I Talked to People on Tinder About 'Serial' and This is What Happened

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm just going to venture a confident guess that, at this point, the two most distracting, obsessed over, time-consuming things on the average American's phone are Tinder and Serial. Between these two six-letter time-killers, American productivity has slowed to almost an entire halt; we're all officially too busy trying to find someone with whom to stay warm in bed for the next few months, ideally where we will spend endless hours alternating between making out and debating whether or not Adnan actually killed Hae. This is The American Dream: Winter 2014 Edition.

Being the industrious little problem-solver I am, and being that I have simultaneous, pressing compulsions to understand other humans but also to never actually look up from my phone and interact with them, I came up with a plan: I would take to Tinder and try to talk to people about Serial. By which I mean, I would refuse to engage them in conversation unless they would discuss Serial with me (which, incidentally, has recently been my policy not just in the mobile meat market, but in life; I was born for this kind of merciless scrutiny of would-be romantic partners based on completely arbitrary shit). So I started by putting a simple call-to-action in my Tinder profile (after all, any healthy relationship is based on an ability to clear state and advocate for your needs).

I figured throwing in a few actual details about my life—that I’m a writer, that I produced a fresh human not so long ago, etc.—would make me look a little less like I was on Tinder solely to talk about Serial. Also, to quote one friend, I needed to "say something about myself in case my future husband is on there." ...OK.

I wondered, first, if anyone would even go for this. The success of this experiment hinged on two things: People actually reading my Tinder profile, and Tinderlings being into Serial. As it turns out, I needn’t have been concerned about either. Here’s the story of what happened.

A lot of people thought they could skip the whole Serial thing, opting instead to distract me with “charm” or “flattery”, neither of which I was having any of.


Some people seemed genuinely interested in discussing the case…

…while some failed to understand that I was neither here for their photo critique nor their lack of Serial knowledge.

Although, it’s possible I might not have heard the last of this guy.

If you don’t read my profile, I will know. I see you.

I also found that not everyone is fulfilled by what I bring to the relationship. Can’t please everyone, you guys. You just can’t.

Well, that escalated quickly.

Some people, on the other hand, were almost too accommodating.

Fair enough

I was genuinely impressed with this person’s ability to effortlessly transition from tending to my Serial-related agenda to addressing his own date-driven agenda.

(It was, however, not meant to be with ol’ Zack because goatee.)

Reminder: Not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” will never not be a deal breaker. Sit down, Kenneth.

I also encountered some…unexpected theories.

Okay, I’m not entirely not into this theory.

And enjoyed sweet, intimate moments wherein I confided by deepest aspirations.

Side note: I’ve decided, after talking to a considerable number of people, that declaring “Jay did it” is the most basic thing you can say about Serial and it bothers me. It’s not that I mind so much if you think that (hell, I might even think that) but you damn well better have a more complex theory to support that hypothesis. Also, please never say “I just can’t imagine Adnan doing it! He’s just too nice of a guy, you know?” lest you be written off as a simple-minded podcast Pollyanna, aka, someone I wouldn’t fuck with my worst enemy’s vagina.

In the end, a lot of the conversations where we really got into it (and there were plenty) ended up at the same place: This is a tremendously sad, dark thing we’ve all become so obsessed with. In some way, it’s heartening to know that at least some people are able to keep in mind that there are actual human lives behind podcasts, and sometimes, even Tinder profiles.

Oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, I did end up meeting my future husband.