People hate on Tinder for a lot of reasons: its sleaze factor, its superficiality, its special way of making human beings seem disposable. But as a woman, I side with the "this may be the best thing that's ever happened to dating" crowd. If you've ever gotten a lengthy OkCupid love letter from a shirtless dude in a cowboy hat holding a gun (guilty), you already know why: Tinder only allows people you're at least marginally interested in to talk to you. When I get a message on OkCupid, I think, "Oh boy, this should be bad." But when I get a first message on Tinder, my feelings are akin to those experienced by a child on Christmas morning: "Which hot person that I hand selected earlier has decided to talk to me?!" It's all good, you know?
Except when it's not. There's definitely a quality control problem with communications on Tinder, likely due to endless options it offers. When you know more hot people are a few swipes away, why bother putting a ton of time and energy into talking with any one? This sense of "replaceable-ness" (to the left, to the left!) leads to lots of poor behavior, which has been well documented in screenshots. I almost don't even mind this, because I have a blog, and sometimes getting the same "u white?" message from three different people is hilarious enough to outweigh the slog of it all.
But there is a thing much worse than an outrageously offensive first message that's at least good for sharing: the "Hey" message.
Similar to the "How's it going," "Plans for this weekend?" and "Sup" first messages, the "Hey" message is unbearable. It's too boring to respond to, but inoffensive enough that you feel guilty ignoring it. It also gives you no new information, so the struggle to decide whether or not this person is a lazy bro or possibly your soul mate is so, so real. And, women are definitely guilty of sending the "hey" message to men and women, too, but the end results typically don't follow the same pattern as what you'll see below.
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The process usually goes something like this:
1. Oh yay, the cute one messaged me!
2. ...but all he came up with was “hey.”
3. No. We’re not doing this again. It's too much work.
4. Well….double take on the profile pics: he does have nice abs.
6. What do I saaaaaay though?
7. Write “hey” back.
8. Hope he is thinking “I have tasted my own medicine and it is bitter.”
9. Check phone several times over 45 minutes.
10. WHY AM I BEING PENALIZED FOR BEING BORING WHEN HE WAS BORING FIRST.
11. Add “...bay bay” to my “hey” to jazz it up.
12. Regret it.
13. Check phone several times over 25 minutes.
14. Oh yay, he messaged me!
15. The message: “lol.”
16. Throw phone, but onto something soft like the bed because am frustrated, not crazy.
17. Buck up, try again: “So what do you do?”
18. A doctor!
19. He’s asking an unexpectedly thoughtful line of questions about a book I quoted in my profile!
20. This is too good to be true.
21. Agree to go out for coffee near our workplaces next week.
22. Oh look, he’s posted a “moment.”
23. It’s his penis.
25. Weep for humanity.
26. But repeat, because why get hung up on one loser when there's another cute doctor a swipe away.
Images: peter burge/Flickr; Giphy, 360b/Shuttterstock