The big culture story this week has been Vanity Fair's takedown of Tinder in a controversial print piece (though available early online) by Nancy Jo Sales titled "Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse.'”
Sales may be relying just a little-bit-kinda-much on hyperbole, although her piece features a plethora of interviews and analysis she feels serves as a steady foundation for her argument: Tinder encourages a concerning trend toward a culture of sexual gorging. This is, in her eyes, a cause for alarm:
"So where is this all going to go? What happens after you’ve come of age in the age of Tinder? Will people ever be satisfied with a sexual or even emotional commitment to one person? And does that matter? Can men and women ever find true intimacy in a world where communication is mediated by screens; or trust, when they know their partner has an array of other, easily accessible options?"
It's true Sales sounds a little "kids these days" with her objections to hook-up culture, though that doesn't automatically invalidate what are still valid concerns. Whatever mad person runs Tinder's Twitter account apparently doesn't agree. He or she launched a 30-tweet tirade against it on Tuesday evening. The word "meltdown" hits the right note here:
It's disappointing that @VanityFair thought that the tiny number of people you found for your article represent our entire global userbase— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Okay, they might have a point.
Next time reach out to us first @nancyjosales… that’s what journalists typically do.— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
If you want to try to tear us down with one-sided journalism, well, that’s your prerogative.— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Tinder, this is not a good look!
-@VanityFair Little known fact: sex was invented in 2012 when Tinder was launched.— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
And then, my personal favorite:
Talk to our many users in China and North Korea who find a way to meet people on Tinder even though Facebook is banned.— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
When digital Moses emerged from the summit carrying the Ten Commandments of social media, at the top of the list was "Thou shalt not be negative on Twitter." Going negative backfires 99 percent of the time. Going negative for 30 consecutive tweets makes you look like a thin-skinned whiny baby brand. That's because we're in an era in which tone is everything. Brand "voices" are meticulously curated like fine wines and outrage culture sets itself up at every corner just waiting to ambush anyone off their guard. It doesn't matter if Tinder has a legitimate gripe. This is the equivalent of a lawyer filing a brief written in crayon.
Did Sales' piece rely too much on broad generalizations? Possibly. Has Tinder earned its somewhat dirty reputation as a hook-up app? Probably. Is Twitter ever the right medium for delivering thorough and cogent counterarguments? Absolutely not.
One person who has some interesting thoughts on online dating's effects on people is Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid and author of the best-selling book Dataclysm. Check out our video interview with him below:
Read more at Vanity Fair
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 17: TV personality Daniel Lue attends the Tinder Plus Launch Party featuring Jason Derulo and ZEDD at Hangar 8 Santa Monica at Barker Hangar on June 17, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Tinder)