Lost in the Tindersphere

Just still swiping…

So the film is here and what a journey it was. The making of Tinderfest was as you would expect: hilarious, bizarre, confusing, disgusting, very uncomfortable but a shitonne of fun to make.

When making a documentary (or creating any other kind of journalism for that matter) you often find yourself compromising accuracy for entertainment. I guess I had a few of these moments when making Tinderfest and of course I could not possibly tell the entire story in 5 and a half minutes. So I thought I’d write it all here along with some background info and an update of my own progress in the Tindersphere since.

In the beginning…

So how did this madness all start? I imagine my reasons for first downloading the godforsaken app were similar to that of many others. I had heard it talked about a great deal, it seemed like barrel of laughs. I think I downloaded it thinking, ‘it’ll be funny’, but actually it was just tragic.

It was horrible. Everyone was so ugly. I was disgusted, but then I would be disgusted at myself for basing my judgements on physical appearance. But that’s what Tinder was all about and I was hooked. Just one more swipe and I might find someone beautiful. Just one more swipe, one more…. 

“There is no one new around you”


About twice I came across guys who looked like they could be amazing, exactly my type of dude, although of course you can never tell from a mere Tinder profile. The first of these I didn’t match with. The second stopped talking to me after we exchanged about two messages. I also came across a guy I worked with. As it happens, when we worked together I fancied him so much I actually just started to avoid him, if that makes sense. But I swiped right on Tinder, cause Yolo. Ten months later and still waiting on that match to come through…

It’s funny that I spent so much time swiping through the masses yet never had any intentions of forming proper relationships. I didn’t considered Tinder a viable way to make real life connections. It seems odd to me now, because why not? I suppose I thought it was just some kind of game. The few conversations that I did have ended soon after they began. One boy asked me for my phone number and I said no. I think it just became too real all of a sudden and I couldn’t handle it. I’m still not sure why I was talking to him if I never wanted to know him in real life. Tinder is so confusing sometimes. So is life.

The truth is, I was picky. However, probably only picky in the context of Tinder. I probably went through about 700 people before swiping right once. I still don’t disagree with my level of pickyness – I maintain the view that you shouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing. As you can imagine, being so selective, I didn’t get very far.

I remember thinking to myself, “are men actually this disgusting?”, then I went outside and the streets were full of beautiful people and my faith was restored. I was assured that men were only this ugly on Tinder. Shan though.


“Is that that mad orgy everyone’s talking about?”

Like most people, I disregarded Tinder for a while. But like most people, I came crawling back. But this time it was to make the art piece that is Tinderfest. A few people have asked me why I decided to make a documentary about Tinder. I’m not sure why they ask this as to me, it seems obvious. When thinking of possible documentary subjects, Tinder seemed like the natural choice – it’s hilarious, outrageous, kinda dodgy and certainly should not be taken seriously. My kind of thing. It may divide opinion but one thing we can probably all agree on is that it is endlessly fascinating. Plus, it is pretty huge; so many of us sexy youngsters have used Tinder at one time or another and the internet in general plays such a major role in the way we communicate these days, for better or worse.

The idea for the party was perfect – anything could happen, or nothing.

At some point my friend Gordon said to me something along the lines of “Ailsa, if you’re going to make a film about this I think you have to fully experience it for yourself”. There was no point in fannying around anymore, I had to throw myself in there and lose myself in the Tindersphere. What followed was a very strange time of my life. I almost felt like I was leading a double life – one in the real world and one where I wandered the endless plains of the internet. I was lost in the Tindersphere, not sure where I was going or what I was doing, who I was looking for… just swipe swipe swipin’ the days away…

It was at this stage I realised I could swipe for a multitude of different reasons. I didn’t necessarily have to fancy them, or did I? I guess a lot of people assume a swipe right means you fancy them and I ran into problems a couple of times because of this. But I came across a lot of cool looking folk who I wanted to connect with for various reasons and personally I don’t see why I should pass up that opportunity just because I didn’t have the hots for them.

This was also the stage I set out on the Tinder date mission. I failed so badly. Although one thing I didn’t mention in the documentary was that I did in fact get asked on a date. In fact, I was up for meeting the guy, but I did not fancy him one bit – I swiped right because judging by his profile, he seemed as jaded as I was. I was straight with him, I told him I’d like to meet him, but not as a date. He did not take it well and what followed was an angry exchange of messages, leading to him blocking me.

Goodbye Michael, 23.

So the party. My party guests were engaging people, some of which I knew prior to the event but some who were completely new to me. One thing that I’m sad about is that I didn’t have time to expand on Stephen’s whole polyamoury thing. Once the documentary was completed I had the realisation that I didn’t even think to ask his date, Nadia about her relationship status. #shitejournalist

And then there was Steve. Poor Steve, forever alone. I edited the footage to make him look like a bit of a loner and I did feel kinda bad about this. Having said this, he did actually say to me I could edit the material however I wanted and he didn’t mind how it would make him look. I didn’t even include any footage of him saying how he felt about the girls in the final cut. The truth is, Sinead, Steve and Skye all seemed to have a lovely time in the corner together, even if it was just as friends, and both girls thought he was a sound cunt.

I thoroughly enjoyed the party and I think my party guests did too, despite the fact only a few showed up out of the one hundred and something that were invited…


Just still swipin…

For a wee while, I still went on the old Tinder in an attempt to chat shit to strangers, because that’s the kind of person I am I guess. I’m up for chatting to anyone, as long as they’re not dangerous or harassing me. Some of the most memorable people are ones I met on the bus or wandering the streets at some ungodly hour. I like the idea that every stranger could potentially become a friend and for that reason Tinder appeals to me.

About 80% of the time the folk on Tinder don’t seem all that up for my shite patter, and virtually all the 20% of shatter that I did have fizzled out in time. It was cool occasionally connecting with people on the other side of the world; I had one dude checking out my Soundcloud whilst I also gave his tunes a listen.

But more often than not, at times when I thought I had made a connection with someone, our virtual friendship (or whatever the fuck you wanna call it) was broken by the dreaded request for nudes, or something of this nature. I was naïve, innocent and way too trusting for this shit and I soon realised Tinder was not the place for me.

The potential is there, Tinder just needs more good cunts who are up for the shatter. But that’s not gonna happen any time soon, because really who wants to waste hours of their life sifting through heaps of shite in the hope that they’ll find something beautiful? Some people apparently, but no me – cannae be arsed. Also dinnae need it like, I am young and sensual and the real world holds far more stimulating connections for me, whether it be now or somewhere further down the line…

If I wanna chat shit to strangers I can go to the pub.




Film Review: 20,000 Days On Earth

20000 days

A strange blend of fiction and reality, 20,000 Days On Earth gives us a glimpse into the world of one of rock’s most enigmatic figures. The film depicts 24 hours in the life of musician and wordsmith Nick Cave as he begins work on 2013’s Push the Sky Away, bares his soul to a psychiatrist and drives around Brighton in the rain chatting with the likes of Kylie. Live footage will appeal to the fans but 20,000 Days… is equally as accessible for those unfamiliar with Nick Cave – the character he plays is by itself intriguing enough to captivate.

20,000 Days… is many things but ultimately it is an exploration of Cave’s relationship with music and performing, the transformation within him that occurs from this, and the world he creates. He seems to spend as much time living in the world that he constructs through his art as he does in the real world, and the merging of documentary and fiction unusual to rock biopics reflects this. It is sometimes difficult to decipher whether 20,000 Days On Earth is documentary disguised as fiction or fiction disguised as documentary, just as it is unclear if the man we see on the screen is the real Nick Cave – the enigma remains.