Tinder Is Ruining Everyone, Including Me

As a millennial, I would call myself an experienced Tinder user. I have been on many Tinder dates but like most of you, I have got a love-hate relationship with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad — my last boyfriend was a guy I met on Tinder — but recently when I found myself deleting and re-installing it countless times, I decided enough was enough. I haven’t had the app now for six months and I’ve never enjoyed being single more!

  1. Tinder gave me FOMO. Tinder is a constant reminder of what I was missing out on — each notification gave me another reason why I shouldn’t be happy single. Deleting it gave me freedom from that and in turn made me realise that there are huge benefits to being single. It’s not all sad, lonely nights in, à la Bridget Jones.
  2. Tinder gave me an unfair perception of men. After being on Tinder too long, I started to realize that people will ghost you for no reason. Crass pick-up lines became the norm to me, until I went into the real world and realised that when you’re standing face-to-face with someone, they’ll rarely start a conversation asking you to go home with them. Deleting Tinder also made me evaluate what I’ve come to accept as the norm in texting interactions.
  3. Spending less time on my phone means more time in the real world. Part of the reason I finally deleted Tinder permanently was an encounter when I went out one weekend. Standing at the bar were a group of five men, all on their phones, not talking to anyone else or even each other. When I walked past them, I noticed they were all on Tinder. They were swiping right on people who were literally standing next to them, and texting them instead of talking to them.
  4. I make more effort at social occasions. When I first deleted Tinder, I assumed that my love life would dry up and the endless stream of first dates would come to an end, but that’s far from the truth. Deleting all dating apps didn’t delete my dating life — it just changed how I met people.
  5. Tinder made me feel replaceable. After a while, Tinder made me feel like I could be any girl — after all, they aren’t going on much to ask me out in the first place. Maybe it’s the perpetual ghosting or maybe it’s the fact that I started to see the men I was on dates with as interchangeable, but asking someone out in person feels different. You already have a small taste of their personality, as opposed to merely going off a few carefully selected images and you know they aren’t simply messaging you because they’re bored.
  6. I go on Fewer Bad First Dates now. Being asked out in person also means I can sense whether or not a guy is my type, saving me hours on a date that I would’ve wasted. Having a conversation before going on a date, even if it’s in a bar, means I know what I can expect in a more intimate setting, giving me ample opportunity to back out before I stranded on a table for two.
  7. The time I used to spend on Tinder, I now spend outside. It’s the summer, so instead of sitting inside and swiping, I’ve spent that time going outside doing fun new activities like paddle-boarding. Not only does it make me realize that I only have a limited time to be independent and do the things I love, but I meet people while having fun!
  8. I now know that the guys on Tinder aren’t representative of the general population. On Tinder, 90% of guys are looking for a quick lay, but in reality, this is not the case. It’s easy to assume with such a big sample size that the men on Tinder are an accurate representation of the entire population, but they aren’t. In the real world, people aren’t so forward without a screen to hide behind.
  9. My Phone Is Happier Without It. More memory, more battery — what’s not to love? The absence of annoying notifications is also enjoyable. Towards the end, I’d gotten so used to getting annoying (and sometimes rude!) messages that I wouldn’t even check the notifications for weeks and it’s been nice to be able to open all my apps and not worrying about a stranger insulting me!
  10. It brought an end to texting relationships. Tinder seems to bring an influx of guys who will persistently text you but never ask you out. They might even go so far as adding you on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and Snapchat you all day long but won’t make the effort to actually pursue it any further. When I deleted Tinder, I realise that these situations disappeared too. Tinder allows for minimal effort and passive behaviour. People who ask you out in person take action — and that’s enormously attractive to me!
Michelle Elman is a body confidence activist, certified life coach, creator of Scarred not Scared, and founder of Mindset for Life. She’s written for publications including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Grazia and appeared on ITV’s “This Morning,” Sky News, Loose Women, and more. She’s also the author of the book “How To Say No.” You can follow Michelle on Instagram at @michelleelman, on Twitter @michelleelman, or on her website, MichelleElman.com.