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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Trending Tinder app will burn out like every other fad

    Gangnam Style, the Harlem Shake and Snapchat: These are among the many fads we’ve fallen in and out of love with this past year. Now, a dating app known as Tinder, is ripping through the UA campus like wildfire.

    Tinder was designed by Hatch Labs and was first tested on college campuses. The app sets up a profile for users complete with name, age, five photos and a short written description. The concept and design is brilliantly simple but a can veer toward mean.

    Users simply swipe through profiles of potential matches within their area. If you find someone you like, you tap the green heart and hope for a match. If you don’t like someone, for any reason, you tap the red “X.” A bold, red “Nope” is then stamped across their photo while the poor sucker spirals out of sight. When two users are matched, they are given the opportunity to message one another in order to exchange information and potentially set up a meeting time.

    Though the app is available for people of all ages, what sets Tinder apart from other dating methods is its young audience.

    Dating sites and apps such as Match.com and eHarmony are generally marketed toward an older audience because younger people don’t really need them. When you’re surrounded by 30,000 people your age on a daily basis, a dating app seems a little redundant. For many UA students, such as Jesse Sotelo, a junior studying criminal law, Tinder, like Twitter or Facebook, is just another app for entertainment.

    “For me, it’s to kill time when I’m bored. It’s smash or pass basically,” he said. “Also, when a really attractive girl that’s out of my league messages me, telling me I’m cute and what not, that’s pretty good, too.”

    The beauty of Tinder is that it’s completely online, where most people feel comfortable expressing themselves to strangers in ways that they normally wouldn’t in real life encounters. While that may be an upside to the app, it’s alarming that students feel the need to create a Tinder profile to entertain themselves in some strange cyber dating world with no intention of actually meeting the people they are matched with. Our generation’s everyday interactions are so wrapped up in technology that it’s becoming more and more difficult to toe the line between reality and online.

    Gabrielle Gilbertson, an economics junior, explained how Tinder creates a dangerously thin veil between reality and online fantasy that can sometimes result in unwanted circumstances.

    “It’s cool to message people, but in reality, you probably wouldn’t go up to them in the union after having messaged them on Tinder because it’s weird. Plus, the fact that you see these people on campus makes things so much worse,” she said.

    For many students like Gilbertson, awkward circumstances are an unwanted aspect that comes with a Tinder profile due to its feature of matching users with others in their area.

    In an atmosphere like the UA, Tinder, in theory, is a great place for young people to boost their egos, but campus is a small world where unwanted run-ins are bound to arise, turning it from an app that’s designed to help students meet each other into one causing people to literally avoid one another.

    Coincidentally, in a world where terms such as “being catfished” and “being Manti Teo’ed” actually exist and have meaning, it’s surprising to see so many young people voluntarily placing themselves in situations to potentially be duped online. While it may be fun to get lost in a flirtatious conversation with an attractive stranger you may never see again, there is always the chance for an unwanted run-in here on campus.

    College students enjoy Tinder because it’s fun to sit around and rate their classmates. However, like all fads, it’s sure to eventually burn out and students can go back to interacting with people the normal way.

    — Michelle Cook is a journalism senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu, or on Twitter via @miniswag1.

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