Tinderellas and Tinderfellas: looking for love, sex and entertainment
By SHYAN MURPHY
Tinder is a popular dating app downloaded by many teenagers and young adults. As one can imagine, it is immensely popular to use on a college campus, but the real question is, what is it like to use Tinder on a small college campus?
Eight out of 11 students surveyed have used the app before. The reasons for using Tinder range widely across the board from entertainment purposes to raising self-confidence for both male and female students.
“I got it because all of my friends had funny stories,” said junior Amber Pierce. “I wanted funny stories, too.” A lot of people like Pierce got the app just because their friends had it.
Some students such as sophomore, Alexandria Riker only use the app because they want to meet people. “I wanted to meet new people and possibly find a relationship,” Riker said. Riker also noted that her matches “all had one thing in mind: sex,” which conflicted with her use of the app and resulted in a few awkward encounters.
Pierce had a similar experience to Riker, saying, “[I] went to visit this guy at Washington & Lee and he got mad at me all due to not hooking up with him, so I left.”
Whether out of curiosity or lust, having a Tinder has become somewhat of a social norm. Although it is a widely used app, there are still many who disagree with the use of Tinder and do not have any interest in having one themselves.
“I think Tinder undercuts the ability of young adults to form meaningful relationships in person,” said sophomore Maria Dubiel. “The people you swipe through on Tinder aren’t random, they are your neighbors and classmates.”
Another sophomore, William Harrison agrees, “I don’t think it would be useful to find anyone.” Even as Tinder is seen as a superficial social app, we as humans often judge our romantic partners based on looks in real life. Tinder did not create superficiality, but it brings attention to the fact that people judge others based on outer appearance initially before actually getting to know them personally.
Due to the difference of views, some Tinder users have had a difficult time finding a match who wants the same thing.
“I do have a Tinder, but I really only use it for what I like to call virtual people watching,” said sophomore Emily Siegfried. “I don’t have much of an interest in dating anyone I’d meet on it, because I would hope the person I’m looking for was interested in me for my personality and looks, not just judging me by my appearance first.”
Given that Tinder is a social app, there are bound to be awkward encounters, but as an anonymous male sophomore put it, “People meet, [stuff] happens, and life goes on. People are people, why treat anyone differently because of an app.”
This goes to show, variation does not have to be limited due to the size of a community. Most students who were Tinder users agreed that it was either a negative or neutral experience and as Pierce stated, “it all depends on who you match with.”
Whether or not Tinder is actually a useful app depends on one’s personal opinion, which can vary drastically even in a small community like UMW.