In a recent article, Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”, Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales threw seven kinds of shade on Tinder and everything it stands for. Rather than issue a tersely-worded statement upholding its belief in the sanctity of marriage, Tinder found the keys to the Twitter account, and let loose.
The Vanity Fair piece is far from perfect: it reads as a series of personal accounts of life in the Tinder era, structured and extrapolated to paint Tinder in a very particular light, where real relationships are doomed, and Tinder is to blame.
Whether you agree with that probably depends on how many Tinder matches you’ve banged to date, but one thing that’s less ambivalent is Tinder’s response. In a lengthy diatribe broken up into 140-character tweets, the Tinder Twitter account has mounted a lengthy and sometimes-coherent response.
Among the Tweetstorm, there are some fair points: of course if you interview a bunch of Manhattan brogrammers and sorority girls, you’re going to find a particular type of behaviour, namely unashamed Tindering around town. To say that’s all Tinder is good for — and then blame the app for the behaviour — is grasping at some rather thin straws.
But Sales also brings up some other concerns, ones that weren’t addressed in Tinder’s sea of Silicon Valleyisms. Tinder doesn’t do much to change the power imbalance in dating; in fact, with the not-so-subtle focus on physical attractiveness and a mutual desire to hook up, it probably does the opposite.
In any case, it’s worth reading both the Vanity Fair piece, and Tinder’s tweeted responses below.
It's disappointing that @VanityFair thought that the tiny number of people you found for your article represent our entire global userbase 😏
Next time reach out to us first @nancyjosales… that’s what journalists typically do.
The Tinder Generation is real. Our users are creating it. But it’s not at all what you portray it to be.
Tinder creates experiences. We create connections that otherwise never would have been made. 8 billion of them to date, in fact.
Tinder users are on Tinder to meet people for all kinds of reasons. Sure, some of them — men and women — want to hook up.
Just like in real life. And in the many years that existed before Tinder.
But we know from our own survey data that it’s actually a minority of Tinder users.
Our data tells us that the vast majority of Tinder users are looking for meaningful connections.
And our data also tells us that Tinder actually creates those meaningful connections.
We have tons and tons of emails from people that have all kinds of amazing experiences on Tinder.
It’s about meeting new people for all kinds of reasons. Travel, dating, relationships, friends and a shit ton of marriages.
Talk to the female journalist in Pakistan who wrote just yesterday about using Tinder to find a relationship where being gay is illegal.
Talk to our many users in China and North Korea who find a way to meet people on Tinder even though Facebook is banned.
Talk to the many Tinder couples — gay and straight — that have gotten married after meeting on Tinder.
Or talk to people that have made some of their best friends on Tinder.
We love ALL of these #SwipedRight stories. Tinder is simply how people meet.
The ability to meet people outside of your closed circle in this world is an immensely powerful thing.
So we are going to keep focusing on bringing people together. That’s why we’re here. That is why all of us at Tinder work so hard.
If you want to try to tear us down with one-sided journalism, well, that’s your prerogative.
You could have talked about how everyone on Tinder is authenticated through Facebook. And how we show users the friends they have in common.
Or you could have talked about how everyone on Tinder is on an equal playing field.
Users can’t message each other unless BOTH people are interested in one another.
You could have talked about how users build a Tinder profile that expresses who they are.
Or how millions of Tinder users have connected their Instagram accounts, so potential matches can learn more about them.
This all creates social accountability so that Tinder users treat each other well.
Instead, your article took an incredibly biased view, which is disappointing.
But it’s not going to dissuade us from building something that is changing the world. #GenerationTinder
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