Tinder is the newest online dating app for the smartphone. It launched about 6 months ago and has since gained attention by single folk everywhere. I recently found out about Tinder and I figured that I might as well give it a try. I had no idea what to expect when I signed up with Tinder but I thought that not having to write up a tedious “about me” profile was a good enough lure. Tinder syncs up to your Facebook profile, taking your age, friend list and likes into account. Tinder also works with a location finder; it matches you up with people within a certain distance to you of your choice.
Tinder gets right down to business based on your attraction to a potential match. If you think someone is attractive, you swipe right. If not, you swipe left – easy as pie and with no long dating profile to sift through. It’s a fun little game, but remember: It’s based entirely on looks and whether you have Facebook friends or likes in common. Those factors aside, you do not know anything else about the people you’re saying “yes” to.
Some people have compared Tinder to Grindr, a hook-up app for gay men, calling it the “straight” version. However, most of my time on Tinder was spent chatting with various people who seemed interested in dating and meeting new friends as opposed to just hooking up. Don’t get me wrong, though – there are always a percentage of people who are looking for no-strings-attached sex on any kind of dating app.
If you are a lady-loving lady, you may be out of luck when it comes to Tinder right now. I set my Tinder to show me profiles of both men and women and 99% of the time it was men with the occasional female profile. I did a little research and queer ladies have complained that Tinder is a very heteronormative site, which I agree with. Some queer women have noted that when they set their gender preference to just women, they would still see male profiles. Hopefully in the future Tinder becomes more queer-friendly but for now, ladies seeking ladies may be forced to look elsewhere.
I got the hang of Tinder fairly quickly and was matched up with some people in my area. I talked to a handful of nice people; some looking for friends, some looking for dating, some looking for a hook-up and others just testing the waters. After using the app for 5 days, I decided to delete it. I was getting matched up with people I had little in common with and decided it was not the dating tool for me.
One piece of advice about Tinder that I can offer you is not to take it too seriously. If you go into it looking for a lifelong relationship, you might be disappointed. That’s not to say some people don’t end up together after meeting on Tinder but if you are looking for something serious, I suggest Match.com or OkCupid. Both are free dating sites that are geared towards millenials. And if you do end up deciding to meet someone in person from Tinder or another dating site, please meet in a public place and tell a friend or family member where you are going. The Internet has become a great tool to help us find our perfect match, but with convenience comes the need for caution. Be safe and have fun!