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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Swipe right, together: Editorial on the collective infantility behind Tinder's ‘matchmaking’ feature

Tinder had marketed itself as a game-changer as users could find dates without interference of friends and family. But this bastion of romantic independence seems to have been breached

The Editorial Board Published 29.10.23, 07:44 AM
Representational image

Representational image Sourced by the Telegraph

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Tinder, the mobile dating application, had marketed itself as a game-changer when it came to romantic relationships: users could find dates without the pesky interference of friends and family. But this bastion of romantic independence seems to have been breached. Tinder recently introduced a ‘matchmaking’ feature, which allows friends and family to suggest and vet prospective matches. What, one might wonder, led to this volte-face? It may have been motivated by collective infantility: Tinder surveys show that its users are incapable of making an independent decision — 75% of singles on Tinder said they discuss their dating life with friends multiple times a month, 37% have ‘swiped right’ or chosen a date for a friend, and 28% have had their friends swipe right for them. Additionally, over 41% of young singles who use a dating app look through profiles with others and 54% take others’ dating advice.

The numbers tell their own story, underscoring the need to analyse the reasons that can explain this shared inability to be confident about choosing one’s own date or a prospective partner. Apparently, one reason has to do with the unwillingness to shoulder the blame for a date gone sour. While 95% of people find matches on Tinder within a week, over 50% of the frissons fizzle out. If such matches were to be fixed by family and friends, youngsters reason they would find it easier to pass the buck — the burden of failure — on to others. It must be remembered that the social stigma of failing to succeed in a relationship is still potent, especially for women. Another explanation can be speculated upon. The romantic haze of meeting a date often blinds
an impressionable person to a beau’s potential ‘red flags’ — Gen Z speak
for warning signs. This is especially true of a visual medium like Tinder where there is little else to recommend a match other than artful photographs and cleverly-written bios. Friends and family, the logic goes, might come in handy in helping a lovestruck soul see through that haze.

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Has traditional mat­ch­making then trum­p­ed modern dating? Not quite. Tinder’s new strategy may be a response to the app’s declining popularity. Last year, the group’s share prices fell by over 50%, a slide that was attributed to youths’ aversion to the game of smoke and mirrors that dating has always been. Moreover, the age-old demands of fidelity are not always met by such platforms. In fact, Tinder has reasons to be broken-hearted. Gen Z no longer believes in marriage and prioritises self-care over settling down, says a report published in The Guardian. Tinder’s new business model relying on families fussing over ‘the one’ may not work in all markets.

But then, there is India, where matchmaking apps are seeing double-digit growth; the country, one of Tinder’s largest markets, could help it sew up its heart and purse.

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