The truth about Tinder: Is the newest online dating app as harmless as it seems?


We tested out the app in South West London.


By Sean Conner, Jamie Micklethwaite and Hannah Pupkewitz

Half game, half dating app and a cross between Facebook and Grindr, we tested out Tinder in South  West London.

The casual sex app is based on a hot or not foundation, where you flick through a seemingly endless list of people in a certain mile radius rejecting or accepting them.

 If you both accept each other you’re a match. Bingo.

Your matches are compiled together and you’re able to message them.

What makes it work so well is its simplicity. Its free, it can be used to target people locally and it shows at first glance photos of potential suitors their names and ages.

Tinder is a lot easier to use then any dating website, is easier to set-up and carries less of an air of desperation.

However users are very aware that you may be using the app on a regular basis and you can become old news very quickly as new matches can be found 24/7.

“The spark from any individual conversation disappeared almost instantly,’’ one user complained. 

And another admitted: ‘‘The first match I got is the only one that I still speak to regularly.’’

Generic small talk can drain a conversation quicker than your phone battery.

Yes the majority of people can get a kick out of the app, but the buzz comes from a negative place.

With a constant stream of matches the app massages one’s own ego and other people’s profiles are a source for mocking laughter.

It’s entertaining but it’s essentially a game of narcissism and judgement.

It confines to gender stereotypes. Men are under pressure to message female users with humorous chat up lines to draw them in.

One male user said: ‘’I felt pressurised to say something funny particularly when initiating a conversation since I knew how key the first message was to getting a response.’’

Woman in contrast can lie back and wait for the messages to role in.

There are other issues too. People are able to see your last login time, which can cause petty and persistent behaviour amongst those who don’t take too kindly to being ignored.

‘‘I got some angry messages from men I hadn’t replied to. They seemed to think that by matching them in the first place I owed them something,’’ said one female user.

One user messaged a match four times in a row and seemed undeterred by the fact he’d received no reply.

Another extremely forward user with suspiciously quick replies sent a link for her webcam asking for credit details.

It just shows you can create an incredibly efficient and entertaining app, but you can’t change human nature.

 Photo courtesy of, with thanks.

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