What About My Soul? Tinder Social Experiment

I’ve been told a few things about tinder: “don’t get it, it’s a trap”, “it’s good for hookups”, and “that’s where I met my spouse”. There are conflicting views about tinder, because obviously everyone’s experience is different. I do know tinder can work, I just haven’t yet had experience on it. I was out to dinner with some friends and as we talked about Tinder, I exclaimed “it’s dumb that you immediately say whether you like them or not based on their looks! What about my soul?” And then a light bulb literally went on above my head and I downloaded the app right there in the restaurant.

****if you’re not familiar with this dating app here’s the 411: Tinder gives you a photo and you swipe right if you like them or left if you don’t. If they also swipe right on your photo, you have a match. After you match with someone you’re encouraged to send them a message, maybe go on a date, maybe get married.

I would get Tinder for five days. December 11-15 2016.

I would like people until I am out of likes(100).

And I would keep track of my number of matches and messages.

Oh yeah, and this is my photo:

DAY 1: SUNDAY

Matches: 39

Messages: 11

A few examples:

Matt: Um upload some pics??

Alan: Are you a sweet spirit lol

Matthew: I loved your picture, I can relate to it so much. I feel a lot of people on tinder just want instant gratification like a physical fling or relationship, but to really love someone or get to know someone you gotta know their interests, their flaws, insecurities, and their dreams.

Tony: This is a little one sided.

DAY 2: MONDAY

Matches: 50

Messages: 17

A few examples:

Adam: I bet you have a beautiful soul and face to match.

Hary: Hi Kameron, how are you. Sorry I don’t want to bother you because we are taking finals, so see you after finals good luck my friend you are the best. (how does he know I am the best?/why’d he call me his friend?)

Victoriano: So do you have a dark soul?

Kyle: Hi, Kameron. How are people supposed to know anything about you with no bio? (idk this is an experiment Kyle)

Trey: Gingers have no souls.

DAY 3: TUESDAY

Matches: 49

Messages: 16

A few examples:

Andrew: No picture is bold.

Nicholas: I like your profile pic, it’s pretty original.

Cooper: I’d love to hear about your soul.

Jason: haha that’s a hilarious profile pic.

Maycoll: Me no (no entiendo Maycoll)

DAY 4: WEDNESDAY

Matches: 53

Messages: 23

A few examples:

Derek: Well I like to see who I’m talking to. (cry Derek, please cry)

Azeez: Send me a picture of your soul lol.

Joseph: A very interesting profile picture. Course now I’m speaking to a name without a face.

Weston: Hi so what’s your story.

Varun: Hello the one with beautiful soul how are you doing? (cue Jesse McCartney)

Tyler: Alright, we’ve matched. Now spill your soul.

DAY 5: THURSDAY

Matches: 45

Messages: 25

A few examples:

Nathan: What’s green and fuzzy and if it falls out of a tree, will kill you?

John: I need to learn more about you to keep interested. What do you like to do for fun?

Jamin: lol the picture statement you have up… tell me who you know your soul to be?

Quinten: I can’t see your soul either.

Aaron: They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Thursday concluded my experiment and I promptly deleted my account. What did I learn?

  • Girls get more attention on dating apps. I’d heard this but now knew it was true. I didn’t even have a photo and all the boys came running.
  • A lot of people are interested if you are. We might be a maximizing generation in our need to find the ‘best’ soulmate but we are generally open to getting to know people.
  • I don’t really know what I learned, but I definitely had fun.
  • I think Tinder is pretty genius actually.

In Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance(I love this book and recommend it- 10/10), Ansari says,

Now, of course, we have mobile dating apps like Tinder. Contrary to the labor-­intensive user experience of traditional online dating, mobile apps generally operate on a much simpler and quicker scale. As soon as you sign in, Tinder uses your GPS location to find nearby users and starts showing you pictures. You swipe right on their picture if you might be interested, left if you’re not.

Maybe it sounds shallow. But consider this: In the case of my girlfriend, I initially saw her face somewhere and approached her. I didn’t have an in-depth profile to peruse or a fancy algorithm. I just had her face, and we started talking and it worked out. Is that experience so different from swiping on Tinder?

“I think Tinder is a great thing,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies dating. “All Tinder is doing is giving you someone to look at that’s in the neighborhood. Then you let the human brain with his brilliant little algorithm tick, tick, tick off what you’re looking for.”

In this sense, Tinder actually isn’t so different from what our grandparents did. Nor is it all that different from what one friend of mine did, using online dating to find someone Jewish who lived nearby. In a world of infinite possibilities, we’ve cut down our options to people we’re attracted to in our neighborhood.”

The genius of Tinder as opposed to other dating apps/sites is that it’s so initial. In sites where you write specifically what you THINK you want in a partner, you cut so many people out of the algorithm that you might have come to love.

In conclusion, this wasn’t completely scientific at all. This was a little experiment just for fun. I don’t have a thesis or a huge essay to turn in. What I’m happy about is the number of men who were willing to know about my soul, rather than my face(or should that be alarming? I don’t know). Of course, in real life I would want to see someone’s face first so that’s pretty hypocritical. Either way, it was fun to have Tinder for a week. It’s pretty validating to continue getting notifications that random males sent you messages.

The End

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Kameron

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