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Have you ever opened Tinder and noticed something strange about your Top Picks?
They often look quite similar, don’t they?
Mostly white faces smiling back at you.
As someone who’s used Tinder, this might have made you wonder why it’s like this.
In this post, we’ll talk about this trend and try to understand why it happens.
Understanding Tinder’s Algorithm
To get why Tinder’s Top Picks often look mostly white, we first need to know how Tinder decides who to show you.
Think of Tinder’s system like a smart robot that’s trying to learn what you like.
Every time you use the app, this robot watches what you do.
If you keep liking certain types of people, the robot thinks, “Ah, this is what they like!” and shows you more people like that.
Now, this robot isn’t perfect.
It can only guess what you like based on what you do on the app. It doesn’t really know you or what you’re thinking.
It’s similar to when you watch a lot of funny cat videos on the internet, and then suddenly, all you see are more cat videos.
Tinder’s robot works in a similar way. If many people like profiles of white individuals, the robot shows more white profiles to everyone. It’s a cycle.
This system means if you start liking a certain type of profile, the app will show you more of that.
But this can make things less diverse.
You might end up seeing the same kind of profiles over and over again.
The Role of Societal Biases
Now, let’s talk about something called societal biases.
These are invisible rules that many people follow without even thinking. These rules can influence who we think is good-looking or who we want to date.
Often, these ideas come from the world around us – from movies, TV shows, what we read, and what we hear from others.
Studies have shown that racial biases do affect swiping behaviors on dating apps.
A study by the Australian National University in 2020 found that people often have a “racial hierarchy” when it comes to dating, with white people typically being more preferred.
This bias isn’t just prevalent in one region but is a pattern observed globally.
These societal biases likely feed into the Tinder algorithm.
If a larger portion of users tend to swipe right more on white profiles, the algorithm learns and perpetuates this pattern, leading to a cycle where white profiles are more likely to be shown as top picks.
The Illusion of Preference
Tinder, like many dating apps, relies on the idea of personal preference.
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You swipe right on people you find attractive and left on those you don’t.
But how much of this preference is truly personal? It’s important to consider how societal influences, like media portrayal of beauty standards, shape our preferences.
In many cultures, white features for instance, are often idealized as the standard of beauty.
This standard is reinforced through movies, TV shows, advertisements, and even literature.
As a result, people may develop a subconscious preference for white partners, which is then reflected in their swiping habits.
Can You Do Anything About Your Top Picks Always Being White?
Yes, you can! Here are some steps you can take to see more diversity in your Tinder matches:
- Change Your Swiping Habits: The first step is to look at how you swipe. If you usually swipe right on white profiles, try pausing and looking at every profile more carefully. Give a chance to profiles of people from different backgrounds. It’s like trying different kinds of food – you might find something new that you really like.
- Broaden Your Search Criteria: Sometimes, we set limits in our search without realizing it. For example, you might have set a very specific age range or location. By making these settings a bit broader, you can meet a wider variety of people. It’s like opening your window wider to let in more fresh air.
- Engage More with Diverse Profiles: When you see a profile of someone from a different background, don’t just swipe right – try sending them a message. Starting conversations can help the Tinder robot learn that you’re interested in meeting a variety of people.
- Reflect on Your Preferences: Take some time to think about why you choose the profiles you do. Are there hidden biases influencing your choices? Understanding your own preferences better can help you make more conscious decisions.
- Give Feedback to Tinder: Finally, if you feel like your Top Picks are too limited, let Tinder know. Apps often change based on user feedback. It’s like telling a chef in a restaurant what you’d like to see on the menu – they won’t know unless someone speaks up.