We Need To Talk About: Tinder

Welcome to the first series on our brand new platform: ‘We Need To Talk About’. We will be encouraging writers to write about a topic they feel strongly about that they feel is not discussed enough, or in the right way. Your Editor, Imy, is starting us off, with the cultural and social phenomenon that is: Tinder.

Whether you used it just because you happened to be single, were lonely or just because you were curious as to what all the fuss was about, hey, maybe you even had mates who fell in love from there… Whatever happens that leads you to Tinder it can have an addictive rush of reassurance, or a plummet of insecurity attached to it.

I personally started using Tinder when I was 18 and between long term boyfriends. I found being single painful, I wouldn’t spend anytime alone, god forbid, ‘date myself’. Now however, despite being in a happy relationship, I bloody love taking myself out, to the theatre, for meals, anything.

Tinder, for someone who is insecure and scared of being alone, is like manna. I could log onto this little app, which had my best photos and a silly caption showing I was not only aesthetically pleasing but also ‘witty and whimsical’, and be told by guys I was attractive, be asked out, or just have someone to talk to. I know some girls who use it purely for the compliments and the Instagram followers and ya know what, you do you boo.

But for me… I found it easier to look to these people who I could control with a right or left swipe for the validation I needed. It became addictive and I found myself going on dates that I used to justify what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, if used in a stable headspace, dating apps can lead to really good things, but if used when one is emotionally vulnerable, insecure and lonely, you can wind up feeling even worse after a while, once you realise how dependent you have become.

I saw some of the most questionable parts of the human psyche on my jaunt with the wonderful world of dating apps, desperation, depravity and pure, unadulterated hilarity. I went on dates with people who are now some of my closest friends, but I also had others hurling abuse at me, calling me easy and getting hammered on a date that I only wanted to last for ten minutes.

My biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to use dating apps without becoming dependent on them for validation is to only use them a month or more after a break up, and to post genuine pictures of yourself on them. Tinder was a rush of reassurance, I was enough, or maybe, at least my tits were. So actually show your genuine, authentic self, and you may find yourself using it less as a crutch, and more as a platform to make actual genuine bonds. Oh, and always date safe. You know the drill, tell friends where you are, and if your gut is telling you to get out, just get the hell out.

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