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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tinder app helpful in finding real connections

    In the sea that is the UA’s nearly 40,000 students, it can be difficult to find your fish. It sounds contradictory, but when you’re surrounded by so many people it’s easy to feel alone. If you’ve tirelessly searched to hook the right fish with no luck, Tinder may be the app for you.

    Tinder was created by parent company IAC, known for its other dating sites like OKCupid and Match.com. Clearly they know the ins and outs of online dating, and now they’ve created the innovative Tinder app with privacy, women and the LGBTQ community in mind.

    “We started Tinder because we realized there are a lot of tools that help humanity build stronger bonds with the people we already know,” CEO Sean Rad told Business Insider, “but there’s been a lack of focus around helping us as individuals meet people we don’t know.”

    Its design is simple: swipe right for “yes” and left for “no” in an accessible, mobile version of “Hot or Not.” If two people “yes” each other, they message and see where it goes from there. By syncing with your Facebook, Tinder creates a profile displaying your photos, common interests and mutual friends. The app knows your location and finds people within the distance you choose, but eliminates the creep-factor by not including your last name.

    In less than a year Tinder generated over 75 million matches, according to Rad.

    Compared to other dating websites that assign a compatibility percentage that deems whether or not two people will be a good match, Tinder gives you options and lets you decide for yourself who you find attractive and may be compatible with.

    “I tried OKCupid in the past, but there was too much information given about each person before you ever even talk to them,” said Marc Bourgeois, a Physics graduate student. “Tinder lets you decide for yourself instead of showing you some match percentage that will determine if you pursue someone or not.”

    Tinder is unique in its features that allow the LGBTQ community and women to feel like they have more control over who they may find.

    Apps like Grindr, Bender and MISTER were created mainly for homosexual hook ups and casual sex, but Tinder is for all sexual orientations and more about meeting new people than finding a hook up. The app gives you options of whether you identify yourself as male or female, and whether you want to find men, women or both.

    “It’s really easy to change the settings on the app to show you men or women,” said Archaeology junior Ethan Posey. “I think it’s a great app to meet new people.”

    As of right now Tinder does not include a transgender toggle option, but someday the app will become even more accessible.

    “The product works for the gay community,” said Rad. “But we need to do a better job of sort of calling it out.”

    Tinder is also female-friendly — one of its founders is a woman — and the name itself tested well in focus groups. With online dating, women need to feel secure that they won’t regret what they’re getting into.

    Tinder connects through your Facebook, which makes you feel a little more secure that people are who they say they are — unlike other dating sites, in which people can lie to find someone they’re interested in. The app also displays your mutual friends, so if something seems fishy you can track down your mutual friend to verify the person’s existence.

    The app provides a private, accessible environment that is more controlled than meeting someone on Facebook and less intimidating or creepy than meeting someone at a bar.

    “I think once you wade through all the jerks you can definitely find someone you can make a connection with,” said Physiology junior Kayla Kelley. “The anonymity makes it easier to get past the fact that you’re online dating.”

    Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app displays instructions and assures privacy: “It’s anonymous! We will NEVER post anything to Facebook. Other users will NEVER know if you liked them unless they liked you back. Other users can’t contact you unless you’ve already been matched.”

    “I think it gives people a chance to start a real conversation with strangers,” said Alex Paffenbarger, a Business Management junior. “While the majority of people I know have used it for casual hookups, I’ve always had good conversations with girls,” said Paffenbarger.

    The split-second decisions made to “yes” someone or not are largely based on your profile picture. More than one person in the photo so you can’t tell who you’re looking at? Pass. Photo of what appears to be prom? Pass. Their truck, a logo, or something in the photo other than them? Pass. Is there a cute dog in the picture? Alright, swipe to the right.

    It may sound like a superficial way of meeting someone, but it’s an ego-boost to both parties every time they’ve made a match.

    If it seems hopeless to find the right person in a sea of wrong persons, it’s time to broaden your horizons. Online dating may feel scary or unnatural, but it’s a modern speed-dating of sorts. With Tinder, and the amount of people using the app in your area, odds are you’ll make plenty of matches that can lead you to the right person. Jump on the bandwagon, there are plenty of people waiting to meet you.

    Kalli Ricka Wolf is a journalism junior. Follow her @kalli3wolf.

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