The Phenomelogy of Tinder
Taking the theory of late modernity as a starting point, the paper scrutinizes the mediatization of love as part of a broader mediatization process of the lifeworld. The analysis focuses on the application Tinder. In light of the empirical studies, it tries to answer the question whether the moralizing critics of this application are grounded or not. After that, a theoretical interpretation of Tinder follows: the so-called Tinder-logic is marked by speediness, visuality and (self)objectification. Users of Tinder are confronted with new challenges: they have to apply new strategies of self-representation, and they have to be able to interpret self-representations of others. While swiping, they use their knowledge provided by their lifeworld, but Tinder also makes it necessary for them to construct new elements of knowledge. Tinder has an ambivalent effect on gender roles: on the one hand it reproduces them, on the other hand there are clearly signs of a shift in the relation of the two genders. This is all the more apparent in power relations. As a democratic platform, Tinder brings a shift towards power symmetry between men and women. All in all, Tinder as a tool of online dating is characterized by the ambivalence of rationality and impulsivity.