“Swipe left if you’re looking for hookups,” that’s what most Tinder profiles say, particularly those of women. The irony though is that Tinder is looked at as a hookup app, and so other dating apps like Bumble, OKCupid and Hinge have been positioned differently. So if Bumble allows women to initiate the conversation, on OkCupid the matches happen on the basis of interests- a questionnaire that needs to be answered by users.
I tried another app called ‘Hinge’, which has been around for a while actually, but came to my notice only recently. The app states that it is for people who are looking for ‘serious relationships’ and not something frivolous.
Is ‘Hinge’ really different?
I tried the app for about two days, just to see what the interface is like, does it match up to it’s tagline- ‘thoughtful dating for thoughtful people’. For starters, you DON’T see everyone who is in the vicinity, Hinge is connected to your Facebook account so you see your Facebook friends, friends of friends. So it’s not completely random.
So the way it works on Tinder is that you upload an assortment of pictures (after much deliberation, atleast for me), and then insert a bio. People try to be intellectual(rare), funny and sometimes plain silly. Then the swiping game begins, you just furiously swipe left or right, and then wait for someone to do the same for your profile. You keep waiting and then voila! You find a match. At this point you barely have any insight into that person, and that's great if a casual fling is what you’re looking for.
With Hinge you have to first fill in a few questions, these are pre-determined and there are about fifteen of them. There’s stuff like ‘I geek out on.,.’ and ‘We’re the same type of weird if...’, and have you have to answer at least four out of the assortment of questions. So you can’t get away with just uploading some pictures. When I was telling a friend about what Hinge is like he said, “Damn Tinder is only better, who is going to answer these questions and all!”
Then there are two ways of connecting with people- find them in the ‘discover’ section and browse through their profile, and then the other is a section where you can see who’s liked you. It’s more interactive than Tinder (again because it’s the only app I’ve used), because you can engage with someone you like by telling them what you like about their photo or answer.
What happens after that?
So this could go down different paths- ‘send nudes’, ‘let’s meet up for coffee’, ‘date?’, or just chat. That’s not particularly different from other dating apps. You’re probably just more informed about the person because of the descriptors that you have to fill in, but again how hard it to create a ‘virtual reality’?
Radhika(24), a working professional and a friend had once told me how she never looked at the ‘discover’ section. “I only look at the who’s liked either my picture or an answer, and then I decide whether I’d like to talk to that person or not.”
In my experience, I’ve found that women are respectful and not pushy on both Tinder and now Hinge. I’ve never really used these apps for too long to really, so there’s been no scope for deceit or too much attachment. Are there chances that a woman’s experiences on the app differ from say something like Tinder? Probably, Hinge requires you to describe yourself, so in addition to those washboard abs men need to up their game!
Here are some answers that I saw on Hinge that I thought were quite funny:
I don’t take these apps too seriously, my life isn’t ‘Hinge(d)‘ onto it. So if you don’t like me back, too bad, I move onto the next exciting thing in my life. I’ve used Hinge only for two days, which isn’t too much but what I will admit is that it is exciting to see if someone has replied to your message or not. It’s not all consuming, but it’s flattering.
But you can’t escape being ‘ghosted’ on any of these apps. Even on Hinge, if you don’t like anything on someone’s profile, there’s a ‘cross’ button below, which in my opinion amounts to ‘left swiping’, maybe just more informed. But even if you’ve not liked someone, they can still like something on your profile, so you’d know. So if you’re invested, there’s flattery and rejection equally.
Will I find the love of my life on Hinge? If I do I will definitely update this story and let’s see if ‘we’ are truly a match made in heaven.