Tinder Has a Meltdown, Learns Social Media Isn't for Winning Arguments

On this week's episode of Brand Deathmatch: Vanity Fair vs. Tinder.

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

Umm....

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

Don't tweet.

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)

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less