“So where’d you meet?” you ask your friend who has said they’re seeing someone. And your friend makes a weird face before going, “Oh you know, just…” And you can see their brain trying to crunch 50,000 options for admitting or potentially lying about meeting someone on Tinder. “Ummmmmmmmm” they’re saying with their eyes sideways and kind of down, before going, “WemetonTinder,” in one big rushed mumble. “And anyway I didn’t use it for long. It was just once or twice—maybe three times—and now I’ve deleted it AND erased my profile and now I’ll never use it ever again… so that’s that… just so you know.”
And so, despite the fact that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in You've Got Mail all the way back in 1998, online dating seems to still have a smell, while Tinder is widely considered just about unmentionable.
These brash assertions are reflected in a recent YouGov poll of 1,014 people, finding that 53 percent of millennials say they’d be embarrassed to admit they’d met a partner through a dating app. But interestingly and hypocritically, 50 percent of millennials also admit they’ve used dating apps.
And of all apps (or websites if you’re so inclined), Tinder and Bumble are widely considered the uncoolest. In a respectability rating, eHarmony scored 49+ while Tinder got 6+. Nobody seemed swayed by Bumble’s emphasis on gender equality either and also gave them 6+.
This is because, as the polling company behind the poll explained, eHarmony seems to have an air of respectability because it’s associated with long-term picket fence-style monogamy, while Tinder is just associated with hookups. Yet despite this division in social acceptability, Tinder is only slightly less famous than eHarmony, with 92 percent of adults having heard of those guys, while 91 percent have heard of Tinder.
So where does all of this leave you? Well, perhaps just happy in the knowledge that people are idiots. You just carry on swiping and doing you—because the people who are judging you are also carrying on swiping and doing themselves.