We are in the middle, so we’re told, of “Tinder and the dawn of the dating apocalypse!” We don’t date anymore, we app. From a standing start, the Tinder app has now been downloaded over 100 million times, and there are, at any one time, over ten million people swiping with horny thumbs. And it’s not even the most popular app anymore. A host of slightly tweaked others have joined it, all helping you, the sexless singleton, have sex.
Don’t worry – GQ isn’t about to bemoan this. We couldn’t be more for it. Your humble GQ correspondent, for instance, has been awed by the wonder of hook-up technology ever since we heard the story of a former colleague’s flatmate. Said individual was an avid watcher of two long-running dramas which aired on a Monday, but lamented the hour gap between them. And so, he would regularly plug the gap, so to speak, with sex, via the gay hook-up app Grindr. One hour, in-out (again, apologies), and back in time for the second show. Yes, it’s fair to say, that was when we really realised what a wonder technology could be.
Add in Uber’s rise to Tinder’s popularity, and we now have the perfect storm. Never mind not having to leave the house for a sexual partner, we don’t even have to leave our iPhone home screen.
GQ even has its very own Tinder baby. A colleague, who shall remain nameless, had a tried and tested method of asking every girl he matched with if they wanted to know a fun fact, said fact revolving around a titan of industry, wealth investment and a well-known art gallery, and apparently guaranteed an encounter every single time. “And that’s how I met my wife! Along with many other less eligible women…” What a world we live in.
And yet. There are still problems that GQ would like to solve. And the biggest is that they try to be for everyone. This has led, for instance, to those individuals who get “Tinder thumb”, acting like dating trawler fishermen by swiping right on everyone, nearly wearing a groove into the glass as they do so, and aren’t at all bothered if they catch a few dolphins in the nets while they’re at it (“Wey-hey! Any shoal’s a goal!”).
Read more: People pay me to write their Tinder profiles
Put another way: Tinder started out as a cool club. Now it’s that euro trash club in Leicester Square where nerdy guys practice their negging pick-up artist lines with factory-line efficiency on unsuspecting Latvian exchange students.
Which is why apps have started getting specific and catering for different tastes.
Bored of Tinder? Try Hinge, which will only connect you with people with whom you already have friends in common. (In reality, this quickly reduces London to that awkward wedding where three of your exes have turned up). Or Happn, which matches you based on who you cross paths with (much loved by two opposing types of people – those who believe in rom-coms, destiny, fate, and true love; and those who are stalkers, who possibly also believe in all those things, but are distinctly more proactive about it).