that bleeds for four days and survives is quite formidable.

          • MarieMackinnon

            I bet your mother regrets not aborting you every single day of her life.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rcOVJBMYQ Winston Blake

            Chinga tu madre.

          • MarieMackinnon

            Amazing reply. Who says males are bad with language?

            Then we wonder why colleges have affirmative action for boys now. Aren’t there threads about rape over at reddit you should be commenting at right about now?

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rcOVJBMYQ Winston Blake

            Any tongue that confesses my angelic native English concedes that we Englishmen civilized the world with nothing more than a song.

          • Goodluck Jonathan

            I’ll be impressed once there are more than 3 american women in a typical mathematics program. Getting a 4.0 in college isn’t hard when you’re taking english lit.

          • JrJ

            Reading all of your comments, you sound extremely bitter. Did you recently get cheated on or something? Not only are you hating on pretty much all men, you are saying no one is looking for older men. Actually there are quite a few. Stop speaking for everyone and speak for yourself. You just sound like an opinionated brat.

          • HollywoodNeedsHelp

            You sound like a bitter, “liberated” slut who is angry at her self and past actions and is taking her hatred out on everyone as a result of those who wronged you.

            I hate to break it to you hun, but if you’re looking for a decent man, an attitude like that ain’t getting you one. That’s why you’re getting nothing but dicks, both physically and metaphorically. You don’t represent the ideals of “real” women. You’re a whore.

          • Tom Anderson

            Oh I dont know, a lot of women seem to get exactly what they deserve.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rcOVJBMYQ Winston Blake

          Sluts and whores are superior creatures… they can bathe and are exactly what they were before… the men are changed forever…

        • Goodluck Jonathan

          Uhm actually everything he said is consistent with data published by OKcupid aggregating their user behavior and stated preferences.
          “People do scoff at those old male idiots pumping themselves full of
          Viagra and getting hairplugs in desperate attempts to hang on to their

          Women are famous for this right? Maybe there is an undiscovered $200 eyecream market for men that’s waiting to get exploited but I doubt it.

          Why’re you so angry.

          PS. Men don’t feel shame for looking at porn we love it.. leave your boyfriend at home alone for a weekend and he’s probably got a date with his bong and the lovely ladies of the internet,

          • Tom Anderson

            Angry because you stated the truth. No other reason I can think of.

    • Goodluck Jonathan

      He’s 29 genius

  • george

    “Little black dresses: good. Right swipe.
    Girls in Barbours and wellies: good. Right swipe.”

    at least you seem to have perfectly normal tastes. not like it was little black dresses and wellies!

    • http://www.frankfisher.org Frank Fisher

      There was a glastonbury during the glorious anti-CJB days of the early nineties where every pretty girl seemed to be wearing little summer dresses and para boots. Oooooohhh it still brings on a tremor…

  • http://jontynation.blogspot.co.uk/ jontycampbell

    Tinder is a brilliant idea for many who cannot afford the weekly chore of “going out” to pubs, bars and clubs, plus it also circumvents the high fail rate of dating sites.

    • Het Russ

      But who can afford a smartphone? Pretty limited demographic you’ve set yourself there. As for ‘fail rates’, the less said the better.

      • http://jontynation.blogspot.co.uk/ jontycampbell

        Tinder is just a tool, like Match.com, MySingleFriend or anything else utilised in this social sphere.

        As to who can afford a Smartphone – increasing millions it would seem in the UK, hence the demand for 3 and 4G.

        • Het Russ

          Looks like I left my post open to misinterpretation. Those who cannot afford to go out into a social environment are hardly likely to be able to afford smartphones.

          • http://jontynation.blogspot.co.uk/ jontycampbell

            Apologies, I wasn’t being clear, it’s not so much the monetary cost but the cost/shoeleather of pubbing/clubbing in the most important constraint of all – time, getting ready/dressing up with ur glad rags on, the competition, the noise and so on. It is a LOT of effort for no guarantee both parties will find a potential match. Yes there’s no guarantee with this tool, yet is far less time intensive.

            With this kind of tool, it cuts out a lot of hassle as you know those on it are single and looking, and folk can say yes to as many or as few other folk as they wish. If both like each others profile, great, there’s potential chemistry and possibly something further, if not, there’s plenty more fish in the sea.

