TINDER. If you’ve been living in a cave, let me briefly introduce you to it. It’s a social media app for people to meet other people, mostly for courtship purposes.
If you’re like most of us, I know what you’re thinking. Urgh. A place for desperados and borderline creepy guys.
After all, it’s a medium where people can even get away with pick-up lines like “Is your middle name Gillette? Because you’re the best a man can get”.
Yes, that really happened in real life. So I suppose to a certain extent, your first impression is right.
But a friend decided to venture into Tinder. No, she is not ugly. No, she is not lonely at 45. She is a awesome, single, gorgeous, accomplished woman.
She did it for the satisfaction of a social experiment, and I was invited to witness the process with her. She put her picture up and keyed in her criteria, and off she went on this adventure.
WELCOME TO THE BLACK HOLE
Let’s make one thing clear: Tinder really does have weirdos with strange fetishes. Much to our shock, people also use Tinder to look for prostitutes.
We saw a married guy publicly announcing that he was attached but looking for “relations” that he will generously pay for (I hope his wife finds out), complete with a picture of him sitting happily on a bench.
This fed into my already tainted impression of online dating. It seemed Tinder is an Internet black hole filled with an infinite number of guys who are social rejects.
But then this friend and I kept looking through the profiles, and we found outthat Tinder has a decent collection of normal people!
As we browsed, we saw normal-looking guys looking for normal relationships. There were executives, doctors, drummers and teachers, and they did not look half as bad either.
They look like the kind of guys you bump into at a shop or library or at work. Some of them said hi to my friendand some of them gave her access to their Facebook accounts to prove that they were not creepy or a prince wanting to give free money if you hand over your bank account details.
She even went ona date with a cute doctor.
The date, unfortunately, ended up average and they didn’t pursue it.
The guy was nice and made an effort to drive all the way into the city to see her for coffee. But he was sweating profusely in the KL weather due to his leather jacket (perhaps to impress her), and the date fizzled out.
Nevertheless, the point to make here is that she did manage to get a normal, decent date out of what was initially thought of as a dodgy online dating medium.
APPROACH WITH CAUTION
What did I learn from this?
I learnt that although I am still grappling with the concept of online dating, it is a legitimate, appropriate and fine way to meet people.
In the world of social media dominance where we do busines, keep in touch with friends, read the news and even learn to cook, why is it such a taboo thing to meet someone online too?
Granted, there will always be weirdos and creepy guys in that virtual reality, just like there will always be such guys in real life too.
You do due diligence, be smart about it and take a leap of faith. Just like in the real world.
I concluded that online dating is the new normal, and no one should be ashamed of it if they do decide to give it a shot.
Granted, you will need to be extra brave for such endeavours. I won’t go on a blind date without a background check.
You know, in case it’s the weird guy who owns a collection of stuffed animals. Or if he enjoys listening to Nickelback. Yikes. But I did find new respect for my friendas she showed me that you should always do what you want despite it being regarded as taboo, and to try something new in life.
A GEOSCIENTIST BY DAY AND ASPIRING WRITER BY NIGHT, AMAL GHAZALI
PONDERS ON EVERYTHING, FROM PERPLEXING, MODERN-DAY RELATIONSHIP DILEMMAS TO THE FASCINATING WORLD OF WOMEN’S HEALTH AND WELLBEING. ALL DONE OF COURSE , WHILE HAVING A GOOD LAUGH. READ MORE OF HER STORIES AT BOOTSOVERBOOKS.COM