Why does nobody like me on Tinder

Tinder: Everyone has it, nobody says it

The Tinder phenomenon: around 50 million people around the world are registered with the dating app, around half a million in Austria. Nevertheless, prejudices shape the image of online dating. Whoever is lonely, whoever is only looking for sex, who who only pays attention to the external.

Felix (name changed) has been registered with Tinder for two years. He cannot give a real reason for the decision to download the app at the time. "Probably for entertainment purposes", he says. Since then he has been using Tinder in phases, had a few meetings with users and a relationship that resulted from it. He never concealed from his friends that he was consciously active on Tinder, but never addressed the topic. Even Leonie (name changed), who has been using the app for several years, says she is ashamed because: "Others might think I need Tinder to meet men". However, at a time when we meet new people online and maintain our friendships over the Internet, dating online is often still a disrepute.

numbers and facts
10 million people around the world use the Tinder dating app. 26 million "matches" take place every day - two users enjoy each other. These daily users spend around 35 minutes a day swiping and matching - since viewing a profile and then swiping left or right only takes a few seconds, this results in a total of 16 billion swipes per day.

According to a study by singleboerse.at, more than 75% of Austrian male online daters are younger than 35 years old, half of the women are between 25 and 34 years old.
The market research institute “GlobalWebIndex” found out in 2015 that around half of all Tinder users are single. Of the remainder, 12% were in a relationship while the remainder were married.

The homo oeconomicus
At this point you can research the needs of the online daters. Around half of all Tinder users are in a relationship, which means that not all users of the app are single, but still use it for dating purposes. The company itself throws in at this point, many users are simply looking for a platonic friendship. At this point, however, the possibility should be mentioned that the "match" only takes place in the virtual world and that two users do not have to meet for an appointment.
In 1976 the American economist Gary Becker wrote in “The economic approach to explaining human behavior” about the need for optimization of human use. He assumed that decisions were made sensibly. We weigh up alternatives and then choose the option that brings the greatest benefit or greatest satisfaction to the individual. Becker writes for the Tinder context:

"Rather, all human behavior can be viewed as if one were dealing with actors who maximize their benefits in relation to a stable system of preferences and who create an optimal range of information and other factors in various markets."

If you consider these starting points in relation to partner search and choice, you can see that dating apps can maximize the benefits. Users are offered a selection of millions of profiles while they can be anywhere, which means that the chances of finding a suitable partner are significantly higher than in the real world. Seen soberly, Tinder is simply a tool for the homo economicus to be able to maximize its benefits and thus to be able to satisfy its need for it. Whether it really comes to a physical relationship, however, again depends more on the effects of homo sociologicus, provided that two people do not meet who are part of the concept of homo loading.

Based on this economic theory, there would be no justification for the bad reputation of dating apps. However, Homo oeconomicus is a simple model that deviates from reality. The main argument in favor of online dating - emotions are a big factor - is that people don't always act rationally. The model thus establishes the usefulness of dating apps, but does not explain the whole person.

Both Felix and Leonie find the dating app "simply practical", according to the two of them it simplifies the search. The question arises here when looking for what exactly. "If I say I'm on Tinder because I want to meet new people, that's okay for everyone", says Leonie, "But when I say I'm looking for one-night stands every now and then my friends look at me strangely".
Why Tinder and Co are still disreputable in our society remains unexplained here. However, there is no question about the legitimacy of dating apps for success in relationship management: It is easier, more promising and more convenient.

About the authors

Chiara Sergi studies in the bachelor course "Media Management" at the FH St. Pölten. She is a participant in the “Online” practice laboratory and has previously written for the specialist magazine for the “SUMO” course.

Viola blacksmith is a student at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in the bachelor's degree "Media Management". She chose “Online” as a practical laboratory for specialization and worked as a journalist in various lectures.

Article written in the summer semester 2018.