We are at the height of cuffing season, which means it is officially time to redownload dating apps like Tinder and shoot your shot. The saying goes, apps imitate life, and as a woman interested in men, this can mean experiencing the digital equivalent to walking down the street in broad daylight. That is to say, witnessing a maelstrom of misogyny, especially if you’re not white or cisgender. Tinder comes with its own set of woes for straight men as well (though likely with much less hate and abuse), like causing low self-esteem.
There is no technical qualification for what it means to use Tinder successfully, or what even constitutes success on a dating app that feels more like a social experiment, but apparently being named Hannah or Lucas makes it a lot easier. Dating is hard enough as it is; figuring out internet social cues is just another hurdle to the process.
Whether your intentions are romantic or platonic, trying your hardest to not be an asshole is probably a good start to finding your next cyborg connection. There’s something about hiding behind a screen that empowers humans to be hateful and just plain awful, especially when they’re rejected by a romantic prospect. Of course, the app is designed in such a way that maybe, no matter what you do, you are being an asshole. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, angels protect you, and Tinder accept you. Here are some tips on how to use Tinder without being an asshole.