Norwich students find Tinder helpful in dating and social life in rural Northfield

Norwich students and the dating app Tinder have what you might call an up and down relationship: Sometimes, it’s rocky, other times everything is sweet.
Some students just use it for fun, as a way to talk to other people around them. Others use it to find a relationship or go on dates. If it’s successful, or not, is always a gamble, said Christopher Richards, 20, a junior criminal justice major from Minneapolis Minnesota.
“I used it before I came to Norwich,” said Cody Adams, 18, a freshman business management major from Newark New Jersey. “It definitely helps getting out there while up here because it opens up your window to talk to people from other universities,”
“Most people here at the school use Tinder as a way to get out there, so we aren’t limited to just Norwich,” agrees Steve Gordon, 19, a sophomore criminal justice major from Boston, Mass.
For those not familiar with it, “Tinder is basically a dating app that people can swipe left or right depending if they want to match with that person; when you match with someone you can go on a date or just talk to them,” explains Fredrick Fox, 19, a sophomore architecture major from Kansas City, Mo.

Tinder has been around since 2012, and by 2014 the app was receiving about one billion swipes per day. You can connect other social media accounts such as Facebook or Instagram, so people can get a better idea of who you are.
For many users at Norwich, it is an easy way to make contacts and meet up with people you don’t know.
“My friends and I used to use the group feature on the app, it’s where you could have some friends in one group and meet other groups to go out and have fun,” said Nancy Anderson, 21, a senior criminal justice major from San Antonio. Texas.
Tinder also has much publicized downsides, however, including false identities and its abuse in creating a hookup culture.
“When I used Tinder with my group of friends it was normally fun, we were always safe with what groups we matched with. There have been times where we ditched them because they were either creepy or just not any fun, Anderson said.
“I use Tinder pretty often sometimes just for fun to see what I get, but you have to be careful cause there some sketchy people out there,” Fox said.
“I try to be really careful on who I talk to on Tinder,” Adams agreed. “There are lots of fake accounts who try to get personal info or to hack you, so I always look at the profiles to make sure.”
Still, most of the time the people on there have just intentions of talking, but some are fake people or “catfishes,” according to Richards, referring to people who try to mess with you or use fake pictures to attract others. You have to mix up the conversations or add them on Snapchat or another social media account where you send pictures to really see if they are real, Richards said.
Female students express the need to be cautious about Tinder. “I’ve had some pretty bad people try to match with me on Tinder, they would try to stalk me if I denied them or not but it’s easy to just block them and not worry about it,” Anderson said.
With all the swipes that go on in Tinder it’s only a matter of time until you get a response either positive or negative and what happens then is up to the user.
“It’s largely a hit or miss with this app but that makes it fun,” Gordon said. “I mean if you’re using an app to get out there it’s going to come with risks, you just have to play it smart and avoid the obvious fake accounts and play it right.”
Judging from students interviewed, failure to connect well with a match on Tinder is pretty common. “One of my first experiences using the app went pretty bad, I met with the person and things just didn’t click and it was awkward. I didn’t let that stop me I kept trying and eventually had a good time, but more bad than good,” Fox said.
“My worst experience was definitely the time I drove about an hour to meet with someone and they looked nothing like they did in the picture,” Adams said. “I still went with it, but the person seemed proud of themselves that they did this; after the date I blocked them and have never heard or seen them again.”
A lot of Tinder experiences are simply people not getting along or just realizing they could never get past just texting each other. Conversations also just die out and are not followed up after one night out, Richards said.
“Honestly, I can’t say I have had a really bad time,” Gordon said. “I enjoy meeting new people and going out. It’s what the app is meant for, just play it smart and don’t go with the obvious scammers because who knows what could happen out there.”

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