Tinder Generation By Maxime Matthys

« Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better. »

Here is the devise of the most downloaded dating app in the world. With 50 millions active users and more than one billion of potential partners, it has revolutionized the way people connect, seduce, flirt, and meet up. I took a particular interest in the users of Tinder and produced a creative series of portrait, so as to explore the way our generation is interacting in the hyperconnected environment we live in.

Tinder is a kind of supermarket of love. Chloé, 21, psychology student.

« I think Tinder is a kind of supermarket of love. I find it a bit immoral because it’s so easy to find someone to have sex with, and you can meet a huge number of people very quickly. The way we use it is very economical and capitalist, it’s like online shopping. And the more conversations you have with people on Tinder, the more lost you are. You don’t remember who told you what and what you said to who. »

I was 15 when I’ve downloaded Tinder for the first time. Grégoire, 18, design student.

« I was 15 when I’ve downloaded Tinder for the first time, when it was still authorised. And it was just for sex. My dates were always sex motivated, sometimes I didn’t even remembered the name of the guy I was going to have sex with. ere are people who are already naked when you arrive at their place. There is also a lot of sugar daddies on Tinder. Old guys proposing money to do various things, such as cleaning their house naked, or wearing baby’s diaper.»

The application shows pictures of men and women located around the user

Commonly used to find a one-night-stand, but also serious relationship or even friendship in some cases, the application shows pictures of men and women located around the user’s position and ask him to like or to dislike them. When two people mutually like each other, then « it’s a match » and the users can start messaging and arrange a rendezvous. The meeting is presented as a mercantile act since the users are swiping people while only looking at the pictures, cataloging men and women according to their physical attractiveness.

The choice in Paris is a big problem. William, 35 years old, ingeneer

« I use Tinder mostly at my place, when I’m home after a long day of work. I turn the application on and I check if there is new people around, so as not to say fresh meat. The choice in Paris is a big problem if you want to find some serious relationship. ere is too much choice, which directly impact your preferences ; you want to find the best of the best, not someone average or not attractive. »

I invited myself into their home

By using the app, I met the Parisians user of Tinder and I invited myself into their home, so as to photograph them while they are doing their « love shopping », switching the thousands of available profiles. To each portrait is also attached a photograph of their phone, displaying one of the « match ». It is a way to show the application, the huge diversity of profiles we can find, they way the users are tying to look their best, but also the object from which everything starts.

I DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME ONE DAY, BUT I’VE BEEN RAPED BY A TINDER MATCH. Anonymous, 18 years old, architecture student

« Everything started with the way he was looking at me. And then in the gestures. And at the end I’m not even sure he realized what he did. When he understood that I wasn’t conscenting, that I was physically reacting, he blocked me and prevented me to speak and to move. I didn’t think it would happen to me one day, but I’ve been raped by a Tinder match. »

The witnessing dimension of the project

As this project is a documentary story, a large part is accorded to it’s witnessing dimension. I’ve interviewed each person that I’ve photographed so as to know more about their practices, their experiences but also their vision of seduction, couple, sexuality and nowaday’s meetings. Each portrait is associated with a short audio extract from the interview of the person photographed. The spectator will then be able to hear the person he is seeing, and to immerse himself a little bit deeper into his intimacy.


Nicole, 45, flight attendant. « The boys that I’m interested in are the ones between 18 and 24. I’m not physically attracted by the older men. The youngest guy I had sex with was 18, there’s been a few. I think I’m a fantasy for them, they feel really free with me because they think that I’ve seen everything, so they often want to experiment various sexual things. And I think they are very influenced by pornography as well, which didn’t really exist at my time. I have a huge collection of dick pictures. Even if I don’t ask for it, they can’t help sending some. Sometimes, they send me a picture of their penis and I don’t answer. It finish like this. »

It looks more like a training to do a summary of your life

Jean, 22, photographer « When you are gay, meeting guys is not that easy. You can not go in the street and tell a man that you find him attractive because you can still be hit. So doing it through an online plateform makes the whole process easier. I don’t agree with the fact that it’s called a dating app thought, you don’t really date people. It looks more like a training to do a summary of your life and to try to appear attractive. »

I use Tinder to find people to go out with. Martin, 22, design student

« I’ve downloaded Tinder when I arrived in Paris from Chili because I didn’t know anyone. At first I was trying to find a collocation with the applications, but I finally found a flat. I don’t really assume to go alone for a drink in a bar, so I use Tinder to find people to go out with. And also for sex of course. Usually, you don’t have that much pleasure when you have sex with someone from tin- der. But with Marnix it was really great. So great that we called it «Interstellar sex».»

Having Arabic origins changes the way people are interacting with you. Walid, 25, french teacher

« I think that having Arabic origins changes the way people are interacting with you on Tinder. European people don’t really want to meet Arabic guys. Tinder is sometimes tilting in some kind of communitarianism, in the way that I’m more o en liked by Arabic girls than european girls. I think even the relationships became a kind of consummation. You only look at the physical aspects without trying to go deeper.»

All images and text copyright of Maxime Matthys

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Maxime Matthys


All pictures © Maxime Matthys

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