Stoking the Flames of Romance

BY ALYSSA MCCANN // FEB. 14, 2013 //

“He messaged me on Facebook!” has become a commonly used phrase in today’s social media-centric world. But a new social networking tool called Tinder aims to turn up the heat.

The free app uses Facebook photos and finds relationship “matches” for you based on your profile.

tinderUsers sign up through their Facebook account and choose multiple photos of themselves to use on their profile. You also write a quick bio about yourself. Once you are set up, Tinder begins to find “matches” for you in your geographic area.

You then get to decide whether you want to deny or accept the person Tinder suggested. If you slide your finger to the left (for all you iPhone users), you are denying them. The word “NOPE” pops up on the screen as you do so.

But when you slide the picture to the right, you are saying “YES.” If that person said “YES” to you also, then you have a match and the opportunity to either message them or to keep finding additional matches.

This process sounds very weird and it is actually quite judgmental. You are judging someone almost entirely by the pictures they have on Facebook, without even getting to know them. It’s pretty shallow, and is similar to “Hot or Not.” Nonetheless, the app has become incredibly popular with college students.

So is Tinder the new way to meet your next boyfriend or girlfriend? It does seem to be growing in popularity. As of Feb. 8, it was the ninth-most downloaded app on iTunes.

You can look at Tinder either one of two ways: It’s a good way to meet people and socialize (as college students, we are always encouraged to branch out and meet new people). Or, conversely, it could be viewed as a creepy way to meet and talk to strangers.

I’ll be honest here…I tried Tinder out. Everyone was talking about it, so how could I not? But I quickly realized it was NOT for me. I had no problem saying “NOPE” or “YES” to guys. But some guys messaged me some really weird things.

I’ve asked some of my guy about Tinder, and most of them say they use it as a joke. They like to message girls corny or goofy pick-up lines. I guess this explains my own experience.

To me, this whole Tinder thing is a waste of time and energy. But, hey, if you’re really that desperate this Valentine’s Day, go for it!

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