By Megan Campbell
The digital age of dating is in full swing and Tinder is the new best way to meet people. The app is simple; people swipe left for no and right for yes. It’s an easy process that tends to fuel people’s procrastination. It’s something you can scroll aimlessly through when you can’t sleep, waiting for the bus or sitting through a boring lecture.
“It feels like a game, and each time you get a match it feels like you are winning,” says one user. But what are the real reasons people are on it? Is it for a relationship? Companionship? Or just for a laugh? And what is the best way to go about attracting the attention of a potential suitor.
In a search for answers I asked my three roommates, Issy, Hannah and Ashley. I got three different answers.
“It’s funny just chatting,” says 19-year-old Issy. Nineteen-year-old Hannah says she is on it to try and find someone while my third flatmate Ashley says it’s nice chatting to people. “I’m just scouting out if there is anyone on there for me.”
The very first and most important thing about Tinder is the profile pictures and bio. Some ‘turn-offs’ the girls mentioned were topless mirror pics, cars, or no face in the photos at all. All my flatmates agreed this was an instant swipe left.
“In a group photo, you can always rely on the guy being the unattractive one,” says Issy.
In an app that is based on photos, looks are obviously a huge part of Tinder. If you don’t show your best ‘self’ to potential suitors, will you be swiped left?
I asked my friend Hugo, who’s a past user of Tinder. Hugo explains the way he chose his photos was to scroll through his Facebook profile pictures and select those with the most likes. He says this was successful for him, but agrees other guys have poor judgement, or lack of experience, when it comes to understanding the most effective ways to go about choosing the best photo.
From what I have experienced, the girls in my flat put a lot effort into picture selection and bio writing. Ashley had a particular order of her photos – it went natural face, flirty makeup shot, friends and body photo. I sat for 20 minutes while my roommates discussed which pictures to add for my new roommate’s Tinder profile and she asked which one she “looked hotter” in. She even said she considered herself a catfish because she had gained weight since the photo was taken.
People put photos up that are years old, and this is where one of the deceptions of online dating stems from. The most recent photo my roommate used was about a month old.
Hannah says she has definitely felt “catfished” after matching with a guy on Tinder. She explains the first time they met she quickly realised his pictures were at least two years old – he had different hair, weight, and even his facial features looked different. Despite this, Hannah says she gave him a chance and now she’s interested in pursuing a relationship with him. In this case she was lucky, but many people aren’t.
As part of a study, LendEDU, collected information about Tinder from 3,852 university aged students.
As part of the survey, students were asked if they had ever met anyone off Tinder? Just 29.2 per cent of students said yes. Only one of my three roommates who are on Tinder have actually met someone off it. So if people aren’t intending on meeting the people they talk to, then why be on the app?
“I am not really looking for anything serious or going to meet up with these guys, but it’s fun just chatting to them,” says Issy.
“…the app is what you make of it, you can determine whether people are on it just for a hook up or not,” she says. “You can’t rely on every chat to become something romantic.”
Hannah agrees with Issy saying she chatted to a guy for two weeks before they both friend zoned each other. Now they are just online friends. Tinder is unpredictable.
Tinder is testing the dating game. It’s a confidence boost and buster. You may meet the love of your life or a quick hook up on the weekend. The app is what you make of it – many have had success from the app and many have had nightmares, but it still all comes down to new experiences and finding that one fish in the sea.