Dear Tinder,

I’ve recently started using your app and enjoy it quite a bit. But I have a suggestion that I think deserves your urgent attention: users need a way to review the people they have seen and unswipe-right their cousins.

You might say that only hill folk in the old Confederate states would swipe right their cousins and it’s not your problem. But consider this use case. Whenever I first look at the app, I put some effort into deciding which way to swipe. I look at the other pictures. I read the description. But Tinder-fatigue comes on quick and after 10 minutes of thoughtfully considering right or left, I tend to start just going right on every single one of them. And that’s when the problem could, hypothetically, occur.

I’m sitting at work, swiping right like I have a muscle spasm and three women have gone by when I begin to ask myself, was that Megan?

The next day, she happens to come up early on and so I take the time to look at the other pictures. Sure enough, there’s Aunt Helen cheesing in a mother-daughter selfie.

Of course, I swipe left. And take a screenshot of the process just in case I need to prove it later on.

But then I began to wonder, if Megan could come up again, does the second swipe overwrite the first swipe?

Suppose it does. It’s been nearly 24 hours since my initial, inadvertent, swipe-right. Suppose that she, suffering from Tinder-fatigue as well, swiped-right on my picture in that period of time and I somehow missed the match notification. When I swipe-left the following day, does the match persist based on the first swipe, or is it removed after the second swipe? I talk to this person once a year. Twice if a family member dies and we’re both free the day of the burial. There are exactly zero comfortable conversations to be had in either scenario.

Now, suppose the second swipe does not overwrite the first. Then I have to anxiously wait to see if she accidentally swipes right. But at that point, she has the upper hand. She can call Aunt Helen and say, “I accidentally swiped right on Kyle and discovered he had already swiped right on me!” Notice the phrasing there — it’s important. Her swipe-right is an accident. My swipe-right was premeditated.

Furthermore, it seems reasonable that if I can accidentally swipe-right one cousin, I could possibly swipe-right two cousins. So when you sign up for Tinder, how about making everyone enter their total number of cousins? Maybe even their names, and their classic poses, for example Megan, holding dog and wine glass while puckering her lips diagonally. Kaylee, in front of a group of sorority sisters, squatting.

You can only use so many emergency unswipe-rights in 24 hours, the same way there are only so many times you can swipe-right in a day. I understand that unswiping is a selling point for your premium accounts. So maybe you can pull that data from the census bureau or something to make sure people only unswipe-right their cousins. I don’t know. There has to be a way to confirm a user’s cousin-count.

There’s an app in Iceland that tells you how closely related you are to someone before you fuck. I think the way it works is, you touch your phones together, and if you are too closely related, it shows a picture of your last common ancestor, then calls your friends and family with a pre-recorded message that you are about to make a horrible mistake. So, obviously, it can be done.

But if you’re going that far, maybe work on reducing the occurrence of cousins appearing in each other’s Tinder queues?

That way, I would have never gotten a call from my mom — weirdly emphasizing that neither Megan nor myself were adopted. Or a Facebook message from my uncle Rick who I never talk to, even on holidays, making the exact same point.

I doubt I would have been reassigned to the children’s table at grandma’s birthday. I’m 30 years old. I have nothing to say to a bunch of tweens I’ve met no more than four times. And mom was full of shit with her “spacing issues.” We all fit at the adults table last year. And with uncle Frank gone after the divorce, there was even extra room this year! And more over, Megan is actually a few months younger than me. If there truly was a spacing issue, and seat assignment decisions were actually chronological, she would have been moved and I would not have gotten wasted in front of my 6th grade step-nephews.

I’m not saying that you are entirely at fault here. The technological character of contemporary human interaction deserves some of the blame for this shit too. But I hope that you feel, as I do, that this deserves immediate attention. I’m sure I am not the only user eager to see this feature in you next version.

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