project tinder… a “real life” science experiment…

Happy Tuesday, Reader! Let’s get down to business.

Lately, I’ve been taking notice of what “search terms” randomly lead people to my blog and apparently, something along the lines of “Tinder in Korea” is a big one. I’m here to tell you that if you found this blog that way, Tinder works in Korea. But enough about that. Let’s move on to what this post is really all about.

Several months ago, I was introduced to Tinder. I was immediately hooked. And I realized quickly after I started swiping faces left and right that it was more of a game to me. Let me explain.

First, if you’re not familiar with Tinder (maybe you’ve been living under a rock, or somehow don’t have regular access to internet, or you live in North Korea), it’s a rather simplistic “dating” app. Well, it’s more of a “hookup” application, if we’re being really honest. Basically, you set up a VERY limited profile about yourself – you can add up to six photos and write a “blurb” that’s around 500 characters. You can also link your Facebook account to show similar interests to other users who also link their FB profiles. You choose your search parameters – age, gender, and the maximum radius for a search. Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready. The application “scans” within your preferred radius and you’re suddenly presented with up to six photos of potential “matches.” The beauty of the system is that you’re allowed to be completely shallow and the other person will never know. If you like what you see, you “swipe” the photo to the right. If you’re not so enthused, you “swipe” to the left. If you and another user both “swipe” each other right, it’s a match! Simple as that.

Now that we’ve had our lesson, let’s get back to the meat of this [very one-sided] conversation.

I mentioned upon beginning this story that I’ve come to view Tinder as a game… Shortly after I started swiping, I had a lot of guys that were marked as being 35 miles away, my maximum radius. I then realized that almost every potential match that came up like this was marked at “35 miles” because that guy swiped me right first and he may be outside of my radius. Once I figured this out, I started “playing” Tinder. Every match wasn’t just a match; I had just won a round! And let me tell you something, Reader: I. LOVE. To win. I LOVE TO WIN. I’m fiercely competitive. Just ask my BFF, JW, and he will tell you – it’s just downright annoying. Apparently, I sound like Monica from “Friends.” Oh well.

So I started winning. A lot. I talked to a few matches, but usually got bored pretty quickly. I met two – one was a total dud and the other one was a short-lived, okay-but-nothing-special match. And then, there were fewer rounds to potentially win. Later, I was just swiping left (meaning, “no thanks”) a lot. A LOT. I came to a new conclusion:

IMG_4129I had worked my way through basically all the men in Daegu and getting anyone interesting or attractive in my little cache of matches was becoming less and less of an occurrence.

I started missing those first, early days of being on Tinder and literally needing prolonged moments to sift through all the potential dates and hookups. (I imagine this is what it’s like in the Americas because anyone who is anyone, not in a relationship, and within ten years of my general age group probably has this application running.) I was longing for more opportunities to swipe. Maybe I should have swiped a few right that I didn’t? Where did all the “good ones” go?

Over the year, I’ve had more than 100 matches and I’ve had to weed out the match cache because, let’s face it, it’s depressing to look at 76 faces that think you’re hot but don’t have the balls to talk to you. So I whittled it down to 6. And then I thought, Why don’t I just start over?

I mean, it’s been a while since I had a “friend” (if you know what I mean) to just hang out, watch movies, eat, and, well, “do stuff.” I’m not looking for anything serious – just a buddy to keep me entertained on weekends. (Or the occasional weeknight, should we both happen to be free… But whatever.)

I kicked around the idea for a while because, as theoretically stated, I’ve worked my way through the whole of men in Daegu. There have been some weird coincidences where I’ve seen the same guy a couple of times, but they’ve been far and few and in between. This leads me to believe that it was either some kind of glitch in the Tinder system or that these guys got smart and decided to “play the field” again, so to speak.

I was also inspired by this post by Vanessa Elizabeth on her blog, Wander Onwards. Vanessa gave some great tips to people looking to step up their Tinder game. I thought, Dude. I could totally start over. And should, for that matter.

So I took the hint from the universe and decided to conduct a new experiment for your reading pleasure:

I deleted my Tinder profile. And then I remade it immediately thereafter. 

IMG_4125I spent the next eleven minutes Tinder-ing. (Yes, it doesn’t take long to work through the other players… This is Korea, for God’s sake, and Tinder-ers are a major minority.) I swiped a lot left, but a few right. I saw a few faces that I had seen before, but that didn’t matter. I treated them all like they were new. I flicked through all their available photos. I read a few personal blurbs. And since no one picked me first because I just re-made my profile, I hadn’t a match to show for it. But don’t worry. I have high hopes that one will turn up before the week is officially over. I’ll be winning again in no time.

In order to make the most of this “restart”, I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. I will swipe right on anyone I find attractive or interesting – that part won’t change. But in the past, I’ve usually waited for the other person to send the first message. This time, I’ve decided to send the initial message unless the match beats me to it. I will attempt to set up dates with ones who seem date-able, and we’ll just see what transpires. This is the twenty-first century and women are totally allowed to be the initiator. If dudes can’t handle that, I don’t want to hang out with them anyway… So basically, “winning” now has to go beyond my iPhone screen… This should be interesting.

I’ll keep you posted, Reader. Let the experiment begin!


What about you, Reader? Do you have any experience with Tinder? Share your story in the comments!

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**This post has been linked to the WordPress blogging event, Twenty Somethings, Edition 1.


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  3. twenty7zero3 says:

    Just so you know you’ve made it into Twenty Somethings, Edition 1! Congrats!! :)
    I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about you submission, so if you get a chance drop me an email, so we can have a chat about it. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks again for entering!

  4. twenty7zero3 says:

    Ahh Tinder. Amazing!
    I’m curious as to what you’ll say to your matches when you make the first move – at ypical cheesy joke / a simple, ‘how you doing…?’ I hate being the first one to make the move, so I’m intrigued by how this goes! Good luck! :D

    Also can you explain that 35 miles thing, because I don’t get it. I’m probably being a bit slow.

    • Haha! I’ve actually been slow to respond and I set my radius to just 15 miles, so I’ve had fewer match opportunities… Perhaps there are too many changes in the variables. Lol. The “35 miles” thing is what my radius search was previously set to… Now I’m thinking I should put it back there.

      I think I usually just first ask how the person is doing when I make the first move! That’s usually just happens to me, so it seems to work! I always respond, at least initially. :) Or, if the match has something I can speak about in their “blurb,” I suppose I could try commenting on that!?! It’s still in the early stages of the experiment, but I’m thinking I’ll go back to the 35 mile search radius and see if it increases my chances. :)

      Thanks for reading!!

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