I want to start off by saying that my time on Tinder was strictly for research purposes and was conducted at a time in which I was not in a happy and rewarding relationship with my beautiful girlfriend Lexan.
With that being said, Tinder is the future of the one night stand; but can we take a moment to discuss the presence of ad space on our ephemeral, but endearing social dating app?
You see an attractive mate, you swipe right.
Another mate? Swipe right.
Now you’re on a roll. Testosterone builds. Swipe again to the right.
Sweat drips out from every pore as you get closer to hitting a match.
Swipe Right again and again until you’ve landed smack dab into an advertisement for Budweiser Beer.
Do you swipe?
Should you swipe?
Are you sitting there in your quiet, lonely apartment wondering why you feel sexually attracted to this cool, perspiring bottle of lager?
I’ve spent similar evenings wondering the same thing; and it’s with those evenings that I begin to consider the implications of such advertising.
We’re swiping to find a mate. Either we’re looking for a good bang, or we want a lasting connection, but either way a part of our psyche is activated enough to block out reality and concentrate solely on finding said mate. A very, if not most, private mechanism of your psyche is now active and it will consider everything in its path as having passed through our sexual filter. Much like what happens when you’re distracted by web banners of a sexual nature. You may be reading an article on paper recycling, but given a few new pairs of hooters in a side web banner and suddenly you’re attracted to cardboard shavings.
Do products have the right to infringe on our private mechanisms?
When the ads first started, Tinder had just switched their CEO to a more profit-friendly individual (who has since left because Tinder is badass and knows what they're doing). So we’ve seen a few of those changes – paying for more swipes, paying to change a swipe, and paying for more access if you’re over or under a certain age. Tinder has opened its doors to the wide world of commercial commerce and it doesn’t plan on stopping. Sooner or later you may find yourself so attracted to the advertised beer that you make a large romantic gesture toward it beside the subway print ads (we’re talking about boners).
However, some Brands have taken this doorway into social dating in a most ominous way. Like The Immigration Council of Ireland who uploaded a series of photos in set order. As you swipe, more photos of the same model appear - becoming noticeably more abused. Until a message arrives to remind you that “sex trafficking victims have no options.”
While more social awareness advertisements begin to fill up, other less important advertisements arrive as well. Dominoes giving away free pizza on Valentines day and a network television show trying desperately to cling to their age group.
This is only the beginning.
Advertisements are making their way into your most private decision-making processes.
They’re there when you cook your meals; inside of you when you brush your teeth; and they stare back at you while you swallow thirty pills and cry yourself to sleep. Sooner or later they’ll be in your sleep too.
We need to ask ourselves, are we ready for this?
Can I live a successful single life while advertisements impede on my dating process?
Does that bottle of Budwieser look so good I’d rather spend a night with it than with this semi-attractive stranger who will listen to my confidence issues surrounding denim shorts?
Can you be intimate with a beer bottle?
Is that a safe-sex choice?