Tinder just got a little more exciting, and it’s not because suddenly there are more eligible beaus at your fingertips. The organization Women In Distress—that raises awareness and gives women resources for domestic violence related issues—just joined Tinder. And what does this mean for you? Well, if you live in an area that has notable domestic violence statistics, you may have already seen one of these ads. They are calling this project “Tinder-Beater” and the way it works is both tricky and totally necessary.
Here’s how it unfolds: you’re scrolling through Tinder, trying to find your dream date or lover like a needle in a haystack, when you come across a guy who looks like a cross between a Ken doll, artist, and a witty PHD candidate. You’re intrigued, so you swipe right and click on his photos. Instead of finding pictures of him rock climbing and dancing at Coachella, you find something totally unexpected: A series of photos which picture him moving from docile, to aggressive, to throwing a fist at the freeze frame of your screen. This stop motion photo narrative depicts an unexpected eruption of violence. It makes us stop and think about how we investigate, value, and choose those we become involved with.
With online dating we usually ask ourselves the basic questions: will this be awkward in person, what do we have in common, and do I think this person is attractive. But Tinder-Beater reminds us to consider our safety, look for red flags, and know that first impressions are not forever. Women in Distress use this PSA to speak up about the unfortunate experiences of romances turned violent. They remind us that just because someone looks good on paper (or rather, your iPhone screen) doesn’t mean you should overlook or tolerate the development of abusive behaviors.
Here’s to hoping Tinder also tackles this issue from the other side: Like how about an app targeting men, one that reminds them to be accountable and non-violoent towards women? Abusers are responsible for getting help, stopping the cycle, and learning new ways to deal with anger and insecurity. Protecting yourself against domestic abuse is a step, but violence also needs to be cured at the source: in the individual doing the violent acts.
Here’s to making progress, and check the video out below.
Image Via AdWeek