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Taking on Tinder

Analysis and Review

By Calvin Shepherd
On February 12, 2016

Photo by Rodney Latham

EDITORAL--“It’s like real life, but better,” is the popular slogan social app “Tinder” advertises before even entering the website. “Tinder” seems to be the little dark secret most college students hide on their cell phones and use in the dead of night without really talking about. Ever. In order to find out what the application was really about, I decided to dive in.  

Before even downloading the “dating” app, I set rules for myself from what little information I had: First, for safety reasons and being that I was only doing this for information, never meet anyone physically that I find on the app. Second, never exchange any other form of communication. Last was to never acknowledge anyone I already knew in order to keep the anonymity of the app.  

The app download was free though it did offer “in-app” purchases to increase chances of making “matches,” which I declined. As soon as the app opened, it immediately wanted to connect to my Facebook account. As it would turn out, this was the only way to create an account, but rest assured, it does not ever post anything.  

Once in the app, it selected my top photos on Facebook to show to people, and it asked for a description. The description would actually prove to be worthless because the profiles shown only show name, age, picture and distance from my current location. In order to get more information, I had to pull up their profiles.  

I began by swiping right, the direction used to indicate a “like,” multiple times unless I saw someone I knew, which rarely happened. It was not long until matches just randomly started to appear. It was obvious the app was not at all focused on personality but rather “good looks.”  

My reaction to all my matches was to start the conversation with “Hi, what’s up?” This was not a very popular opening. In most of the “Tinder Girls” descriptions, they ask for a “cute pick-up line” to begin conversations.  

Finally, the line worked. The girl completely ignored my question and went straight into asking how I was doing. I replied with good, then asked about her and got the same reply.  

I tried again with the “what’s up” line and got this response: 

“About to get f***ed up, wanna join?” I dodged this by stating I had a very busy life and never replied again, though she did send me three messages before I deleted the app.  

“Tinder” is not a kind-hearted app. It appeals to people as a cyber-safe way to meet people without the hassle of going out and physically meeting them. Though I did set my rules never to meet anyone in person, I do not know how anyone actually could. It’s nerve-racking not knowing whom you are actually talking to. It was very rare that I saw anyone I could actually share interests with and never actually matched with any of them.  

However, I can see the benefits for someone who has problems with social interaction. Though they may never actually meet, they can learn how to talk and how to have friendships.  

College students everywhere use and will continue to use “Tinder,” but it is obviously for someone with a different social outlook than myself. 

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