The idea is simple. You make a profile, which includes a picture of yourself and a 500 word bio. After that, users simply scroll through picture after picture of men or women, clicking an ‘X’ to ignore or a heart for “I’m interested.” When two people are both interested in each other, they are notified by a ‘match.’
The Tinder app has become widely used on campus, creating a sort of secret world where Mississippi College users can interact with those they may not necessarily talk to in person.
Basically, Tinder focuses on looks. With compatibility based on nothing more than someone’s appearance, the app may seem shallow. Many students use it as a quick ego boost, seeing how many matches they can get.
“All Tinder does is feed that caveman part of a male brain,” said David Wygant in an article for the Huffington Post. “I felt like I was looking through some kind of weird catalogue. I didn’t have to say or do anything, except hit X or heart to say whether I was interested.”
Because the app is based on how attractive users find each other, Tinder is often known for being used primarily for “hook-ups.” However, many students say it is possible to have a real relationship come out of the matchmaking app.
“It saves you from having to wonder whether someone is interested in you,” said one MC student who chose to remain anonymous. “You can message someone that you know for sure is attracted to you, and that saves you from unnecessary rejection.”
The app was apparently widely used during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, allowing athletes, coaches, and spectators to meet up between competitions.
One aspect of Tinder that makes it more useful, or more dangerous, depending on the individual, is that it can display the usernames of individuals within a certain proximity, making it easier for couples to take the match to the next level.
However, Tinder is also known to have negative effects on those using it. Being judged based on looks or not receiving enough matches can leave some people feeling unattractive or rejected.
“I think it’s stupid that it only deals with how hot you think someone is,” said another MC student. “Some people may find a boyfriend or girlfriend from it, but it is ultimately a hook-up site. Not to mention that it degrades those who use it.”
“After 48 hours I felt a little uglier as a person,” said Wygant after using the app. “In fact, if I wasn’t as secure as a person, or I had any issues with looks or social anxiety, 48 hours on Tinder would send me over the edge.
“You put a picture of yourself up, and after 48 hours, nobody finds you attractive. You’ve lost all your looks. You no longer have it. The world decided you’re ugly.”
Some students are choosing to go beyond just chatting and are meeting up with their matches in person, a decision that can lead to serious consequences. Some female students at nearby universities have been drugged and raped from meeting their matches alone.
Despite the possible dangers and the negative connotation associated with Tinder, students at MC continue to make profiles and thumb through the list of possible “soul mates.”
Most users know what they are getting themselves into when making a profile, treating Tinder as a game. However, when using any matchmaking site or app, students are advised to keep their guards up and their expectations low.
– Abbie Walker, News Editor