Never the Twain Shall Meet (On Tinder)

Do you like online dating? Do you like mainstream, soft-core porn? Most of all, do you like overexposure?

If so, great! You should keep reading this.

If there is one thing that I know, it is that not a single journalist of modern day would be employed if they were suddenly banned from writing trend pieces, think pieces and “social experiments” about Tinder (I am able to catch on to these things because I am a journalism minor at a school that is not very well-known for its journalism program).

I am not sure when true market saturation in regards to Tinder trend pieces will hit, but I do know that I, too, am obsessed with Tinder. I initially tried the dating app back in 2013 and did not exactly love it, but this was before I realized that Tinder relies on all of the things that I cherish most: snap judgments, superficial conversation and pretending to be somebody you are not (once, I convinced someone that I was Jessica Pare, which to this day I consider my greatest accomplishment). Basically, it is just an excuse to act like a particularly devious villain in a Jane Austen novel.

In any case, I recently decided that it was time for me to enter this game previously mostly occupied only by The New York Times and Bustle (there’s a terrifying comparison) by combining Tinder with another social phenomenon that had reached over-saturation before it was even released to the public: 50 Shades of Grey. My friends and I wanted to see what would happen if we were to refurbish my Tinder profile completely, posing as a nice, unstable group of friends whose sole mission is to see 50 Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day.

Like most things, this “experiment” had no point. After all, to live is to suffer, and to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering! This is what Friedrich Nietzsche says, and what I say, too. Wine-fueled Tinder escapades are my meaning in the suffering that is life!

Unsure of what our end goal should be, we bounced around some options. Were we to go to the movie at all? Should we invite just one lucky man, or extend the invitation to a few? Depending on the range of offers that we received, it was possible that we could arrange a fight to the death if multiple suitors arrived to the movie theater, which would be very exciting. Regardless, “50 Shades of Grey with a Stranger?!?” had been entered into my friend Corynn’s iron-clad Google calendar, so we all knew it would be impossible to back out now.

So, we created this:

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(Disclosure: this is what my Tinder profile looked like before, so it is debatable as to which one is really an improvement).

Excited about my new makeover, I began right-swiping immediately with a feverish enthusiasm heretofore nonexistent in my previous Tinder endeavors. I was thrilled to see that people were confused, yet intrigued by our request:

photo 2

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Some were a little slower on the uptake:

photo 2 (1)

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And some were downright rude:

Bryan is a real #truther.
Bryan is a real #truther.

As happy as I was with the way things were going, I soon learned that manning a “troll” Tinder account by yourself is basically a full-time job. I am sorry to say that I slacked off as I tended to my other duties of being a human being.

But here is something that worked in my favor: The “moments” section on Tinder, which works rather like a Snapchat story except, as one might imagine, it is basically a phallus explosion most of the time! So I usually don’t use it. But, a picture speaks a thousand words, and a picture with a hashtag is worth about 10,000 words, so I felt that it could be used to show what our mission was all about. Our hashtag was, of course, #dale, because 2015 is the year of Pitbull.

It got our message across very well, I think:

photo 1 (2)
“The Snack Bar,” by Edward Burra
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Obama riding a steed that might actually be Harry Styles!
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My favorite moment from a classic film, “A Passage to India.”

Because of this, we received more offers, although some were even more confused than before:

photo 1 (1)
Weirdly, this never got a response.

And some caught on to what we were doing:

High praise!
High praise!

To narrow down the playing field, we resorted to asking college application questions. We chose one from Wake Forest itself, since it is known for infuriating questions. It was time to think outside of the box!

People are not very accustomed to thinking outside of the box, though:

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Poor Baz.
Poor Baz.

The best response was from Brad— who, if you recall, had been very enthusiastic about the potential of applying and had even offered some cannabis to sweeten the deal:

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These are very good TV shows! So, we quickly conferred and decided that Brad was the lucky guy who would accompany us to the theater.

Sadly the game, it seemed, had gotten too real for him at this point. His coping mechanisms were confusing, but they were there:

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We were able to reel him back in for the time being. But something told me that Brad was gone forever. I began to lash out at my other matches:

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Alas, I was right: as I tried to finalize plans with Brad, I received a devastating blow:

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“Not interested”??!

Indeed, Brad was a no-show. I sent him a few desperate messages just to be sure:

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Well, he’s not wrong there.

And so, that was that. Beautiful potential, wasted.

But, as always, je ne regrette rien. As I sat in the theater, I recalled that last Valentine’s Day, I had gone to a play about the Holocaust. Today, I was seeing a movie that inaccurately represented sadomasochism and the “kink” community! Not with a stranger, it was true; but I was with friends, which was almost as good.

In the end, I truly learned nothing on this endeavor. I believe that I will leave my Tinder profile in its “sketchy” state forever, though. It is a wonderful memory.


Never the Twain Shall Meet (On Tinder)

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