Vanity Fair vs. Tinder: the lowdown on the dating fight

The “Dating Apocalypse” is upon us and it’s all because of Tinder — allegedly. Vanity Fair recently published a piece tearing apart online dating apps, with an emphasis on the evils of Tinder. The article’s main argument is that the app is killing normal relationships and propagating an unhealthy culture as it becomes easier and easier to find someone to hook up with. The aftermath of the article led to a thirty tweet tirade from Tinder, claiming that the article was one-sided and the statistics were sketchy at best.

Tinder’s tweetstorm doesn’t make them look good, especially when it’s squeezed between middle-school style memes, but their points are valid. While both sides have come out of this looking like scorned exes who got into an embarrassing public fight, there’s some questionable claims in the Vanity Fair article that Tinder has a right to address.

The majority of interviews are with bros in bars — a Brooklyn photographer, some guys in finance and banking, a guy in a band — which is part of Tinder’s target market, of course, but doesn’t overtake the whole app. It’s not an accurate sampling of who’s really out there Tinder-ing as the article completely glosses over anyone on the app who isn’t cis and straight.

Tinder definitely makes a casual hook up easier to find but that doesn’t mean that millennials — because let’s be real Vanity Fair is shitting on millennials just as much as it’s shitting on Tinder — are forming unhealthy relationships. When given the choice between hooking up and dating millennials report they’d actually prefer to have long term traditional relationships. And sure, Tinder makes it easy to have a casual hook up but it’s also led to tons of long term relationships and marriages.

What the article seems to ignore is that the basis of Tinder is consent. Every conversation on Tinder starts with both parties agreeing to talk. While Vanity Fair touts gender inequality in hook-up culture as a failure of hook up apps they fail to see Tinder as a remedy to this; they fail to see Tinder as a safe place for queer people to find each other, a way to get bar recommendations in foreign cities, and yeah, sure, as a way to get laid with minimal effort.

The Vanity Fair vs. Tinder battle is really just another part of the never-ending war between millennials and older generations. Let’s be honest, every generation was having casual sex in their twenties, millennials are just doing it more efficiently and on a more even playing field. They’re even having less sex than Baby Boomers! Maybe millennials shouldn’t claim the title of #GenerationTinder, but it’s probably not the worst thing they’ve ever been called.

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