By Audrey Jenkins – Staff Writer
Everyone always says that college is the ideal place to find a life partner, but what Centre student has time for real dating? Between club meetings, sports practice, late-night Taco Bell runs with your girls, and Facebook creeping in the library, finding the time and energy to pursue meaningful romantic connections is next to impossible for the normal, functioning human being.
You’re too busy Instagramming your cats and scrolling through your Twitter feed to strike up a conversation with the guy in your Calc. class. eHarmony and match.com are for old people. Plus, do you really want to spend thirty minutes sifting through someone’s meaningless “about me” section and reading about their favorite Victorian authors, YouTube videos, inspirational figures, and ideal first dates? Ha. Don’t make me laugh.
But then in 2012, co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and Jonathan Badeen gave birth to the hit iPhone app Tinder and changed the dating landscape forever. In a world where everything is complicated and convoluted, Tinder cut the crap and made finding the special someone simple again. Unlike other dating sites that force you to wade through droves of useless personal information and consider someone’s character in the matchmaking process, Tinder knows what you really want: pix.
Tinderizers can choose to post one to six photos of themselves on their profile that they feel best represent who they are (i.e. bikini mirror pics, I’m-too-muscular-to-be-wearing-a-shirt-anyway pics, ironic selfies, night-out-with-the-boys/girls pics, spring break 2013 candids, puppy/kitten selfies, etc.).
Tinderizers are also allowed to include 500 characters of text (most people try to write something clever in the limited space allotted. And the keyword here may be ‘try’), and the Tinderizer’s first name and age. All you have to do is create your profile and then you can immediately start swiping through the local singles in your area.
Each profile shows up individually on your screen, giving you the complete and anonymous power to decide if you think that person is hot or not. If you don’t like what you see, you swipe left. If you like what you see, you swipe right. If both parties swipe right, you are a match, and you can start chatting with that person immediately. And the rest is history. * Cue romantic proposal, wedding bells, kids, minivan, etc. *
Tinder is fast, easy, fun, and completely accessible. It hardly takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to swipe left or right, and with the split-second ease of Tinder, you can easily sift through hundreds of singles in one sitting with the mere flick of the thumb – perfect for singles who are always on the go. Recent surveys have found that looks are easily the most important part of a relationship, so it’s refreshing to finally see a dating app that takes that into account.
In a recent study from an Ivy League university, scientists with Ph.D.s and lab coats found a strong correlation between physical attractiveness and high morals, exceptional hand-eye coordination, good blood pressure, excellent written and verbal skills, ambition, prowess on the athletic field, compassion, big game hunting skills, low risk of heart disease, high WPM (words per minute), and flexibility.
Scientists with Ph.D.s and lab coats at another Ivy League research university have corroborated that relationships founded at least 89% on looks tend to be more successful than all other relationships. Although they have never confirmed it, it is possible that founders Rad, Mateen, and Badeen were strongly influenced by this scientific data when they created Tinder. After all, why else would you create a dating website founded solely on physical appearance?
It’s also painless and risk-free. If you swipe left on someone (or are swept left yourself), no one will ever know. There is no notification sent that says, “so and so thought you were undesirable and thus swept left on your profile.” It all just disappears into the Tindersphere. Plus, you never have to have any real human interaction if you don’t want it. All business can be conducted from behind the safety of your glowing iPhone screen. You never have to take a risk to find love. It’s foolproof.
Surprisingly, many intelligent Centre students have reacted quite negatively to this heavenly app. “I had it for two days and deleted it. I didn’t like the superficiality of everything,” first-year Bryce Rowland said. “The fact that you decide whether you want to talk to somebody in the first half-a-second before you swipe them away is problematic..”
Although this type of idealism seems a bit naïve in today’s modern world, many students agreed with Rowland. “Tinder is kind of creepy,” senior Alex Gardner said. “My brother and I just used it to mess with people. Like I would ask them if they trusted chairs. I never met up with anyone. It just felt superficial and even though it was fun to mess around with people, I ultimately deleted it because it creeped me out.”
Despite the high chance of finding a successful relationship on Tinder, first-year Emily Duerksen said that while she was familiar with the app, she actually preferred face-to-face interaction. “It was a big thing my senior year of high school … But I don’t think Tinder is a suitable venue to find love,” Duerksen said.
Regan Devlin, Duerksen’s friend and fellow first-year, elaborated, “[Duerksen] found herself frequently getting connected with creeps, her words, not mine – men over 50. As a college freshman, she found that she was not drawn to the kind of people using Tinder in the local Danville area. She stopped Tinderizing and found love face-to-face, a.k.a. her boyfriend.”
Centre students are some of the best and brightest in the nation, but perhaps we should all take some time to reconsider our outdated misconceptions of what dating should be. While it is certainly charming that so many Centre students find Tinder to be distasteful, the research is in, and looks are what matter. Tinder founders have also expressed interest in their app becoming a networking tool for businesspeople, which may boost Tinder’s popularity even further. What better way to make business connections than on a looks-based hookup – I mean matchmaking, application? First-year Mason Paas expressed concern over this business scheme “[as it seems to] promote [workplace] discrimination based on appearance.” But these concerns are almost certainly founded on Stone Age morals and ideals.
So now it’s up to you: to Tinder, or not to Tinder? While there are unquestionably a variety of ways to find love in a hopeless place, we certainly hope that you will choose an option that will maximize your chances of success. And now please excuse me, because it’s going down, and I’m yelling Tinder.