Social media dating app ‘Tinder’ gains use with Norwich students

TOSCANO_TINDER1

“Hold on let me check my list. I have all the names on my phone,” the student said without caring too much of the fact that he had names listed as if they were chores.  “Wow, I don’t know what to say. You have a list on your phone?” came the reply.  The fact that he had a list was surprising. “Yeah dude. When you’re at Norwich where there aren’t many girls, you have to do what you have to do.”

Students at Norwich University are increasingly using online resources to meet partners according to “Bobby,” a pseudonym for a student at Norwich who wished to be unidentified. The new social media dating app Tinder is the primary method.

“I first found out about Tinder through my friends. They were ranting and raving about it. So I downloaded it last year and I have been using it ever since,” Bobby said.

Tinder is a relatively new social networking app available on smartphone platforms such as the Apple iPhones and Android. The location-based app shows profiles of your interest (male or female) and its users can “like” or “pass” on any profile.

“The app shows you people within 100 miles of you. You can read their short biographies and look at their pictures. If you and the other person both “like” each others’ profiles, a chat will pop-up and you can talk,” Bobby said.

According to the developers of Tinder, users are connected to Facebook to match interests between users and users are only allowed to message other users if they have a mutual interest.

“It’s really easy to get a match. I usually just like everyone’s profile. Then I look at the pictures again and filter them. On the third time, I pay attention and see if they are hot or not. After that, I just talk to them and get it going,” the anonymous student said, claiming that he had slept with six girls whom he met on Tinder.

Tinder was profiled in the Feb. 17 edition of Time as one of the newest and most talked-about dating apps. Recent stories describe how its use is rampant in the Olympic athletes’ village at Sochi. However, it is also controversial, according to an article written by Shannan Younger on ChicagoNow, who warns: “Tinder can be a happy hunting ground for predators” since the location of the users are revealed without any choice in the matter.

According to Younger, Tinder is promoted as one of the best one-night-stand apps – which appears to be the way Norwich students are using it. Younger is concerned that the app will automatically encourage one-night stands for teens and young adults.

Bobby confirmed that in his view, most of the people on Tinder are looking for sex. “I use it to meet girls who would like to have sex with me and the majority of the girls on Tinder are also looking for guys to have sex,” he said.

He added that many guys at Norwich use Tinder. “This is different from websites like Match.com. To be honest, Tinder is for sex – straight to the point. People hook up,” he said.

Although Tinder is well-known among young adults, many are hesitant to use Tinder. “I have a smartphone and I am very much aware of Tinder because my friends use it,” said Nicollette Gosselin, 21, junior communications major student from Barre, Vt.

But Gosselin said she does not use Tinder. “I know a lot of people who use it and I would feel really uncomfortable if I see them on Tinder.”

She added that Tinder seemed to be just for fun and people shouldn’t take it seriously. “People who take it serious need to figure it out because you are not likely to find someone serious through Tinder.”

Although Gosselin is not opposed to Tinder, she is also not in favor of the app. “It’s interesting and entertaining for people so it’s not a bad thing but it’s not necessarily a good thing.”

Another student who wished to remain anonymous shared his experience on Tinder: “I had 156 matches and I thought I just had enough and had my fair share.”

The anonymous user said he was able to get 15 numbers from female users and is currently seeing two users from Tinder.

“One of the girls I met and dated through Tinder goes to Norwich. She is expressive in terms of sex and I went out with her a couple of times.” He added that he saw her with another student and she was ‘all over the place.’

“She was drunk and she kept looking at me and then she finally came up to me. I instantly said ‘no you’re with him tonight, bye.’”

He added that he thinks many girls also use Tinder for sex just as much as guys do.

“I think the huge part is that girls want to hear that they are pretty and all; to get attention. I met nice girls, mostly college girls, but most are looking for a one-night stand,” he added.

According to this user, he tried to put creative and comical lines on the profile to attract female users. “I started it and I wasn’t getting any likes. But then it picked up the speed. I used to look at all the photos but I don’t even look at them any more.”

He added that female users told him that girls would look more closely at the pictures and profiles than guys.

According to him, he never used any dating websites because he’s not a “loser.” “I am not at the point where I have to rely on websites to meet people. I am not socially inept that I have to resort to websites.”

However, he added that meeting girls through Tinder and then having sex with some of them can be distasteful and problematic

“It’s not socially accepted to date someone through Tinder because most of people just want to get laid. People should be hesitant,” he added.

Another student expressed concerns for the reaction described as “Tinder-crave.”

“I don’t have a smartphone but I have heard about it and seen people use apps like Tinder. I’m curious what the whole craze is about,” said Lindsay Evans, 21, senior communications major student from Canterbury, N.H.

“With smartphones, everyone is on them doing something. So they are either doing some sort of an app which is going to be games, Instagram, Snap Chat, and Tinder is definitely one of the most popular applications,” Evans said.

According to Evans, Tinder is just one more social media skill. “I think these apps add to our social skills. It’s a new method. We can keep in contact with people who are farther away by using apps.”

At the same time, she was hesitant about using Tinder. “Just like any medium, using Tinder can be dangerous, heartbreaking, and maybe the person on the profile does not even exist or is different from the profile.”

Evans also wondered if such apps like Tinder help cheating in relationships. “I think the smartphones make it easier for people to cheat because you can hide your messages and pictures.”

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