There’s a new dating app in town called Tinder, which is creating a global buzz. Launched in September, the premise of Tinder is really quite simple. It mimics the same elements of meeting someone in a bar minus the cost of buying drinks and rejection. Sounds perfect doesn’t it?
I first heard about it through whispers from friends not really paying too much attention to it. After all, it seems like there’s a new app created every week in today’s fast moving world of technological innovations. It was only after seeing a huge media presence that I began paying more attention to it. Most people who talked about the app described it as mainly a “hook up” app that integrates a little more element of dating into it compared to other apps such as Grindr, which is exclusively catered to those who are just looking for a hook up.
I decided to download the app to try it out (for research purposes of course). My first reaction was definitely a sense of desperation since I’ve never signed onto any kind of dating app. Why would any woman sign up to Tinder for sex? Let’s face it. It’s not exactly difficult for women to find sex. The challenge for women is usually getting a man to commit after sex.
The app uses your Facebook profile and GPS location to match you up with potential mates. Just like a photo album, you swipe right to move from photo to photo and swipe left to indicate you’re interested. If they “like” you back then you can choose to message each other and possibly meet up. However, if your interest does not like you back you won’t be able to message each other (say goodbye to embarrassing rejections). You can also play matchmaker and suggest two friends on your Facebook that you think would make a great match.
Finding new ways to meet people is great but is everyone really on the same page when it comes to this app. After all, there are mixed reviews on whether Tinder is a dating or hook up app. There’s very little on who you are and the matches are primarily focused on physical attraction.
Eli Epstein candidly admitted that “after a casual date or two, the expectation is that you’re going to be laid.” Most of Eli’s male friends have also disclosed that Tinder is great if you’re into girls in bikinis and sexually suggestive girly poses.
Women on the other hand have reported signing up just to see what’s it’s all about. They tend to window shop more than follow through on an actual date. Most girls who use the app report that if you’re fairly good looking, you can pretty much sit back and wait for the likes to roll in. It’s a great ego boost.
As I scrolled through the never-ending list of possible matches the app has compiled, I must say that I only stopped at the ones that shared some mutual friends with me. The logic is it seems “less dangerous” and that the possibility of someone being a weirdo who shared the same friends as me isn’t as high. However, when you really put things in perspective, many people don’t exactly closely screen Facebook friend lists either. I also saw a huge number of guys with profile photos of them kissing a girl (just a hint guys, you may not want to do that).
Tinder provides a great first step to dating based on physical attraction, which emphasizes the importance of first impressions. It’s difficult to decipher which are the good apples just based on looks. Tinder gives you accessibility to mates but it’s all up to you to find the good ones out of the bunch. It’s not all that surprising when people hook up through this app when it’s heavily focused on physical attraction.
I must admit that perusing through photos of my “matches” was certainly fun (and addictive) but I won’t be staying on the app for long.
Amy Yew is a registered clinical counselor and relationship therapist. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet your thoughts on Twitter @AmyYew.
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