If E-harmony and Hot or Not had a love child, it would be Tinder. The application helps people meet others in their geographic area – basically like a human GPS system.
Users provide photos, a short bio, age and mutual friends. If there is mutual interest, users can swipe right to message one another or they can “keep playing” by swiping left.
Tinder has become so pervasive that it currently processes an average of 750 million swipes and 10 million matches daily. It’s reached the point of social acceptability, and that’s probably because the concept is quite simple.
Just like its catch phrase, Tinder’s service provides hours of entertainment – but it’s more for the funny bone than the heart. Knowing that Tinder may prove loveless for those seeking a romantic relationship, it is important for its users to manage their expectations.
Junior Jillian Kernan, a Tinder user, says she’s encountered cheesy pickup lines like “UMiami, huh? So that’s where all the beautiful sorority girls are hiding” and “I’m doing a scavenger hunt and need a president’s signature, a dinosaur bone and your phone number.”
While it seems safe enough, given that people mutually choose one another before messaging or phone numbers are involved, there are dangers behind providing locational information within a few miles’ radius. With the recent Snapchat data breach, personal information can easily become a dangerous tool in the wrong hands.
It also seems difficult to choose someone romantically using Tinder’s superficial way of segmenting people. While some may argue that in-person romantic first impressions are also based on appearance, Tinder users are unable to even communicate until after seeing (possibly shirtless) pictures of one another. I may not be the love expert, but I know we shouldn’t plan to date someone simply for being a hottie with a body. Attraction is typically based on interactions and personal qualities – an afterthought on Tinder.
While it’s an interesting concept that can provide hours of entertainment, Tinder won’t lead you to meet the love of your life. Make sure to know what you’re getting yourself into before you swipe right on using Tinder.
Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.