Helena has been moving her right thumb to the left for 20 minutes and raising her eyebrows intermittently. Who does not know what he is doing might think he has a nervous tic, but he is swipe, slide in Tinder, a app to link with more than 80 million users from 18 years to infinity, 1.6 billion swipes daily and about a million appointments per week. By Helena's gesture, that Saturday's plan will not be so easy. On your screen images appear next to a name, age and some biography data. A movement to the right or to press the green heart that appears under that photo is a "yes", to the left or on the red cross, a "no". And this 29-year-old lawyer hasn't swipe To the right not once. It is so tiring, he says, several times a month he thinks about uninstalling the application, which he has been doing for six. If he does not, it is because, "blessed patience", in the end he always finds someone he likes: "Never enough to say‘ I stay here ".
Helena, like many other women, knows that every time she presses the white flame on her mobile screen, she will need a minimum of half an hour for someone to fit her tastes and give her green heart. He also knows that 9 times out of 10 he will do match, that is to say, that the man on the other side of the screen will have previously given her a yes or will end up doing so. They are your calculations after half a year of regular use. That, have a lot to choose from, be very selective and end up deciding knowing that it is very possible that this choice will be reciprocalIt also happens any night at any bar. They say Núria Gómez (Barcelona, 1987), critic and art curator, and Estela Ortiz (Terrassa, 1988), political scientist and manager of the Facebook account Tinder philosophers. They are authors of Love me, Tinder (Planet, 2019), a book of 10 chapters in which after a year of work, they classified the profiles of men according to their way of being displayed in the application and around those who contextualize and analyze society. A kind of compilation of essays on how we understand and live these relationships that begin online.
The app, Gómez explains, "does not change the paradigm but accelerates it." It oversizes it. And it refers to feedback loop, a term to define a vicious circle of behavior by which men and women adopt strategies at the extremes: "Men no longer select, while women are increasingly selective." As they relate in the book, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology came to that conclusion (MIT) after creating 14 fake accounts and tracking their interaction with almost half a million profiles. The platform points out: “They know that when they give the right they have match"
However, with this method of accepting or rejecting the candidates, the range of grays that may exist on a terrace disappears on a Friday night, because Tinder polarizes. Ortiz explains: "It is yes or no, you like it or you don't like it, binarizes logic and the answer." There is no going back unless the paid version, Tinder Gold, has been hired. Those 27.15 euros per month - it is the application within the category of lifestyle with the highest collection in more than a hundred countries, according to platform data - entitle the rewind (Be able to go back if you think you were wrong to swipe), to have no ads and a tab where you can see who has given like to your profile without you having done it previously. Five million users have it. And up. Only during the second quarter of 2018, "added 300,000 new subscribers and entered 384.97 million euros," according to data in the book. The business of love.
How long you look at a photo, the number of characters with which the messages are answered, the emoji which are used or what are the songs of worship of people who are given "yes." Tinder, available in more than 190 countries, more than 46 languages and with more than 300 million downloads, is a big brother of user privacy. And like all social networks, a bottomless pit.
Núria Gómez and Estela Ortiz count on Love me, Tinder that the system saves preferences during use: name, age, location, colors, shapes and silhouettes of the images that are observed (and those that are not) or the events that are attended.
He knows that the best day to connect is Monday, the best time at ten at night and the best month, August. That in Spain the emoji of beers, the wink and the smile are the most used and that the gif more inserted is "fox" (fox, in Spanish). Record the number of characters with which messages are answered and classify those responses as positive or negative feelings through Message tree, an intelligent system that analyzes conversations ...
And all that information is owned by Tinder. As Gómez and Ortiz explain in the book, “by accepting the terms and conditions, users grant the company the worldwide and transferable right with license and without copyright to store, use, copy, display, reproduce, adapt, edit and publish your content. "
In that new tab with a tiny diamond logo in gold, Marta accumulates an average of 1,000 likes New, daily. To Victor a score in a good day. She's tired of swiping left. He doesn't stop doing it right. She is 32 years old and he 30, both higher studies, are within what can be understood by the canon of Western beauty, with work and residents in Madrid. That imbalance is normal. In 2017, a study concluded, making an analogy with the functioning of the economy, which Tinder was the most unequal for men, more than 95.1% of all economies: The results stated that an average man would be chosen by one in 115 women.
In that jungle of names, tastes and songs that goes in a pocket, which produces 26 million matches newspapers (accumulate more than 30,000 million since the app was launched in 2012), they have more power. With nuances Because this returns to the discussion of the use of female beauty as a claim. Does Tinder take advantage of it? Yes. Does something force you to download the application? No. "In this dynamic, women are used as a product for subscribers, how can it continue to happen in discos, where girls are the bait for the boys to come, "Ortiz says. The other author, Gomez, replies:" Yes, but it also means that as a woman you can manage your own sexuality, in other ways it is more complicated. "
That is what Lola Pérez, a Philosophy graduate, sexologist and CEO of Young Women of Murcia, agrees, believes that Tinderlike others apps of this type, they promote "new sexual visions for women", whose patterns have been more corseted in history: "Do not compromise, be with several boys at the same time, be able to say no when it is no, feed the sexual imagination ... It allows some empowerment. " That is also where Joaquín Negro, a sociologist and professional of sexual health and its prevention, points out, remembering that, on the sexual level, women he has secularly stripped himself of his pleasure, desires and fantasies and of the authority over his corporality".
