Why You Shouldn’t Connect Your Tinder With Instagram

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Tinder adds to the over-saturation of users seeking social media validation

Comedian Marc Maron, probably best known for his podcast WTF with Marc Maron, has talked about the role social media, and increased instantaneous channels of communication in general, have had on upcoming comics. Basically, many comedians aren’t as inclined to take risks because someone in the audience is likely taking video of the performance with his phone, and if the comedian bombs, then the clip goes on YouTube. So comics are more likely to stick with the material they know will generate positive responses, thus stunting their creative growth.

And now Tinder has created the dating version of that dilemma.

It’s been a couple months since Tinder added the ability for users to connect their Tinder accounts with their Instagram profiles. The dating app, which has always shown any mutual Facebook friends you have with the users who appear on your feed, also started showing second connections — in other words, if a potential match is the Facebook friend of a Facebook friend of yours.

“It will help you better understand who the person is that you’re talking to,” Sean Rad, Tinder’s co-founder and president, told the blog Mashable. “When you’re able to asses the degrees of separation between you and an individual it adds a lot of value in the form of context, trust and everything.”

From the female perspective, he’s probably right. Since online dating is inherently riskier for women than man, the average woman on Tinder might feel a little more secure about meeting a match in person with the additional information she’s provided with beforehand through the app. But those changes aren’t in guys’ best interest.

Consider that Tinder is a wildly inefficient method of meeting women. Out of every 100 right swipes, the average male in America might get a few matches. And you never know if any given match will respond once you send her a message, since women are constantly inundated with new matches and messages.

So, in a standard online dating setting when two people messaging are anonymous to each other, it’s up to men to undergo a trial-and-error process to see what works as far as generating responses to their opening messages. The things you learn can apply to your texting as well as your online dating interactions.

But if a match can view your Instagram, which might contain your last name or links to your other social media accounts, or sees how many Facebook connections the two of you have in common, it puts male users in a position where they might worry about being safer with their messaging. Safer as in being careful to ensure any messages they send will not come back to haunt them in real life.

Although, with Tinder making more of an effort to expose users’ real-life social networks, men would be less likely to send profane, sexually explicit messages to women. A year ago, Billy could send any kind of message to Katie without worrying about possible repercussions in his everyday life. But today, if he sees that he has two mutual Facebook friends with Katie, as well as three second-tier connections, then he is likely to censor his words carefully. He doesn’t want to be the subject of ridicule among his peer group.

So yes, there are benefits to these female-friendly measures, but they also facilitate a culture where men are inhibited from taking risks with their messaging in a way that leads to better communication. They also promote a validation-seeking culture, as described in the video above, that causes people to supplicate to one another in the interest of being liked, or accumulating likes on their Instagram photos.


About Luke Harold

Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.

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