Tindercat, the latest tool for flirting in Catalan
In a new episode of ‘Persones’, we talk to Gerard Querol, a young man who created an initiative on Twitter for flirting in Catalan: Tindercat. In just one year, it already has reached more than 10,000 followers and has become a benchmark of entertainment for the Z generation. Given this boom, we ask ourselves: Is it easy to flirt in Catalan?
All of us, at some point in our lives, have found ourselves or will find ourselves in the situation of looking for a partner. And despite the fact that love is not sought after, but simply happens, practically no one is spared from flirting. Gerard, from the perspective of the generation born between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, thinks that Catalan “is missed, whether in nightclubs, in leisure… The spaces are there, but the language has to be normalised in these areas.” That’s why he created Tindercat on Twitter about a year ago.
Over the last two decades, several contact and dating websites have been launched in Catalan. In all cases, the idea has always been to be able to use the Catalan language in this area, something that many social networks and dating sites did not allow (and do not allow), and to find people with a similar sensitivity and cultural background more easily.
The art of flirting in the 21st century
Love has no age, and neither do good practices. The new generations, thanks to the previous work of all those who have paved the way, start from basic values where respect, consent, the defence of LGTBI rights and zero tolerance towards sexist attitudes are practically incorporated into their DNA.
From Tindercat, Querol explains that both the organisers and the attendees have been clear about this from the very beginning, even though there is still work to be done: for example, many girls are still growing up in a world full of fears and insecurities about themselves.
For Generation Z, flirting is based on respect, on the willingness to get to know another person and to understand life through different eyes. It is also about respecting the sexual freedom of those around us. And this freedom tends to open up towards a bisexuality that, beyond gender, places the person at the centre of the flirtation.
The way of relating is also changing. Open relationships, polyamory and other concepts are gaining ground. All of them form part of the youthful spirit of discovering, experiencing and understanding life through freedom.
To get to love, you first have to flirt. And doing so in the 21st century undoubtedly involves social networks, with everything they entail: chatting all the time, giving ‘likes’, sharing memes and music, commenting on ‘stories’ and taking advantage of any excuse to talk to the person you like until the first emoticon of a heart you send each other arrives.
Being always connected has great advantages, although social networks have a major drawback that can spoil everything: the tyranny of appearance. It is possible to choose who you like and who you don’t like from the superficiality of a photograph; to fall in love with a supposed life shown on social networks that doesn’t fit the person’s vital reality; to show off, to resemble others or to hide everything negative that happens to us and to click the camera only when good things happen.
In this sense, Tindercat points out that Twitter was the “least toxic social network” and allows people who are attracted to each other to connect without relying on photographs of their appearance. In addition, Gerard Querol explains that the face-to-face events they organise are oriented in the same way: they emphasise getting to know people and, from there, it is up to each person to set the filters and calibrate how important their appearance and personality are to them.
Whatever the method, it is clear that Catalans like to flirt in Catalan. And Generation Z is no exception. Beyond questionable reggaeton lyrics, they have managed to find references to build an idea of love and flirting based on people, on our roots, the same language and the premise of having fun in freedom. With only one filter: respect.
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