That changes in a world where the conception of the traditional monogamous relationship is changing, where sometimes it goes to the fleeting and the ephemeral, according to the sociologist: "It is opening to other forms such as polyamory, open, liberal relationships, etc. Love in times of Tinder it has been anchored in a liquid society on horseback between romantic love and the satisfaction of individualistic pleasures. "Which gives women an advantage because, finally, they begin to exercise their right to their own pleasure. And that democratizes desire, always so inclined towards the masculine.
In Tinder they and they want, fantasize, criticize or judge equally. The algorithm works the same for everyone. As for the physical, the platform calculates the "level of desirability." To calculate it, the authors of Love me, Tinder, "the application analyzes the amount of messages that someone receives from users that are desired by others." That gives an "invisible note of appeal" and to that is added a classification by level of intelligence, studies and income. And Tinder, they write in the book, makes it very clear in the terms and conditions that "they reserve the right to establish these social hierarchies." Then there is the intellectual level: "The system counts the syllables of the conversations and proposes, first of all, those users who comply with your intellectual average." In addition, they have Ortiz and Gómez, Eigenfaces, an algorithm that analyzes the characteristics of the profiles that have been given like, "generates an average face, a perfect match"So, the app generates a platonic profile, an ideal base with which you select the likely candidates. Here, they also have an advantage. "When users give you a like, your note goes up. If someone with a lower score than yours does not support you, your result will plummet, "they explain in the book." And, obviously, they receive on average many more yes than they do, "Ortiz added.
In this carousel of probable couples there are, in addition, some characteristics that offer certain security, especially to women, which are those that normally face harassment on-line. For example, absolute anonymity in relation to other social networks: app It is not currently linked to any other, although it has an agreement with Spotify and Instagram: the profile shows the latest photos and cult songs that the user decides, but you cannot reach those other applications. Another is the report button for inappropriate photos or insulting comments. And, the most obvious, the idiosyncrasy of the application itself, based on mutual and verbalized desire (through swipe): Only if both users like each other and say "yes", will a communication channel be opened in the messages tab. Despite all this, in that virtual place the male chauvinism It also appears. And the patriarchy. Y the myth of romantic love. And both, as Negro points out, "have anchored women as vulnerable taxpayers to be recipients of a possible" conquest. "
When they rebel at that and on the other side someone squeaks, the users that Núria Gómez and Estela Ortiz appear in the last chapter of Love me, Tinder, the Alpha-Male. In mid-September, Marta made match with one of those alpha males. Pablo: 31 years, 1.91, data analyst, perfect abs. His first message took a couple of minutes to arrive, something that coincides with the Tinder records, according to which it took them to send the first five minutes after the match with an average of 12 characters. They take their time and often use. "Fumina Feminazi", headed the paragraph: "No beautiful woman can be a feminist and I don't understand how you can be so morally upset that you don't want to Vox voters in your bed. "Marta had in her biography the symbol of feminism and, among others, two phrases: "Among my vital aspirations is not sponsoring any right-wing voter" and "I do not need you to accompany me home."
Marta had an easy time with him, pressed to denounce and briefly explained the fleeting interaction. With two more presses he undid the match and "see you soon." In reality it might not have been so. Maybe that 1.91 data analyst would have intimidated or violated her. Tinder, recalls Black, "is just a mirror of society." Negro, like Lola Pérez, believe that the app provides a wide margin for women to express their sexuality freely, maintaining sexual or emotional relationships and outside the pattern of romanticism. But it is only a tool. The sociologist points out: "The real change is out, where many women are already appropriating their own body and their sexuality."
Tinder had to change his slogan: from "slide, match, chat" original to "match, chat, stay". Núria Gómez and Estela Ortiz have in Love me, Tinder they had to add the imperative because love in the app It is very self-referential: "A behavior in which the state is more relevant than the desired subject."
There are those who accumulate matches and does not close an appointment. They do not need it. They want to know that "I like you" is reciprocal. "The chupinazo of the likes"says Adriana Royo, sexologist and therapist." It is the ego, to be seen and desired, it is virtual narcissism. "
There is no possibility of knowing how many people do this, but the authors of Love me, Tinder They think it's more common than it seems. It has to do with the release of dopamine (one of the pleasure hormones), which produce the likes in the brain, something a study showed in 2017. And this happens especially among the youngest.
For Ada Santana, president of the Federation of Young Women, it happens because it is a method of self-acceptance: "We go through a process of socialization more exposed to the judgment of others, we care more and sometimes we feel the need to respond to social canons ". And Estela Ortiz, one of the authors, adds: "They care about the reaffirmation. That the children write to them is part of this isolated life and the perverse logic of social networks. It isolates you and gives you dopamine, it is a paradox."
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