Love me Tinder

scratched out headsAs a married person I’m off the dating game board. But for some reason, probably because I’m curious about how people navigate life, I’m fascinated by the particulars of dating sites.

When I’m with single friends who’ve used the older services , like Match and OkCupid, I’ll ask them about their experiences, what worked, and what didn’t. I have friends who married their online dates and people who just couldn’t stick with the online thing.

I’ve heard about the new kid on the block, Tinder, but haven’t chatted with anyone about it. Maybe it’s used more for quick late night hookups making users a little reluctant to talk about using it.

From what I know it’s quick and easy. Log on through Facebook on your phone and look at pictures of your potential dates. To “like” a pic swipe to the right, swipe to the left to “reject.”

I considered using a “selfie” of a cute woman for this post’s picture. But I didn’t want to take the obvious and probably most reader grabbing, route. I wanted to weed out any superficial readers. So I settled for Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong pictures.

A NYT article dug deeper into Tinder and relationship research. I took away a few (chopped and changed for clarity) impressions I thought were interesting.

All that really matters, at least in the beginning of relationship, is how someone looks.

Tinder use is staggering, on average, people log into the app 11 times a day.

Women spend as much as 8.5 minutes swiping during a single session; men spend 7.2 minutes. All of this can add up to 90 minutes each day.

It isn’t what Tinder is doing correctly, but rather what earlier dating sites have done wrong. The older services have proclaimed that their proprietary algorithms could calculate true love.

Researchers tried to find if these algorithm-based dating services could match people, as they claim to do. They pored through more than 80 years of scientific research about dating and attraction, and couldn’t prove that computers can indeed match people.

“When was the last time you walked into a bar and someone said, ‘Excuse me, can you fill out this form and we’ll match you up with people here?’ That’s not how we think about meeting new people in real life.”

“There isn’t a consensus about who is attractive and who isn’t. Someone that you think is especially attractive might not be to me.”

The most attractive people aren’t the only ones who find true love. Experts for Tinder say, “… when people are evaluating photos of others, they’re accessing compatibility on not just a physical level, but a social level. Asking, ‘Do I have things in common with this person?’ ”

“Everyone is able to pick up thousands of signals in these photos. A photo of a guy at a bar with friends sends a very different message than a photo of a guy with a dog on the beach.”

When women were asked to look at photos of handsome male models. In almost every instance, they rejected the men with chiseled faces. They said the men looked too full of themselves or unkind.

Men also judge attractiveness on factors beyond just anatomy, though in general, men are nearly three times as likely to swipe “like” (46%) than woman (14%).

Dating sites are starting to acknowledge that the only thing that matters when matching lovers is someone’s picture.