Is Tinder just technology’s way of embracing “love at first sight”? Eric Stonestreet Thinks So, Kind Of
Twenty years ago, when the Internet was spry, a website called “Hot or Not” thrust photo after photo in front of mesmerized adjudicators, who ranked each picture as fast as the eye could see–beauty or canine, 10 or 3. It became an addiction–hours were lost judging strangers’ attributes. The site influenced everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to the founders of YouTube, who used the core concept to begin both Facebook and the video behemoth. Hot or Not still exists but it’s the legacy of Hot or Not that crowds our world. The most advanced version at work today is called Tinder–and it’s as addictive as you get. Like a Candy Crush for people, people who need people, as the old song goes.
Recently Eric Stonestreet, the Modern Family star, regaled Howard Stern with his stories of Tinder-ing, changing his profile for each city, a modern Don Juan of the digital. Stonestreet does what the other millions of Tinder app users do: judge, swipe, dismiss or connect. Hundreds of thousands of people download Tinder every day. And, back to the addiction thing, they check it constantly. Tinder claims 500 million profile ratings–not surprising because you can rate people awfully fast. Hey, look at you–swipe. Next. Or swipe the other way: let’s meet, talk, maybe do that other thing, whaddya say? Apps are enablers–and this is the ultimate. Where else could you meet 400 people a day? eHarmony likes a crescendo, you build toward something, it’s serious. Tinder cares as much for harmony as the Sex Pistols, speaking of which–oh, nevermind.