Tinder; the place where love goes to die. The face that launched a thousand ships, it became the golden child of the online dating world. A simple swipe right to find the love of your life. I dabbled in the Tinder sphere in my early years of college. To be honest, I wasn't 100% clued in on how it worked. I just swiped aimlessly and refused to answer back to any messages for fear I might actually have a to start a conversation with them.
My time on Tinder came to a climatic ending, however, when I was messaged by a lovely lad who threatened to beat me up with a hurley for ignoring him. A swift press and delete quickly followed.
Related: Unlucky in love: Online dating just not working? Here's another idea...
On Tinder of yore, a week or more would be spent making awkward small talk before anyone would even dare ask to meet outside of the digital realm. It was slow and calculated and you would obsess with your friends over what to do next. Since that time, Tinder has changed from a tender weekend retreat to a wild jungle of highly hormonal 20-year olds. They don't look for love, they look for a quick fix. Just a little something for the weekend.
See now, buy now
I have many friends who have met their respective others through Tinder, and even now those stories will emerge in conversations, but they are getting fewer by the swipe. Friends of mine indulged me with their stories of just how manic it is on the platform. It seems overtly reflective of the 'see now, buy now' world that we live in. It's quick, to the point and entirely soulless at times.
People are upfront about what they want to the point of harshness. One friend showed me a conversation where she was asked for her Snapchat name instead of hello. When she tried to make conversation, she was told: "I don't want to play games." Now it seems like the good old-fashioned thing called conversation is a gateway to psychological warfare.
Related: Find love through real-life Tinder, and avoid the awkwardness
Another friend went into specific detail of just how intensely unloveable it has become. She said instead of "Hi. How are you?", it's "Hi. Can you call over now?". The last time she was asked this question she replied, "Are you not even going to pretend to get to know me?" the other person retaliated by saying "No because I'm just going to ghost you afterwards so what is the point" and then proceeded to block her.
It is directly saying "Just to let you know, I don't want anything serious", instead of saying "I'm from Monaghan, where are you from?" They look for a quick hook-up, someone they can call at 3 o' clock in the morning after drinking too many Jamesons and ginger ale in Flannery's
And you see why they say that romance is dead.
Hearing these stories makes you yearn for a simpler time. When people courted. When you were asked for a dance and you barely touched outside of that. Many of my friends have voiced that they have been born in the wrong era. And that a time without Tinder was a lot more love life-friendly. There seemed to be less testosterone in the air back then.
Maybe it was because repression was rife, but at least you got the feeling that it wasn't all only for human touch, but for human connection. Even when I began my journey into the Irish nightlife it was only gentle, feeble introductions. Everyone was afraid and self-conscious of what they said. And you thought that life would always be that way.
However, it isn't. Tinder changing so drastically in the way it has is making the dating world a hotbed of heartache and frustration. Maybe it's time to let it go, just like I did when I thought I would be running away from hurleys for the rest of my life.
It might be time for an overhaul and to go back to the traditional Irish ways of finding love; bad chat-up lines and Jägerbomb's.
Related: Here's why I'm done with online dating (and why I'm going back to basics)