The Sunday Times column: Tinderella, meet Prince Charmless


Tinder does not respond well to rejection. In fact, avoiding rejection is one of the reasons the dating app was set up — so that you can see someone you fancy, probably someone out of your league, and instead of risking the humiliation of asking them out, simply send them a virtual wink from your phone.

The app presents users with endless pictures of potential partners. If you fancy them you simply “swipe right”. If they like you too, you’re a match. But if they don’t, you never hear about it.

No wonder Tinder, so keen to avoid confrontation, was heartbroken last week when Vanity Fair publicly dumped on it from a glossy height. Nancy Jo Sales wrote a take-down of millennial dating culture, headlined “Tinder and the dawn of the ‘dating apocalypse’ ”.

Sales depicts a world in which dead-eyed millennials spend Saturday nights in bars affixed to their phones, rampantly using Tinder to arrange loveless one-night stands. It is a dystopia in which boys have sex with “Tinderellas” and do not even walk them to the door afterwards. The culture evoked is one of instant sexual gratification for a generation inundated with connections, yet too disassociated to form meaningful relationships.

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