Tinder’s New App Goes a Step Too Far

The Verge tells us about Tinder’s new Apple TV app and suggests that dating really has become a spectator sport.

Tinder is now available on Apple TV, allowing you to view potential matches on the big screen and swipe left or right using Apple’s touch-sensitive Siri Remote. (Voice controls are, disappointingly, not supported.) It may sound a little intense for a dating app, but it confirms what we’ve always suspected: dating is now firmly a spectator sport.

Tinder’s new ad campaign for the app makes this clear, with a bunch of 20 to 30-second spots showing life inside a comfortable-looking household where the two adult-ish children are still living at home (sooooo millennial, amirite?). Friends come round to vet potential matches, mom and dad offer their own unsolicited advice, and even nana has a go.

It appears to us that this has little to do with finding a date and is more of an attempt to move into so-called reality TV.

It’s certainly not a stretch. I’m not a Tinder user myself, but more than a few times I’ve been hanging with friends at a pub or flat, and someone has got out the app so that everyone gawk at the alternately earnest, pretentious, and embarrassing human slideshow inside. I mean, who doesn’t like the opportunity to judge a complete stranger based on nothing more than a few pictures and lines of text? Religions have been founded on less.

Why would you pay to use Tinder unless it is to get a date? You may want a hot first date or you may be aiming for a happy relationship. In either case this sort of voyeurism does nothing to improve your chances.

What Is the Point Again of Online Dating?

As we have said before, online dating is a new and improved version of speed dating. You get to meet lots of people who are prescreened for your set of criteria.

In a formal speed dating event, at a restaurant for example, either men or women are seated, while the other gender moves from place to place. “Dates” can be as short as three minutes and typically no longer than ten minutes. When the timekeeper rings a bell or simply announces that the “date” is over, participants move on the next date. The participants fill out a contact sheet before the event. This sheet provides contact information such as name, email, and phone number. After the event each person at the speed dating event has a list of the persons that they met. Contact information is provided to both individuals of the prospective pair if both have chosen the other person from their list.

People who go to speed dating events are there to meet someone, develop a relationship and get on with a happy, hopefully married, life. Gawking at people saying dumb things in a reality show setting does not meet these criteria and is more like fantasy dating, likely to leave you tired and depressed in the end.

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