Tinder: the talk of the town

Photo illustration by Al Drago.

If you’re looking around and see your classmates sheepishly smiling and swiping at their iPhones, they are probably not playing Solitaire- they are attempting to spice up their love lives.

There’s this new app called Tinder where you can scan through photos of people in your area, either clicking a green heart if you’re interested or a red X if you’re not. If you both click the green heart on each other’s pictures, you can start chatting, but if one person clicked the X, no one will ever know so there’s no shame. If a match is made however, the two people can start chatting.

Some may see Tinder as one of those technology advances our parents warned us about, but it may also be one of the best developments in dating. Tinder is an easy way to connect with other single people in your area and because of the anonymity, there is no embarrassment in it. The only downside to consider is that you are being judged based on a couple photos of yourself.

There is a certain fascination and fear that accompanies meeting people online, some of which has been fueled by the new MTV show Catfish that profiles people who met online and aren’t sure if the photos are a true representation of the person they’ve been chatting with. One of the benefits of Tinder is that you must connect through your Facebook, so chances are the person you are chatting with is who he or she claims to be. Since it is linked to your Facebook, you can also see if you have mutual friends with the person you have been matched with, providing another way to check if the person really is who they say they are.

A friend of mine was using the app and was matched with a boy on the football team at Duke University. The two began chatting and found that they had a lot in common. They are now organizing a mixer between the Duke football team my friends’ sorority at Elon University. Tinder is providing an outlet in which people can network and get to know other, even if it’s outside a romantic connection.

Despite the benefits, not everyone’s experiences have been so positive. My brother who works in Manhattan was matched with a fellow New Yorker and chatted with her for a few days when she asked to meet up with him. Within ten minutes of the date she mentioned her going rate, and my brother realized that he was on a date with a prostitute.

Tinder may be one of those applications like HeyTell that is extremely popular in the beginning but is soon forgotten. In the meantime, Tinder is a fun way to connect with people in your area or at least help you pass the time as you sit in class and listen to your professor drone on.

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