SWIPED OFF MY FEET

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Last night I forayed into the world of hookups a.k.a Tinder. Please don’t judge me for missing this train five years ago when it docked at the hookup station or worse for boarding it at all after all this time. I am for sure not to be blamed for it because I was forced to commit this sin by a not so well-meaning friend who wants me to live life on the edge and my sister who has mastered the art of convincing me for all things crazy.

I surprised myself by downloading the app on my phone because I am a tad too finicky about trusting someone in the real world so the virtual world seemed like a far cry; there is no dearth of psychopaths and fraandship stalkers in this world.

The app lost its new-found home in my phone in less than 24 hours of installing it. I couldn’t help it because those few minutes were bound to put my liking for men in grave danger.

I created my profile quite painstakingly because I am paranoid about disclosing even an iota of information about myself. Ironic because Facebook leaves no stone unturned in literally making your life an open book and you can sign up on Tinder only if you have a profile on Facebook. The logic behind this move is to give the users an illusion of safety and security.

Following the instructions I chose the age group I would like to mingle with and how far was I ready to go to swipe right – obviously speaking in terms of distance.  What did you think?! You would even need to mention your interests and choices both physically and intellectually. Simply put how tall you would like the person to be and your hobbies and interests.

The above parameters would make Tinder’s job easy when picking the matches for you.

My journey was far from over or rather it hadn’t even begun. Since, I was too reluctant to add a picture or two, Tinder took the matter in its own hands and uploaded a few of its choice. I think it included my current profile picture on Facebook and a few more that I had shared in the past.

Soon, I was ready to swipe right or should I say left.  It looked like that there was no filter on who could or couldn’t sign up. I don’t think they would want to bar people because it would beat their very criteria of promoting the hookup culture.

However, I did not sign up for any kind of hookup whatsoever rather I was looking to interact with interesting men. Big mistake! But I was lured into it by friends or friends of friends who had managed to build lasting friendships even though they didn’t end up cuddling up or maybe they did. Well, that’s really not the point I am trying to make.

The first few profiles I swiped left made me double check the age bracket I had chosen because they all looked ten years older than their professed age. If I ever bumped into them on road I am quite likely to call them uncle! While the remaining ones either left me in splits or disappointed.

So, the other day a friend told me that Tinder was a haven for married men, but I didn’t take it quite seriously and forgot all about it. But my little adventure on Tinder turned out to be quite a reality check albeit a hilarious one.

So, while swiping left I came across Mr X at random and he happened to be engaged. You would wonder that how did I ever manage to come across this piece of information. Obviously, he wouldn’t be dumb enough to write about it on his profile! Naa, he outshone every smart alec on this planet by sharing a picture on Tinder where he was not only flashing his good for nothing smile but also an engagement ring. Damn right! The picture was clearly from the event. Would you call it being dumb or just being dumb?!

Sure, age is just a number but not when it is clearly shitting on your not so well thought of lies! Most men I came across looked way older than the number of years they had been on Earth according to Tinder.

It is easy to bluff while sitting in the virtual world but someday you would have to leave behind the garb of deceit and meet us in the real world. Well, I would say chances of meeting in person are quite dim but consider it a heads up from me.

One picture in particular caught my fancy because it made me wonder how could God send such scumbags on this planet. The picture didn’t show much except a buck naked man with a woman on top. Now, would I want to swipe right for such a person? Hell no!

I did not write off all the men by swiping left – there were three men I swiped right for as they did for me because we clearly matched or so Tinder thought. All of them had one or the other element on their bio that caught my interest along with their looks. Sounds snobbish? Well, isn’t this platform all about choosing what meets the eye on the surface? I pretty much did the same though a lot more reluctantly than most people around me.

The first guy I spoke to had graduated from Harvard and had quite a charming smile. He was intellectual too and thankfully did not believe in saving his time by obliterating ‘yo’ from ‘you’. Well, believe it or not he loved poetry too and could quote it and how. Maybe he was picking it from the internet but I would like to be a little optimistic out here. He loved my tresses – that’s how he initiated the conversation – but clearly wasn’t proud of his achievements. So, I tried really hard to make him fall in love with himself more than my hair but in vain. Well, I suppose we all have priorities in life and I featured on top of his list. For the moment at least.

So, Mr Tresses was followed by a Polo player, owner of a chain of cafes, and finally a certain gentleman who had graduated from Oxford and seemed to be passionate about art and literature. Fortunately or unfortunately I ran out of patience and uninstalled the app even before anyone could initiate a conversation or wax poetry about my ‘tresses’.

The one day trial period on Tinder made me realise that I don’t prefer swiping at all be it right or left. I would rather love to meet a stranger in a cafe -which I have done plenty of times – and have a conversation or two to decide if I would like to know him more than a stranger or not. It doesn’t come with any surety that nothing would go wrong but the old school route of meeting someone face to face has a different kind of charm to it.

I would love to say with absolute conviction that I am never ever giving in to peer pressure or any kind of temptation to swiping right or left but then mom has even taught me never to say never. I shall heed that advice because after all mum is always right!

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