What the Tinder Maze Gets Right About Adulting


What the Tinder Maze Gets Right About Adulting

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

As a 21-year-old who has finished college and just stepped out in the real world, you have the unfortunate luxury of being flooded with choices. It can be very easy to overwrite the infinite pleasures of staying in the moment with a hundred different daily expectations that meet us. There’s the crushing pressure of watching peers land fabulous jobs that allow them the luxury of summer romances that turn into settled lives, while we’re still trying to balance our jobs and our desire to #wanderlust like no one’s watching.

Even worse, are the expectations nestled in the eyes of every Indian parent, who seem to remember only one advice when they bump into anyone in their 20s: “Beta, settle down”. Sure, aunty, soon as I learn not to snooze my alarm 15 times in the morning.

But in focusing on the pressure to settle and reach the destination, there’s something we end up overlooking: The beauty of the journey. After all, if we had a GPS-determined route for our lives, how would we learn the lessons sprinkled along the maze of life?

The real world, is chaotic and uncaring.

A new Tinder ad, reminds us of this. In a new ad for the social networking app, we meet a Tinder Girl entering a maze and accompany her as she navigates her way through the maze. On the way, she right-swipes and left-swipes with abandon; saying yes to new people, new experiences (and a whole lot of food). And even when things don’t work out, what is constant on her face is a smile and a spring in her step, because she does what most of us have forgotten how to: Live lightly, enjoy the moment, and move on because it was only meant to last that long… all of this without letting the pressures of adulting get to us.

As a generation we have accepted that letting the good times roll comes with an expiry date. That maybe we’re now old enough to leave everything behind and look for the lessons that stumbling along in life without a clearly defined plan can teach us. That maybe, the journey isn’t worth it — but we know that’s not true. Everything from great literature to pop psychology has time and again told us the journey is everything. The destination is not important. And yet we don’t really believe them.

We continue to discount experiences and people that we pass by in the maze of life because we are only staring at the destination. It may not sting as much now, but in a few years, when we look back at this time in our lives, when we were meant to let life surprise us, it might just be one of our biggest regrets. Because the destination may not turn out to be anything like we imagined at all: It’s all too real and all too adult.

In the ad, our Tinder girl finds her way out of the maze after experiencing the routes she chose to take her time with and then meets the real world. As soon as she steps out, the mood of the video instantly changes: It isn’t languid or dreamlike anymore. The real world, is chaotic and uncaring. But she refuses to be like the swarm of people walking to their destinations — she turns around to go back into her reverie. And utters the two words which need to be said more often: “Not today”.

Life is after all, meant to be savoured. Adulting can wait.