February 6, 2013

Love Me Tinderly

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It’s probably not a good idea to admit this, but there’s something I have to get off my chest. I finally did it. I gave in. I’m a conformist and I’m not proud of it. I have a Tinder.

In case you’re actually someone who doesn’t waste their time obsessing over the newest, trivial social media fad, let me explain. It’s a dating app that connects to Facebook and posts a few of your pictures, interests and a status for people to see. Then they can either hit “like” or “nope” after you pop up on their screens. It’s basically an updated version of “hot or not,” the key difference being that you can talk to people you’ve been “matched” with. If you “like” someone, they’ll only find out that you did if they “like” you back, and no one knows that you hit “nope.”

I first discovered this when I was on the phone with my friend who goes to Tufts and overheard her roommate talking about her latest “matches.” At first, this sounded like a ridiculous and humiliating concept to me. Why would people subject themselves to being ranked by randos across the country? But then, after much convincing from my friends, I decided to download it. Just for the sake of research. After all, I’m a Communication major, so it’s basically my job to check these things out. And look at hot guys in the meantime. What a rough life I lead.

You’re probably thinking that there aren’t many hot guys on this app, and that if they’re hot, they’re probably weird. But what I’ve come to realize, is that a lot of guys here at Cornell downloaded it as a joke, but ended up becoming addicted to all of the ego boosts when girls “liked” them back. To prevent myself from having to deal with creepy guys who live 100 miles away, I changed my settings to stay within the Ithaca area. I’ve gotten matched to guys I’ve thought were hot in class; to some who I’ve never met before, but definitely wouldn’t mind meeting in person; and to some of my friends.

This was all fine and dandy, but I came to a slightly disconcerting realization. Odds are that everyone you’ve seen on the app will see you as well if you’re in close proximity, because it tries to match you with people who are nearby. This means that if you’ve  “liked” someone and don’t get a match within a couple of days, unless they haven’t been on the app recently, they probably hit “nope.” So although the other person won’t know that you liked him unless he likes you back, it’s pretty safe to say that you know when someone didn’t like you if you didn’t get a match.

Then I started to overthink. What happens when one of your exes pops up? Or maybe someone you used to have a fling with? That guy you think you’ve been eye-flirting with may have just been looking at the wall behind you and he won’t “like” you back. I was clearly worrying about this more than any sane person would, and resolved to just have fun with it. Pretty sure it won’t help me get a date for that dreaded Thursday in February that’s coming up and I refuse to say the name of, but it might instigate some awkward experiences when I go to frat parties and run into people I’ve been matched with. I can’t wait to hear the new pick-up lines that will come out of this app. “Hey… didn’t we match on Tinder?” Classic already.

So download it if your idea of a good waste of time is to scroll through people in the hopes of an ego boost, because that’s about all it’s good for. But hey, if you’re having a bad day and then find out that a hot hockey player matched with you, who’s complaining?

Original Author: Rachel Ellicott

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