Will Tinder's desktop app have you saying "hello" to more matches, and goodbye to productivity?
How the messaging-friendly version of Tinder might change your work life not just your dating life.
The promise of Tinder is that it'll find you a mate. For a night, a few weeks of comfortable albeit ill-fated dating, or if you luck-out and join the fairytaled few who've found forever love in cyberspace, a lifetime. Your ideal match is out there. So long as you just... keep... swiping. Never, ever, give up, right?! Which you won't, because dating apps, despite the collective malaise they inspire in us, are highly addictive by design (yes, just like heroin, carbs and the "satisfying video" trend). Now Tinder, ever the benevolent love-fix supplier you rely on in your downtime, wants to make cyber courtship part of your workday too.
Yes, Tinder, in its ongoing quest for world domination ( at least in love searches - it's already the world's leading dating app) is bringing dating to your desktop. You won't even need to check your phone (but you still will). An announcement from the company this week confirmed that trials for Tinder Online, a strictly desktop friendly platform, are taking place in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, and Sweden. The company says that certain locations have poor wi-fi for a host of reasons making love-hunting via smartphone tricky. Tinder loves love, they're adamant that this is "all part of our ongoing effort to make Tinder more accessible to the global community." Specifically, they say their "new, fun" app platform promises to spice up your work life, especially if you're in a rut. Their dedicated Tinder blog sells it like this: "Cubicle life got you down? Now you can toggle between spreadsheets and Super Likes in a flash." Fun! No actually, that sounds fun. But that's the problem.
Although Tinder and it's new Online version could bolster your career if you're a pro-athlete, it likely won't get you closer to an executive bathroom or bonus if you have to hold down the métier of a regular human. We spend a ton of time distracted by technology as it stands. Additional access points to an addictive app like Tinder might be fruitful for your match game, but your productivity will likely take a hit. Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World makes it plain: "quit social media because it can hurt your career." He doesn't have social media accounts despite being an academic, an author and a blogger.
"Consider that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy." Focus, more and more, is fleeting, and it's a valued skill set. "Social media weakens this skill because it's engineered to be addictive" he says. "The more you use social media in the way it's designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom." Hope your work is exciting enough to erase the temptation of distraction. Newport also says social media, although championed to be the only way to network and build a career in today's world is a professional waste of time. "If you're serious about making an impact in the world, power down your smartphone, close your browser tabs, roll up your sleeves and get to work." The same may hold true for dating. It's tough to appreciate one match and really follow through on something rewarding as three new matches subtly subvert the relevance of the first. Of course, there as many different types of rewards sought on Tinder as there are users (50 million if you like specifics).
That said, Tinder Online does have one feature which might give users a leg up in love, if not in work. Wired magazine reports that the new desktop interface is a bit different than the mobile version. Are you sitting down? There's no swiping as we know it with Tinder Online — instead, you move your mouse cursor to LIKE or NOPE people. Also, some increased importance is placed on messaging, at least visually. A message panel takes up 30 percent of your desktop when you're in the app. Making it more like FB messenger could boost genuine interaction and favor communication over match chasing. Without the exciting gamification feel of matching as the focal point, conversations may stand a chance of being the draw. Also, you don't have to toggle back and forth between a person's pics and the messaging interface to glean relatable interests you can pilfer for fruitful talking-points. "Love your ink! How long you been doing surf yoga?" So, actually talking may make a comeback in this slightly rejigged version of the cyber courtship monopoly.
Maybe you'll even find a meaningful connection on company time. One final caveat: no matter how deep and fulfilling the love feels are, don't expect your boss to understand come quarterly evaluations.