Tinder and The Sharing Economy

Platforms like Uber and Airbnb have been tremendously successful, precisely because they are extremely effective at connecting supply and demand. So good that they make us question the lifestyles we’ve taken for granted: Do we really need to own a car when we can Uber anywhere or buy a house where we can Airbnb our way around the world?

Tinder is suprisingly similar to Uber and Airbnb in the sharing economy: it’s a novel approach to catering to our fundamental need for human connection, physical or emotional. It invites us to question the expectation that relationships should be long term and monogamous.

The idea of romantic marriage is relatively new. We now turn to one person, asking them to give us what an entire village used to provide not so long ago. No wonder we are so bad at it.

Do we really need to be in a committed relationship if we can have intellectual stimulation with one partner, mind-blowing sex with another, and emotional fulfillment with a third?

Are we returning to communal societies weaved together by smartphones and fuelled by smart platforms, where the tribe takes care our needs, whether transportation, accommodation, sex or companionship?

Leaving the judgement on how to live our lives “the right way” aside, is this transformation is happening so fast that we are failing to notice?