Tinder: A new way of dating?

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

The Single Life
March 23, 2017

Online dating has been around for years and has become increasingly popular. In addition to sites such as Match.com and eHarmony, it has recently made its way onto smartphones in the form of Apps, the most popular being Tinder.

A recent survey of 91 Le Moyne students shows only 21 percent of respondents currently use the app. However, 47 percent of participants said that even though they don’t currently use it, they have in the past.

According to businessofapps.com, by March 2014 the popular app recorded one billion matches, 800 million swipes and 10 million matches per day. It appears that this app is popular among the college demographic, not to foster relationships but rather for short-term relationships and random hook ups.  

“Tinder empowers users around the world to create new connections that otherwise might never have been possible,” reads the Tinder website.

Launched in 2012, Tinder allows its users to search, match and communicate with recommended compatible partners. Based on location and common interests, the app uses Facebook data to build your profile. As profiles of different people appear, you swipe right if you’re interested in the user or left if you’re not. When two users both swipe right towards each other, it’s a match!

Many students say they downloaded the app just for fun, rather than as a way to find something long term. Through conversations with students, some decided to get the app simply out of curiosity and even to play around with people. Other students use it as a way to talk to people that they have seen around campus but haven’t had many opportunities to approach. A few others simply use Tinder as a means to meet different people.

Although people may match with many others on this app, it is very rare that they actually meet each other in person and hang out. The survey results confirmed just this, with an overwhelming 80 percent of participants stating that after matching on Tinder, they have met approximately less than five people. While 10 percent have met five to 10 people and the other 10 percent have met more than 10 people.

Some students, however, have never used the app, and never want to.

Sophomore Gabby Lounsbury is one of those people, saying she doesn’t like the concept behind it. Lounsbury said she believes that the app is mainly being used by those looking for a one-night stand.

Those who argue against dating apps may say that it perpetuates the college hookup culture, however, a study done by sociologist Martin Monto found that students today are not having sex more frequently than the generation before them did in the late 1980s. The study reported that students today also don’t have more sexual partners than students did in the 80s.

“I don’t like the non-face to face interaction that it presents,” added junior Kristie Breckenridge. “I think for some people it is a really good idea, especially if it is used properly. It could be a good way to meet people but I will never use it; I’m just really old fashioned.”

As one of the first online dating apps, Tinder paved the way for many more such as Hinge, Hitch, Grindr, Plenty of Fish and Down, just to name a few. The increased market for dating apps may be a way of solidifying a new dating age, as at least 40 million Americans today use applications to meet new people.