Swiping your way through the dating scene

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Left, left, left, left, right, left, what is that? Oh god. LEFT. Look at him, what a BABE. The “joys” of using Tinder.

Tinder is most commonly used as a location-based dating service by both men and women in search of heterosexual or homosexual relations. The main idea is fairly simplistic: swipe left to users that you have no interest in, swipe right to users that catch your attention.

So how can users interact with this platform?

Step 1: Download the Tinder application from the App Store or Google Play.

Step 2: Create your profile. Tinder requires the use of your Facebook account and imports most of your information automatically. At this point, you have the option to edit what people will see when your profile comes up.

I think guys on Tinder would be more successful if they put more thought into their profiles. For starters, if all of your pictures are group pictures and I can’t be sure who exactly I’m swiping right to, I’m going to swipe left. I’m not here to play “Where’s Waldo?”

Another all too common trend is shirtless, faceless ab photos. Maybe it’s just because I’m interested more in substance than a six-pack, but I’m not sure that approach would work on any of my friends either.

I’ve also seen profiles where all of the pictures consist of the guy’s car or truck. Sometimes I’m tempted to match with these people solely so that I can message them saying, “You’re a transformer?! THAT’S SO COOL.”

Another horrible idea is wads of cash. I’m not sure who started this trend, but my only assumption is that you are a drug dealer and don’t have the option of putting that money into the bank like a respectable human being.

Other common image blunders include blurry images, or no picture at all.

Total honesty, Tinder is obviously a very shallow mobile app. People are swiping left or right on you based almost solely on your visual appeal. If you are actively omitting a picture for a profile, how are you expecting to benefit from its use?

Step 3: Start swiping! You are presented with an image of another user. At this point, you have a few options. You can swipe left immediately, swipe right, or click the image of the user to see more images and read their profile if they have written one. Most bios are not well written.

I think the biggest issue is the “copy and paste bio.” Instead of creating something meaningful or overly descriptive, some users use long winded jokes that appear on so many profiles they lose their humor. For example, Aziz Ansari’s description of his perfect date on Parks & Recreation. Since Tinder syncs with your Facebook account, any mutual friends will show underneath the person’s bio. This feature can be particularly helpful to avoid swiping right on someone who could be friends with your ex. Ideally, someone you swipe right to will swipe right on you as well and you will create a match.

Step 4: Talk to your new match! This is the hard part: coming up with something witty enough to inspire a reply, without coming across as some kind of Internet creep. Some people are not afraid of the latter option. An actual message I received from one of my matches was, “If you rearrange the letters of your name it says gagmie — is that something you’re into?” Let’s just say, we’re no longer matches.

My instinct is to stick with a simple, “hey, how’s it going?” but that doesn’t seem to be a very popular greeting. Also, there seem to be a number of people “collecting matches” who don’t reply but also do not un-match you. This is a very confusing concept for me.

Step 5: Attempt to meet offline. Realistically, this is the goal here, so I’m not sure why it doesn’t happen more often. Most people who use the app, myself included, tend to be rather busy people though, and sometimes it can be really hard to sync schedules.

“Congratulations! You have a new match.” Congratulations? Did I win a prize or something in a game I was unaware I was playing? The wording of this phrase is strange to me, but maybe that’s just me. As an English major, I tend to over-analyze word choice in various sources.

Tinder has also moved onto other platforms as well through social media profiles. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all feature a certified Tinder account that is used to post featured bios, advertisements, and other images. However, there are also accounts like “@tindernightmares” (Instagram) and “@NoChillOnTinder” (Twitter) that consist primarily of the worst messages people have ever received — which, sometimes, are hilarious — but also some of the best interaction stories.

Swapping stories about Tinder with friends has become a good way to get a laugh and share tips on how to survive the dating battlefield. Even people who aren’t on dating apps are interested in hearing stories about the funny, scary, creepy, and weird ways the dating scene is shaping up.

 

Maggie Bradley 

3A, Honours English Rhetoric and Professional Communications

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