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Is video calling on Tinder the future of dating?

My social phobia doesn't agree at all

Is video calling on Tinder the future of dating? My social phobia doesn't agree at all

With no open bar events and parties in this wretched 2020, the dating world has moved permanently to Tinder. Which has solved numerous drawbacks for those who aren't completely comfortable flirting in real life – whether for congenital shyness, or for difficulty in reading social situations, or for a complete inability to handle the awkward scenario of showing up to complete strangers and acting nice the whole time. Tinder sorted this out, at least until it started suggesting we video call our matches with the new Face to Face feature. "Make a quick video call," suggests a header with the naïve good faith of those who still see good in humans. And the anxiety started again.


Now there's a new button to worry about. Nothing could be more counterproductive, after a short and brilliant conversation that is already almost about to blossom in a serene date in front of a gin and tonic, than to accidentally press the button and start the video call, printing our pale, unkempt faces on the smartphone screen of someone we do not even know nor have ever seen. A great first impression. Even worse: if we proposed a fast videocall to our match we would almost certainly give the impression of not perceiving the most basic social boundaries. I mean, video calling on Tinder is almost the digital equivalent of a getting handsy on the subway


In truth, it's hard to think of anyone who can get excited about these video calls – stalkers aside. And you'd need to be in the mindset of You's Joe Goldberg to be happy to be able to invade someone else's personal space even during lockdown. Of course, there are security measures: you can block users, expose complaints if you encounter any maniacs (although it is more a matter of "when" than "if") and establish rules of behavior. However, no internal policy can help eliminate the almost unsanitized sense of cringe that comes with video calling a complete stranger – like when you sit on a bench that has been heated by the body of someone who has just got up.


The thing that works about Tinder is precisely its filters, the distance it interposes between people too fragile and wary to immediately throw themselves into each other's arms. If you don't want to, you may not respond, block or just abandon a chat to oblivion. Ghosting is bad, true, but it's also true that nice and good aren't always synonymous. And you can avoid answering and snubbed live as well, but it's definitely easier to do it without being physically immersed in those short, awkward moments.  In addition, the fact that on Tinder you have to worry only about the words you use, not your look, or the impression you give: you'll meet once the ice is broken, not unlike the great epistolary lovers of the past. This is true romance 2.0. Video calls on Tinder? Let's leave them to the Black Mirror episode where they deserve to be.