Photo by Maria Otto ‘17
Wait. What is Tinder? If you guessed the name of Ke$ha’s latest pop single, hold on, because you’re getting pretty close. Tinder, the newest source of buzz on campus, is a recently popular smart phone dating application.
Launched in September 2012, the program possesses a no-frills trajectory for adolescents to browse through pictures of other users and instantaneously deem potential matches as either “Hot” or “Not.” If a pair of people anonymously express a mutual “like” for one another, the app enables a messaging feature as a means of conversation. I can hear the wedding bells already!
I would be lying if I told you I didn’t make a Tinder. Fueled by a wild curiosity—ahem, I mean the valiant aim to fulfill research — I created a profile along with some friends a few weeks back. My “profile” wasn’t very difficult to make. All I had to do was sit back and allow the app to configure a slideshow of some of my Facebook profile pictures and violà! Dating profile made.
The initial jolt of this experience felt a lot like being back at a middle school dance. From rolling around my dorm room floor in a fit of laughter, to smug smirks and giddy jumps, the app had my friends and I feeling no pain in light of the knowledge that some handsome strangers and classmates fancied us back.
It didn’t take long for the vacuity of this site, however, to become apparent. Within days, the app quickly lost its luster and became a mindless game. For instance, my girlfriend and I each got matched with the same person. He promptly sent us each the same message, stating, “You are seriously the most beautiful girl I have seen on here.”
After my weeklong stint using Tinder, I’ve come to believe that the most frivolous nature of the app does not exist chiefly in the conversations themselves but in the entire act of obtaining these matches in the first place.
“Tinder, like any form of social media, possesses an addictive quality,” Dawit Blackwell ‘17 said. “The site has me flipping through images of girls like they’re pages of a magazine. I see a lot of chicks I know in real life on it too, which makes it even more entertaining. I know that sounds shallow, but when the rest of your friends are messing around on it, you don’t feel as bad.”
While the double-edged sword of dating sites entail the opportunity for people to freely express themselves, it utilizes the crutch of technology in order to do so, consistently resulting in miscommunication. Propped by the gimmick of sexual freedom and liberation, Tinder has drawn in a large user base and its easy to understand why. Countless users abuse this power, however, and feed in to the degrading aspects of its cheaply alluring qualities. Individuals disengage the app from reality so much that they will message random people sexually exploitive material, with whom they would be shy around in real life.
While Tinder on a surface level provides an excellent excuse to avoid homework, I’d still choose the mindless appeal of Candy Crush over this dating app any day. Considering Tinder an actual dating tool admittedly makes me chuckle. Although I can’t deny that people have found success meeting others through the app, I find the whole process particularly curious in light of being college students.
There will likely never be another stage in any of our lives that will provide such an abundance of dating and hookup opportunities than our numbered days in college. The ability to reach out to love interests is even easier in light of how small our school is. If you do not know someone, it’s likely they’re a friend of a friend—or at least a friend of a friend of a friend.
LOL, what are we even doing on Tinder?