And there's now more than ever - but - decreasing your chances of love
According to Pew Research Center, online dating among young people has nearly tripled in just two years - thanks mostly to this little app - Tinder. If you’re on the dating scene, Tinder does make your dating life easier - open up the apps, look through millions of photos, swipe right on all the hotties and boom - you have a date for Friday night!
But good ol mathematics has now shown that people who use Tinder may actually be making it MORE difficult to find love!
Here’s how Tinder may be cocking up your love life.
Every day on Tinder there’s over a billion swipes, resulting in 12 million matches between 50 million users.
Tinder has awesome advantages over traditional dating, in that it takes almost no investment of time or effort to screen through hundreds of potential partners. Try screening hundreds of people in the real world, trust me it takes ages and a lot of alcohol.
But that low initial investment and abundance of choice can make us see dating differently. Tinder makes us see the search for love the same way we might search for a car. When you buy a car, you go online and look at all the models and then pick the best match for you - one thats sporty but not too expensive, or one that has wifi built in and is also cheap to insure.
Once you’ve found that optimal car that best fits all your needs, you trudge out to the car yard, see the car you’ve chosen in person, fall in love and buy it.
The good news is with cars, you usually have a pretty limited number of options, and finding the best match for your needs is relatively simple. But if we see dating as a search for the ‘best’ then we’ve basically fucked ourselves over. For example - Maybe you go out on a tinder date with a guy you really like. You go on a few more dates, and he seems like maybe he’s THE ONE! But then choice kicks in… this guy is great, but how will we ever know if we he’s the BEST match unless we look at them ALL! And since there’s a million options to choose from, you are going to be dating for a very LONG time...
This search for the “best match” from amongst millions of options sets us up another conundrum - called “the grass is greener conundrum”. Basically when we find a good match, instead of ending our search, settling down and making babies, we try to keep the good match around whilst simultaniously being on the lookout for a better option.
Hedging our bets in this way is a seriously bad idea - and don’t take my word for it. MIT researcher Dan Arley proved mathematically that keeping our options open is a bad idea.
Arley tested his students by playing a game - the students were put in front of a computer and asked to click on their choice of three doors - door A, B, C. For each click, they would get a different amount of money. Door A and B gave more money than door C, so naturally participants clicked on doors A and B a lot.
But when participants were told doors would permanently disappear if they didn’t click on them for 10 clicks, players would keep coming back to click on door C - just to make sure it didn’t disappear - even though they knew door C was a bad option.
This is what happens with Tinder - we might have an awesome boyfriend who knows how to operate more than one appliance in the kitchen and enjoys watching Mean Girls - but we’ll still keep dipping into the cesspool of Tinder dating just to keep our options open.
Even though Tinder makes finding a match relatively simple, unless we decide to commit to our partner and put the dating app away, we’ll never reach that type of deep level that comitmed relationships are made of. So I Jayde Lovell, am encouraging you all to close down your tinder apps and love the one you’re with. Commit people! Don’t worry - if it turns out the one you’re with isn’t perfect… there’s always Ashley Madison!
This video is presented by Jayde Lovell, produced and edited by Yohana Yoshe, at Youtube Space NYC.
Starring: Brandon Castro, Yu Lew and Ash Reid
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Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.
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