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Sara Al Mheiri: Swiper, don’t swipe me!
August 01, 2014
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I am lying in bed, it’s about 1 am and I really should be asleep. But instead, I am swiping back and forth on my phone. My eyes are weary from lack of sleep and the harsh light blaring into my face but I can’t stop. It’s become an addiction. No, it is not Angry Birds, or Flappy Birds or any other stupid bird game that causes such incessant rage. But Tindr.

I think that Tindr is banned in the UAE and if not, then I will be very surprised. It’s a phone app, that you can download for free and it automatically uses your Facebook page for your profile. It picks the first three photos from your previous profile pictures (but you can always change them if you’d like). You then write a small bio about yourself, the wittier the better but don’t include too much information, you need to leave them wanting more!

The final step is to pick whether you would like females, males or even both and how far off a radius.  It then begins! You swipe left for no and right for yes. You can’t talk to anyone unless you both swiped yes and then it matches you. If you haven’t picked up by now, this is a dating app. Well you are either searching for friends or for a quick hookup. You can tell the difference between who is searching what pretty quickly.

The guy wanting to hook up’s profile picture is his perfectly chiselled torso and a smitch of his face. Whereas the friends guy has to have an either normal or funny picture. Something that says, even though we are meeting over the internet, I won’t kill you.

For example, just yesterday I saw a picture of the guy kissing the fish he just got or him just ‘chilling’ with his friends. However, there are the anomalies of disgustingly good-looking guys hugging their baby sister or holding up their equally adorable puppy. But all he wants is a wham-bam-thank you-very-much.

Now, parents, don’t think we meet them in a dark alley in the middle of nowhere where there is no cellphone service. Nor where anyone can’t hear me scream. We meet up with them in a public place for coffee and usually it works out just great. People can’t hide themselves behind a fake picture anymore. Anyways, so one lonely bored night, I decided to try it out. (Don’t worry mum and dad, I swear I wasn’t going to meet up with anyone…. This is purely research…) I downloaded it, and wrote that I was looking for a guy within a 10-mile radius who is between the age of 20-24.

Now for Tindr, I am being extremely picky and am limiting my choices but even then, I have over thousands of options. So I started swiping left (which means no) A LOT. I was being even pickier but hey, I have high standards for myself! (I know, so full of myself, I think I was expecting an Abercrombie model or something.) I would pause occasionally, thinking to myself, wow he is really cute. Only to waste my time clicking his photos only to see that the first picture was nothing but a façade. This would happen constantly.

However, you do get the few rare gems, where we match up and I gush for about five minutes over the thought that this Adonis likes me! But do we start talking? No, it’s silence on both ends. So the next day when I show my friends, they all swoon over my tiny phone trying to all catch a glimpse of this young hunk. Then as usual, one of them grabs my phone and texts a “Hey.” Not even two minutes later, I get a response from him. We all scream and laugh until it dies down to an eerie silence where they all wait to see what his response is. Everyone is on edge. This could be the start of something new, perhaps this will be the father of my kids. He certainly has great genes. I slowly open up the app and click on his name…

“&*^%$#@%* #@!%&(“ 

Of course it’s something vulgar about him and I and instantly my dreams of bringing my husband to my twentieth high school reunion and rubbing in everyone’s faces crashes. Hard. Every guy seems to think that this is the perfect way to capture a woman’s heart. Where are the cute, funny, sweet guys who want you to strip down your barriers and open up emotionally, instead of just stripping my clothes? Oh, that’s right, they’re walking around meeting girls who aren’t busy using Tindr.

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Sara Al Mheiri is a young Emirati woman who is currently living
in Boston, USA, where she is specialising in media studies with a
focus on women's studies. Sara is the ultimate nomad who flits
between countries observing new societies and their culture.


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