Tinder Vs. OkCupid, A Rationale


“You know you can’t gaze into each other’s eyes through your phones.”

Oh but Hinge, we absolutely can! Thanks for getting right to the point though.

I’ve never finished setting up a profile on OkCupid or J-Date or anything. Partially because I’m really, really bad at describing myself, partially because the whole thing seems like a later-in-life last resort, and mostly because it just all seems like kind of a hassle. Not in the sense of being more time-consuming than actually going out or whatever, because maybe it really is more efficient for some people. In the sense of it being a chore though, it seems like a whole thing. And I know people that have met their long or short-term romantic solutions on those sites. I’m sure if you’re willing to put in the time the algorithm really does match you up, but good.

Even beyond the time spent grappling with what your hobbies really are, it all seems like a little too much work to be putting in before you even meet someone in person.

You know what’s way easier and carries way less expectation? Swiping right or left.

Maybe some people take Tinder and Hinge and whatever other incarnations of that platform exist seriously. Their little blurb is immaculately hewn; their pictures selected over painstaking hours of excel simulations. I don’t know, you gotta think there’s a perfect combination of quirky and informative, involved, yet aloof, that really pads your stats. But it really seems like the beauty of those apps is the ease.

It’s just another thing you can do instead of watching whatever show you’re catching up on for no reason. And if you get a match, that’s a nice, little boost to your self-esteem that we could all use more of! And all for the price of connecting via Facebook. You can play 2048, you can play Candy Crush, you can play Tinder. Easy.

And hey, maybe you send a match a message. No skin off your back. Unless you fall into the I assume tiny cross-section mentioned above of people who both prefer Tinder and like listing their hobbies, favorite alcohols and physical specifics at length, you’ve put in very little effort and bared your soul to no one. And if that “Hey, what’s up?” (Note: I’m bad at Tinder messaging) turns into a “Sure, I’ll see you Wednesday” (as you know, the best first date night), you will almost certainly not have run out of basic conversation topics. Win-win-win.

I could see the argument that OkCupid and the more involved online dating tools are worthwhile because you’re being matched on more than just an initial reaction to someone putting their best (or most charmingly off-kilter) face forward. Sure. That makes sense. You want to know that you’re more than just probably physically attracted to each other. Also OkCupid, to the best of my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong) is more geared towards people seeking relationships, rather than the Tinder connotation of being for the casual hook-up seeker.

Even if that is the genesis and point of the app, I think Tinder’s approach seems as natural as any of it can be. So you met someone you’re initially attracted to and only know fleeting details about? That sounds a lot like how people meet at parties, or bars, or the flea market.

  • Your friend knows someone, that someone brought a friend from college or home or wherever to the party.
  • You meet the college friend,
  • You start with small talk,
  • And you decide you like each other enough to try making slightly more in-depth talk at a later date.

Sounds a lot like the way Tinder or, even more so, Hinge uses your pool of Facebook friends to find potential matches based on basic details. If it doesn’t work out, there’s been no real involvement, no chains of long, getting-to-know-you messages, which, with each click of “Send” create more and more expectations. Meeting someone online seems perfectly legitimate; getting to know them online makes me dubious.

image – Ian Iott