What I'm about to admit is not something I'm proud of, but here it is: I can't stop using Tinder.
I've been Tindering for a few weeks now, and among all of the things all of this Tindering has shown me, the one thing most unexpected is this: Tinder is sports.
I'll get to the explanation in a minute, but first, some background.
If you're not familiar, Tinder is an app that's kind of like a dating site, but has the reputation of mainly bringing people together for hook-up situations. Accounts are linked with Facebook, so you can see someone's interests and if you've got any mutual friends. Your Facebook profile picture is automatically uploaded, and you can add a few more pictures and a bio, and then get potential matches in a mileage range of your choosing.
After downloading the app months ago but being too uncomfortable with the idea of it to actually use it, I finally let boredom/curiosity get the best of me. I'd heard a mix of funny and horrifying stories about other people's experiences with Tinder, and I really just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Over the past few weeks, I've spent an hour or two each day swiping right ("liked") or left ("nope") on literally hundreds of different guys.
And I'm here to tell you that Tinder is sports. How is an app that involves snap judging someone based on a few pictures and a short bio sports, you ask? Allow me to explain.
Sports are home runs and athletes and field goals and uniforms and championships, but that's not all they are. Arguably more than anything (with the possible exception of competition), sports are about entertainment. I mean, maybe if your team is getting blown out 70-33 in a bowl game or something, sports aren't so entertaining for you, but overall, sports and entertainment go hand-in-hand. Similarly, this app offers great entertainment value. Some people have genuinely funny bios. Some people have crazy pictures. And some people represent themselves in a way that is so weird I laughed because I didn't know what else to do.
But that's not all. Let's look at some other examples of ways in which Tinder mirrors sports, shall we?
There's temptation to lie about your age
International baseball prospects often misrepresent their date of birth in order to seem younger. The opposite is true on Tinder, where I've run across many kids pretending to be twentysomethings.
"not actually 25" ARE YOU EVEN 15?! YOU ARE A CHILD STOP USING THIS APP. pic.twitter.com/nuIaW2FVUN— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 9, 2014
I think you need a babysitter, not a date.
nobody believes you're 23, ben. the jig is up. pic.twitter.com/YVbNQdKpGO— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 14, 2014
You are fooling literally no one.
high school boys lying about your ages: it'd be less obvious if all your pictures didn't have you in clothes with your school's name on them— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 10, 2014
Pro tip, kiddos.
There's an abundance of testosterone
what a catch you are. pic.twitter.com/medWt3M8Jf— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 9, 2014
That is a very aggressive shirt.
You walk a fine line between glory and public humiliation
When you take the field/court/ice/pitch, there's a chance you'll walk away victorious. There's also a chance you'll strike out three times, lose 7-1 when you're hosting the tournament, or lose five games in a row to your most hated rival. This is true on Tinder, too. Especially for the dudes who are willing to risk a relationship - even a marriage - for the prospect of hooking up.
(Disclaimer: I can't prove these guys are trying to cheat. Regardless, having these kinds of pictures on Tinder is a bad idea.)
There's a good deal of American pride
Even the most casual of sports fans will seize every opportunity to shout out a U-S-A cheer when America is competing in anything. Similarly, plenty of guys on Tinder seize the opportunity to show their love for the stars and stripes.
you seem pumped about america. pic.twitter.com/Y0yHvQHYzK— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 14, 2014
That is a fierce shirt.
MERICA pic.twitter.com/ZpW4zkeDPf— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 14, 2014
I bet John Daly is jealous of these pants.
double the 'merica! pic.twitter.com/1kNVl1AQ70— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 14, 2014
The cuffed jorts are a nice touch.
There's at least one random Clemson fan at every sporting event. There are also random Clemson fans on Tinder
CLEMSON? NOW YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR, TINDER. pic.twitter.com/cSZDXkaZkg— Katie (@KatieDoesTinder) July 14, 2014