Launched in 2012 as one of the first addictive, swipe-based dating apps to dominate the market, Tinder has become well known in our time for its widespread use among millennials. Unlike more cumbersome dating apps--such as Match.com or OKCupid--Tinder doesn't ask users to fill out long, time-consuming questionnaires about who they are or what they like to do.
Instead, Tinder offers little more than a selection of pictures, the option to link your Instagram, and a short bio section to catch the eyes of other swipers. Matches are based almost purely on aesthetic or superficial information--something that's helped the app garner the reputation of being used solely for casual flings.
Recently, however, Tinder's parent, Match Group (which also owns and operates OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, and Match.com in addition to test prep company The Princeton Review), converted Tinder options into options in the Match Group worth around $1 billion. For Tinder, the transaction ultimately left the app valued at $3 billion--a majority of the Match Group's $4.8 billion market cap.
What does all this say about the ways in which we look for love? Here it is in one sentence:
Since the advent of social media in every aspect of our lives, we have learned to base a large part of our opinions on outward appearance, performance, and other superficial social constructs.
Rather than delving deeper into strangers' lives, we prefer to remain on the surface level until we can't--drawing conclusions and opinions based off image or other curated performance. Although it's not easy to admit how much social media has impacted the way we approach building relationships, it's crucial that we begin addressing the problem by first acknowledging that it exists.
Although it may seem easy--or natural, even--to begin our assumptions on appearance, it's incredibly important that each and every one of us realize how much of an impact this has in every decision in our daily lives. Judging people by their outward image ultimately results in negative consequences at home, at the workplace, in our relationships with friends, and--of course--in our romantic pursuits.
It may be the easier route to go by what we see, but be conscious that you continue to give the benefit of the doubt to those you don't know. What you discover might surprise you.