Tinder in Sofia
Self-portrait by @deeper.dimension

Tinder in Sofia

A Social Experiment Driven By Boredom

 

My phone went totally bonkers since its display has been broken for a year now. So in its final week, I decided to give it a last treat before it dies forever: Tinder. Never meant to find true love or go on a date, wasn’t even interested in hanging out. Just wanted to see what Tinder was like and share it on my blog. I was a spy in a foreign country, who felt like an alien on another planet. So to all the people who were curious about Tinder in Sofia, you might want to read this and decide if it’s your cup of tea. And to all of my lovely matches that are now reading, thank you for bearing the fact that I didn’t speak your “language”, and I never intended to meet you in real life. 

DAY 1

I installed the app on Thursday and I started swiping. First thoughts were: SO MANY PEOPLE!; WHY IS EVERYONE NAKED?; OH, WAIT I KNOW THIS PERSON!

It was funny how I swiped right when I wanted to talk to someone I know and if I didn’t feel like it I just swiped left. It was like I met them on the street and turned my head away, pretending not to see them.

I talked with some friends, made up with one that I was mad at and had some laughs.

I also had several conversations with strangers, but none of them was particularly interesting. They were very interested, though. I was starting to get weirded out on the first day. I had this Italian guy who was just repeating – “let’s meet, I wanna meet you; you are so interesting – it would be cool if we met”. It was like my Cortana when she gets stuck on repeating the same suggestion when I ask her something. No matter what was the question. Never expected to like anyone and I didn’t, but one person unmatched me without even talking and that was a massive punch on my ego. I unmatched a lot of people, too.

I fell asleep before I could answer everyone.

 

DAY 2

I was at the bank and some crazy things happened there, but it’s a story for another post. So it was around 9 am and I receive a message “I am in love!”. – Isn’t it too early? – I replied. He seemed very emotionally unstable, but his bio should have warned me – “Pothead with bipolar disorder”. He wasn’t really diagnosed or anything. But he gave me valuable information – he had 272 matches. He counted them. I was starting to understand what Tinder is.

Day 2 was Friday. A colleague tried to swipe instead of me and after that, I had some “not my type”  matches. I unmatched them. I still had 15-20 matches and around 6-7 offers for where to go out that night. It was insane. I refused all the offers, but they remained open. The people there seemed desperate, but at the same time didn’t care about my refusal, there were so many other girls that would potentially say yes.

A friend of mine and I went into two bars – a chill one and one for dancing. I felt brainwashed, though. Those faces seemed so different now. I saw that all of them were probably on Tinder and they want to find a special person. That was mesmerizing. The way they dressed; the way they were looking for someone, but not anyone they know. But mostly what Tinder provides is causality, hopefully without any casualties.

P.S. there was this person who offered me to go to a techno party in a penthouse. He gave the “dangerous” vibe. Maybe he is a very normal guy and I misjudged him. Well, that was my biggest temptation. 

 

DAY 3

One guy smoothly took my number, one guy found me my Facebook profile and I found someone who I wanted as a business contact.

I smoothly took his LinkedIn. Still not interested in Tinder’s ways, though. Or in the people who are in it. I doubt that I am able to relate to someone with 3 pictures and several casual messages. I experimented and put a more revealing picture of me. Not anything outside of my character, though. My actions weren’t left unnoticed. I had immediate compliments 3 minutes after I put the picture up. I removed it – my point was proven.

The Italian guy was still trying to make me go out with him. I asked him directly why would he want to go out with me if we have exchanged literally three sentences. He answered: “maybe because you don’t speak so much and don’t say bullshit; I was just curious to meet you”. He repeated that several times, too. Even after I tried to really understand what his thought process is. Unmatch.

I was waiting for the guy who took my number to send me a link to his jazz music.

It was a pity, that I was genuinely interested in what these people did, but some of them just weren’t interested in having that type of conversation. So he texted me on Viber immediately and tried to get my Facebook profile. Two seconds after he got my number. I told him he hasn’t played this level enough to unlock the advanced ones. He laughed and never sent me that link. He will die with my phone under the name of Tinder guy. The only one who succeeded to get to my number.

That day I admitted to two people that I am spying on them and these were the people who I connected to on Facebook and LinkedIn. They accepted me for what I am – a tourist in their Tinder country with no intentions of adopting their culture. And we had some pretty interesting conversations, hopefully, more to come. About work, projects, art and university. One was an entrepreneur in Bali and one was from my university.

On day 3, Tinder was having a hard time finding people in my area. I was relieved but then they started coming up again. One boy got really mad at me, for rejecting his rushed offers for Himalayan tea in the centre. I felt my journey was coming to an end and I couldn’t wait until I remove my account. Then I discovered how much traffic tinder drove to my blog because I left a link in my bio. Now that is tempting me to leave it.

 

 

 

 

DAY 4

Today is day 4. People started repeating. It got boring, really.

There isn’t a plot twist, I didn’t find true love.

Nobody was that convincing to get me out of my flat. It’s funny how I have messages in the morning, strangers checking up on how I am doing. I don’t know how long I can keep up with talking to so many people. Well, I am changing my phone soon, so I guess I won’t have to worry about that.

I have 40 matches for 4 days. It changed my perception of Sofia. I found its loneliness that it has tried to hide with all of those events and alcohol. Overheard several shallow conversations about the app during my social experiment. I wonder if my matches will recognize me on the street. Tinder seems shallow to me, but I guess it depends on the person, because I actually made up with a friend, found a Bulgarian entrepreneur, and that can always come in handy. And I may have made a new friend.

So if you think you can handle watching six-packs and constant go out offers that just never stop – then Tinder is for you. If you have a practical approach to relationships – then Tinder is for you. If you are looking for a very special person that will change your life, he or she is probably not wasting their time on Tinder.

 

There is a plot twist read Tinder in Sofia

Part 2

to find out what happened

 

    1. I have never used Tinder outside Bulgaria. I have heard all kinds of stories at this point from all over the world, and I am in the writing of a new article that has a slightly different take on the app based on them and my experience.
      I hope that answers your question.

      Cheers,
      Ellie

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