Shopping online for love: the problems of dating with Tinder

Article by Alice Vayle /
November 28, 2014 /
Click here to view original /

These days we are used to getting everything almost instantly – even waiting for an app to download or a screen to unfreeze can cause actual anxiety and frustration. Each year, things are moving faster and the pace of life increases. Looking back to the early nineties it was hard to imagine a world where we had to call a landline to contact people and we got most of our research from the library.

I met my partner online. I signed up to a (now very old fashioned-sounding) dating website and I went on four dates. He was the fourth. By the time we went out I had already deleted my profile because I found the whole process so painful that I only lasted a week. I was being spammed with hack requests ranging from “kisses” and requests to meet. Not to sound conceited, but I was getting up to 80 messages a day, mostly from shirtless yobbos who posed in front of utes, trucks and with beers in-hand.


Now the world has Tinder. It’s an online dating app where you can “swipe right” to see potential matches. It finds your location using GPS, then accesses the Facebook information from your profile to then make a Tinder profile.

According to Tinder: The Dating App EVERYONE’s Talking About by Sally Newall, “A Tinder profile is made up only of your first name, age, photos (of your choice) and any pages you’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook.”

Sally says, “Tinder then finds you potential matches near you (you can narrow it down by searching by age and distance) and if they take your fancy, you swipe right to ‘like’ them. If not, go left to ‘pass’. If they’ve also ‘liked’ you – bingo. It’s a match and you can start messaging.”


Here’s a bit of a horror story that indicates some people have less than honourable intentions when using the Tinder app. Sarah Marinos writes for the Herald Sun and tells the tale of an unnamed Melbourne woman who had a bad experience with the app. “Our parents knew each other well and he and I played together,” the woman (who was aged 28) said. “We hadn’t seen each other for at least 20 years. I recognised him instantly but it was obvious he didn’t recognise me.”

“I swiped right and so did he and we started texting. But within three texts he wrote, ‘So, fancy a f—?’ I didn’t take that any further.”


Well, you might! There is a Huff Post article I found that tells the tale of two Brigham Young University students named Sarah Rajani and Ryan Bills. They met on Tinder in 2013 after their friends “pressured them” to join. “I remember my first thoughts being, “Oh, wow, he is so cute!” I was in heaven,” says Sarah.

“By the next day,” she explains, “I could already see myself marrying this guy. Crazy, I know but my prediction ending up being true.”


Yup. Here in my home country of Australia we had a Tinder “murder”. Well, kind of. Gable Tostee met Warriena Wright on the dating app this year. They spent a few hours on the Gold Coast together before things took a nasty turn and she ended up plunging to her death from his high-rise apartment. The cops are now trying to pin him with murder but it’s been proven that he was not on the balcony when she fell.

It’s a really creepy, creepy story. Especially when you read the transcript of their last interaction. On bail he had to agree to terms including not using the Tinder app.


“It is still very casual sex-focussed,” according to Sally. “Many men are only on Tinder for a quick hook-up, so if it’s a serious relationship you’re after this app might not be for you.”

According to the Herald Sun, a University of Melbourne lecturer, Dr Lauren Rosewarne, “believes apps like Tinder have taken off simply because it’s a way to do more quickly what humans have strived to do for eons – connect with others.”

The doctor says, “Tinder simply makes easier what is already happening offline: men and women connecting for friendship, romance or just sex. Therefore the same pitfalls and perils of the dating world — for both genders — exist in the context of Tinder.”