Trending Now: Tinder

Tinder has taken to iPhones and Androids across the world with the mission to help strangers meet one another. The pseudo-dating app seems to dodge the typical social taboo, and so “Tindering” has found rampant popularity recently, matching up to a reported 75 million pairs (keep in mind: these are total matches, not total users).

Why the extreme popularity? A reasonable explanation would be Tinder’s user-friendly interface and secure platform. Guys can size up a potential mate in three seconds or less, and girls can ignore creepy admirers at a safe distance. Joining Tinder takes mere seconds and immediately leads to browsing, helping individuals to date, procreate, make friends, or greatly augment their ego.

The premise is absolutely primitive and ridiculous, yet it is an absolutely winning app. Tinder’s simplistic design takes advantage of the cliché that first impressions matter. Profiles display only the first name, age, a few photos, and description (maximum of 500 characters, roughly 3.5 times the text limit Twitter imposes).

But, as those who have experimented with Tinder know, profile picture is of paramount importance. It is inevitable that the shallow motives of physical attraction will hold the greatest influence in a user’s decision to effectively “Like” or “Dislike.”

Going off only a profile picture to decide the attractiveness of a person is insanely shallow, but the initial stages of typical courtship are already fixated on physical allure. At least in college, many relationships begin as a result of mere physical attraction.

Personally, I find it to be absurd. Yet somehow, I find myself curiously tindering away every so often (please don’t tell my mother). After overcoming the initial onset of shame, it has become a source of amusement, intrigue and substantial narcissism. But it is crucial to always stay cognizant of the reality.

Tinder is a joke.

Stories of Tinder relationships with guys looking for a one night stand, and women able to find “safe” casual hookups have created a false sense of legitimacy for misguided individuals hoping for a serious relationship.

Even knowing that most guys are filthy minded neanderthals, there still seems to be plenty of females keenly tapping their phone screens for any decent love prospects. While there are chances of similarly idealistic men existing on Tinder, the likelihood of such an encounter is chimerical.

Allow me to present the typical fashion of boy/girl interaction on Tinder, retrieved from Tumblr:

Guy: Hey

Girl: Hey what’s up?

Guy: My dick.

Amazingly, in spite of encountering multitudes of similarly despicable and moronic exchanges, girls still use the app. To endure such dialogue must relate that girls have an amazing resiliency to sexism, a great sense of humor, or a great appreciation for the “Block User” button only a tap away.

So is this all that Tinder can amount to for college students? A trivial social app operated by immature and giddy users? Yes, this is absolutely the limit. In a college scene, where meeting students is done easily enough through campus, an app like Tinder serves little purpose.

But the significance for working professionals, living in big cities, is of a completely different nature. In the hands of a mature individual, Tinder’s potential to ignore social circles and manifest new friendships has unprecedented efficiency. The greatest concern for Tinder’s future is whether mature adults will bother to partake in its outlandishly minimalist concept.

Unfortunately, social media excitement and Olympic athlete enthusiasm aside, Tinder holds little relevancy to present quotidian life, other than to unite impetuous young adults with each other.

An interesting direction for the expansion of Tinder would be in the facilitation of new friendships, rather than hook-ups. While the concept of using a phone app to selectively pursue prospective friendships seems abnormal, the same could have been said of online dating ten years ago.

Whether or not it stands as a healthy development for society, social catalysts like Tinder are here to stay. Although my time tindering has elicited facetious conversation and laughs from my friends, I am certainly interested in seeing how far the Tinder corporation could take this surprisingly popular venture.

Cyrus Oloumi is a fourth-year business economics and French double major. He can be reached for comments at coloumi@uci.edu.