Pick your battles

By Scott Learmouth on Thursday, 20 August 2015

It’s the summer which means silly season in the media. Putting Corbyn-mania to one side, the story I love most from the last fortnight concerns Tinder. In case you missed it, Vanity Fair wrote a piece, “Tinder and the dawn of the Dating Apocalypse”. The publication quoted experts claiming that services such as Tinder encouraged a perceived abundance of potential partners, which was damaging relationships.

“When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating,” the University of Texas' David Buss told Vanity Fair. “Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”

So far we have a Texan academic unnecessarily using the word “mate”, with the clear implication that Tinder is predominantly good for one night stands. Have I missed something here or has he just described their proposition?

By now you must be wondering why this is the subject of my blog...

Simple. Sometimes the best course of action to take, and therefore the best advice we can give, is to SAY NOTHING. Think about what you ultimately want to achieve and whether fighting back creates more or less of a story. This is the lesson Tinder helped us learn so brilliantly by tweeting a whopping 31 times in response to the article. And within the 31 tweets were some pretty eye-opening claims: Tinder not only facilities solid relationships in the digital age, but also allows North Koreans to overcome the hurdles of dating in the world’s most oppressive regime.

In the days of social sharing clearly the response didn’t go unnoticed. So the net result? Not one mildly critical article, but tens of thousands of pieces perpetuating the story. All of which were pretty negative, not only about Tinder itself but the way the company dealt with the issue. The CEO stepped down two days later.

So the next time you think about a public rant, swipe left, have a think and consider what you actually want to achieve in the long term.

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