Two weeks ago my editor said to me: “Tinder Social has launched in Argentina.” He looked at me quietly, intensely, the way a praying mantis might eye its victim, or I a doughnut. But my naiveté persisted. I still did not understand.
“Oh I can write that for you this afternoon,” I said breezily.
“Hmm…” he said, still fixing me with a gleaming eye. My alarm began to grow as he continued, “Hmm.”
And then much like this scene from Knocked Up, he says to me:
“Maybe we should do a bit more digging”
The horror began to dawn on me.
“Just a bit more, you know, research,” manic intense gaze continues.
“Like go on dates?”
“I wouldn’t say that, no. I would say Research.”
“Oh no. No No.”
And so here we are. The tinder adventures, they continue. With the usual partners in crime: Facu and Fede, Nico and Tincho. Fran, Franchu and Franco. And then Facu again. I thought I was done with the world of online dating when I last wrote about it in March. Oh me of four months ago: so dumb! so young! exactly the same as ‘me’ now!
I tried Tinder Social so you don’t have to. I tried Tinder Social because Aziz Ansari told me that Tinder is like modern “village matchmaker” and his instagram account is full of pictures of homemade pasta and I thought I could trust a carb guy to know what he was talking about. I tried Tinder Social because I have morals and principles but they can be bought with cheese fries and Fernet attention. It’s a wonderful world. Ready for this?
What is Tinder Social?
Tinder Social, much like Grouper, Previando, and others before it, is an opportunity to go on a group date with your friends. Why go out for a blind date with a random internet person when you could go out for a blind date with two or three random internet people? And drag along your friend who protests, “But we promised the men that we actually know we would hang out on Friday night.” Sorry, sorry! But reason is not welcome here, and neither are our men, this is a histérica 2016. Our year!
Can We Get a History Lesson?
‘Course you can nerds!
Tinder launched this social experiment after doing testing in… Australia. Which might lead a rude person to wonder: Can that really be applied everywhere? Are we all just on this little surf trip called life? Do Australians court one another by softly playing Savage Garden over and over on guitar in between yelling “G’day!” at each other and tickling a platypus? Questions that want answering.
On their site , the people from Tinder explained branching out into group activity as such:
“Tinder has always been about getting you out of the house to meet someone new. But sometimes you want more than a party of two. Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew, and your two crews have an amazing time together.”
So essentially the beginning of the Baz Lurhmann remake of Step Up bound to happen 20 years from now, still starring Channing Tatum as his younger self. Or just the entire plot of West Side Story. I’m sorry Tinder PR. All I’m hearing right now is dance off.
Okay, okay enough. To tinder!
How Does it Work?
First. You have to “unlock it,” why unlock? Probably so you can’t add your unwitting sister to your Tinder Social group and give out her number. But what kind of person would do that? Once you have unlocked Tinder Social within the app, you can pick your friends to join your group (we are not calling this a crew, no one is doing that. I said no one is doing that.)
You pick between one and three other friends and you will be matched as a group (not necessarily of the same number) to other
packs of wild heathens groups of men roaming strolling the streets of Buenos Aires looking to harrass the bejeezus out of romance anything female a young bombona in her prime.
I might advise only going out with one or two other friends. Otherwise it’s overwhelming, like a giggling sorority house full of secrets and loud squealing. Close Tinder and open Pokémon Go! Find your Charizard and Jigglypuff friends. Wish they could be in your tinder social group. They can’t. Yet…
Be warned, all friends involved in the process have swiping power, so don’t hook up with a friend who’s really into acro-yogis. Or do. You do you.
Picking your Group
When you unlock Tinder Social, you can see all your Facebook friends who are already on Tinder Social. Theoretically you know, so you can add them to your group. But also all your Facebook friends. High school teacher. Ex-boyfriend. Kid I babysat in high school. Mom. Fancy seeing you here!
It’s one big Tinder Social party. Dating… we’re all apparently in this together. But alone. Forever alone!
You can only add friends to a group who aren’t already part of one, so plan and judge your friends
based on their looks accordingly.
What happens when you start swiping? Well, you will still see individual men (or women) snuggling their dog whose bios read: “The essential is invisible to the eye” but mixed in between these philosophers you will find groups of people! (Note: the groups will not necessarily match the number of people that you have added to your “crew,” it’s discriminatory.)
The groups do not make their own joint profile, you can view all members individual profiles and the cover image is a composite shot. Sharing is caring.
When you match
As usual, as a woman you can assume that 99 percent of the time it will be a match. Still making 77 cents on that dollar, so really just bask in that Tinder advantage ladies. 2016 – I said it would be our year.
When my friend (also a girl) and I tried Tinder Social, our phones may or may not have stopped working. There was too much data. There were too many conversations happening. We needed a rubric. And then a glossary. And an index for that glossary. I tried to color code all the conversations that were happening, but everyone was called Francisco and I had to flirt with them in Spanish and I gave up and inhaled a box of Kesitas to calm my neuroses, which coincidentally also have their own color-coded index.
The central premise of tinder social is that your matches expires the next day at noon, so you can only go out with that group tonight. Meaning that people have to get their proverbial shit together and make a plan and ask you out, right?
Yes, in it’s premise, Tinder Social makes sense for Argentina, a place where more often than not people are invited to previas with their friends instead of lone drinks at a bar with exposed brickwork and Edison lightbulbs.
This is not what happened. Everyone wants to meet up. But no one has a plan. We are under 30. It’s too much for us. What are you doing? Nothing? Us too! So many millennials, so few plans. The general consensus seemed to be, please come and meet us at our apartment for drinks. Alone.
Second general consensus: Gentlemen, it might be said, seem to all have tables for various private clubs around the city, but for tomorrow. And since the group expires, they need your phone number for that. For tomorrow. Without your friends. Not one hombre did this. Not two. All of them. Hombres for everyone. But for tomorrow. Always. Always tomorrow.
When I polled my male friends to make sure this article was inclusive, they just laughed in my face and said “we couldn’t even match!” and I smiled gleefully over my coin pile of 77 cents and thanked the gods I was born a woman.
Did I go out with them tomorrow? Am I engaged to one of them now? Will I be staying in Buenos Aires forever thanks to my editor, who will be officiating at the ceremony?
That’s not within the description of “Research.”
So go on, get tindering, take your friends with you. Match with your ex’s! Get back together. Break up again. Meet up with everyone, just make sure you do it tomorrow.