Last week, a friend from high school called me, frantic and practically sobbing on the phone. This is not a regular occurrence, she’s usually pretty sane. Earlier this year she went through a bad breakup with her college boyfriend (we graduated in 2006).
She’s had little luck with the online dating scene. And then she found Tinder. And became obsessed. She fell in love with the spontaneity and most importantly, the convenience factor the app provides, even if it comes at a small price. However Tinder raised the ante recently with the launch of TinderPlus; for the bargain rate of $9.99 users under the age of 30 now have the ability to undo those dreaded regret swipes, as well as find users outside of their immediate location. However, for users over the ripe old age of 30, the going rate for TinderPlus is double, at $19.99 a month.
It’s not the money that’s the issue, my girlfriend told me, but a reminder that she’s 31 and still single. If she wanted a pep talk she would have called her mom. She said she was furious and deleted the app in protest.
And she’s not alone. Social media has been ablaze over the Tinder tax, sparking a lively debate about ageism, biology and the business behind age-‐centric websites and apps.
Dating over 30 isn’t necessarily a new storyline, but with the advent and constant evolution of online dating apps, it continues to take new and interesting turns on a daily basis. From my preliminary research, the underlying issue here is ageism, but is it such a bad thing? Is this type of business model viable or will it detract users like my friend who is insulted by the implication that just because you’re checking in at a higher age bracket doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay the same rate. As if dating over 30 isn’t hard enough.