My parents were full of axioms intended to keep their children’s feet firmly planted on the ground. (No unnecessary ego boosts from them – no sir!) And I admit to dusting off a few of these useless sayings for my own daughters. The other day I whipped out “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” to which my witty 20-year-old said, “Well, now you can!”
You remember the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, right? In this classic story, it seems our Prince is having difficulty finding just the right girl to become his partner in life. But in the millennium there’s an app for that — an app that really does let you quickly “judge a book by its cover”.
Enter Tinder, the latest innovation for smart phone users who want to find a new friend. Tinder takes the worry out of blind dating. There’s no more useless, wasted time creating and searching endless inventories of what you like and don’t like. With Tinder, you simply create an account by linking it to one of your existing social media accounts and off you go. You are shown individual photos of potential matches, and you simply drag the photo to a green heart if you like the way the person looks or “x’ him/her out if you dislike what you see.
Is your job and frequent travel keeping you from finding your perfect match? No worries. Tinder uses location services to identify people in your vicinity. Simply open your app and let Tinder find someone nearby your current location. When you see someone you like, hit the heart on the photo and let Tinder do the rest.
The catch is that someone else somewhere else is also judging your book by your cover.
If you’re lucky (?), someone whose photo you liked will like you back. And, hence, a match is made in heaven. (er, that is, in the cloud somewhere.)
I still really believe you can’t judge a book by its cover. But Tinder is doing nothing more than capitalizing on human behavior. We judge first based upon what we see on the outside. Tinder is just the enabler.