            This simply makes it simpler to fish, kind of an app version of speed dating if you will Y


          • Thirteen7s

            i agree totally, as somebody who cant drink because of my job, along with working long hours, 6 days a week including full weekends (my day off is a wednesday) actually going out to bars and meeting people isnt an option.dating is much harder for many people who work on irregular time constraints, or have differing lifestyles to the norm. people complain about apps and dating sites and say ‘well why dont you just go to a bar and meet someone’…
            well the bar is kind of their dating tool,and i cant use that, and people have iller judgement when theyre drinking so in a way their judging somebody like myself who would consider trying tinder when they themselves are as guilty as anyone else for getting it easy.
            maybe some of us cant meet people in the conventional way others do because we simply dont live the kind of lifestyle or have the free time to allows us to do that. even if somebody has confidence issues should they not be allow to date like everyone else who is normal?
            of course they should, nobody has the authority to tell anyone else how to live there life if there doing something that makes them happy and doesnt affect others. people just need to stop poking there noses into other peoples business, if they dont like it, dont use it, dont pay attention to it, and if they have a problem with other people using it then thats obviously a little insecurity inside themselves they need to address.
            thankue, i got a little carried away there, rant over

        • http://jontynation.blogspot.co.uk/ jontycampbell

          Bigged up my own post yo.

      • NaebodyActually


        Enough for them to ship 2 billion phones, the majority of which are smartphones.

  • Sacha

    The photos with the paint are probably from The Colour Run (5K) which is sponsored by Dulux and happens all over the UK. Maybe you need to get out more.

    • facwit

      Do you honestly think that Harry Cole knows what running is?

      • Sacha

        I didn’t want to say…

      • Ian Walker

        Or ‘all over the U.K.’ for that matter

  • Shoe On Head


    (Mirror. Take look. Long and hard)

  • Aled Lumley

    Harry you pretty much nailed every thought I had about POF (a similar app). Are you and senior guido doing a drinking session anywhere near Bristol soon?

  • Sarah_Howell

    Western civilisation is slowly but unrelectantly realising that what we acquire easily, we esteem too lightly; and that nothing worth having is acquired easily.

  • Perseus Slade

    Another disgusting and bigoted example of “sinistrophobia” as we left-handed people call it. Should be banned. C`mon, let`s organise a day of rage. I am so angry.

    • Bo

      Those dexter bigots will get what’s coming to them.

  • formonitoring

    widescreen shot for you presumably, harry?

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    I suppose they couldn’t call it ‘Kindle’ because that was taken. And they couldn’t call it ‘F=gg=t’ because the other meaning of fire-starter would be lost in the outrage and misunderstanding. (Anyway, the cruel origin of that word would be exposed.) They missed an opportunity, though: they could have called it MeatMarket or CattleCall and then no one could possibly imagine that it’s an e-book reader. (Never overestimate your public!)

    If I were launching a sex-and-mating app, I’d call it Slake.

  • MarieMackinnon

    Males behaving like idiotic pigs on social media, demonstrating why many women have figured out they are largely a waste of time?

    Well, I never. The author of this article should remain single, as he is a joke.

  • Adam

    A fad dating app sprung up, and girls are behaving in ways I don’t like. NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION.

    Dramatic, much?

  • http://www.mikerouse.co.uk/ Mike Rouse

    Dude, remember Hot Or Not? The precursor to and inspiration behind Facebook…They released a “Meet Me” module in about ’02 or ’03. This is just an updated version of that. Those were good days!

  • Aphorisms & Musings

    Like all else tinder is for white people..

  • http://freewebcams.vipcams4u.com/ Alex Liddell

    super website and good info http://freewebcams.vipcams4u.com/

  • lilly
  • CecilTerwilliger

    I think saying the internet is cheating is kind of glazing over how hard figuring out how to talk to people can be for some. Not everyone has the cocksure to walk up to someone and say hello. As a person with extreme social anxiety talking to people online has gotten hard, talking to people in person I don’t know in person that I want to possibly form something long standing with is a terrifying situation. Here you have an app that tells me it’s ok to talk to this person because they might be interested in me. I can make the first impression that I want and not worry that maybe I meet the perfect person and they don’t give me the time of day because my zipper was open or I messed up my pick up line or it’s the one day that I decided to just relax and not worry about my appearance wearing whatever clothes.

  • Danny Davies

    first off I just want to remind all you sexist sluts that you need a man to make a baby