Falling in love, hooking up, “hanging out,” meeting friends, trolling your matches — whatever you may be looking for, the Tinder app has been a one-stop-shop for all of the above since it was introduced to the Apple app store and Google Play in 2012. Many college students, including those at Loyola, use the app almost every day, making it grow from 4 million users last November to almost 17 million today, according to the app stats website appmtr.com.
In case you haven’t taken a gander yet, here’s the rundown on Tinder: Users are required to connect with their Facebook accounts, which pulls in their likes and interests, sets up the distance radius that they want their pool of potential matches to be in and marks the gender preference for their potential matches.
From there, potential matches flash across the screen with their pictures, ages, short bios and any information from Facebook that matches with yours. If you like them, you swipe right on their profile; if not, you swipe left. It’s as simple as that.
According to the app’s website, Tinder is “the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you… Chat with a match or snap a photo to share a Moment with all of your matches at once.”
The app is easy to use and has features that specifically appeal to students and young adults, such as its mobility and similar functions to other popular apps users look at regularly such as Facebook and Snapchat. The “moment” function added to the app in the past year functions similarly to a Snapchat story, as photos and messages are only displayed for 24 hours.
Trolling your matches, or sending messages that are intended for humor rather than starting a relationship, has become popular as well. See Tinderlines.com for examples of trolling at its finest.
As someone who has had success on Tinder (my Tinder match and I have been going strong for almost five months), I wanted to hear from other students, who for privacy reasons asked that I not use full names, to provide a pseudo-handbook of what to expect when swiping through the sea of choices. The results of my inquiry have left me with some unconventional but nonetheless helpful advice on how to tackle Tinder.
1. Never underestimate your matches’ love for boy bands, specifically One Direction.
“I met up with a guy just once for drinks over the summer, and he told me that [he] and his “bros” were going to the One Direction concert. I laughed along with him thinking it was a joke … Two months later, I physically ran into him and three of his friends while leaving the concert with my little sister. He was wearing a 1D cut-off tee and everything. I guess he wasn’t kidding.” – Olivia, 21, senior, political science major
Although it’s always hard to tell whether your match is being fully upfront about their music choices, you may want to double check before you disregard their comments about Harry Styles. In the end, even if they do like One Direction, don’t write them off until you get to know them.
2. Even if you and your match aren’t looking for the same thing, meeting up still might be worthwhile.
“Well, I was tindering for fun one day during finals of spring 2014. I wasn’t looking for anything; just a distraction to take my mind off finals and as a way to procrastinate. I was swiping right to everybody. This kid popped up and I swiped right. Immediately, I sent him my tinder line of the day which was ‘What’s your spirit animal?’… We got to talking and it turns out he’s a PhD student at University of Chicago for chemistry. He’s from Taiwan and got here to the states about a year ago … About a week and a half later he said was really enjoying our conversations and wanted to meet up … It was very awkward, but I had a nice time. I don’t know what he was looking for in me, but I wasn’t looking for anything besides maybe a new friend. We ended up talking for two hours and then we walked to the train together. We were headed different directions and he fist bumped me before parting ways.” — Kate, 21, senior, political science major
Not every one you match with is going to be a match made in heaven, but they could have the potential to be an interesting new acquaintance or even a new friend. Give someone a chance to show you they are worth your time, just make sure you are on the same page as to what you want.
3. Trolling on your matches may be easy, but is not usually helpful in sparking a relationship.“A normal conversation [on Tinder] is a guy messaging me with a cheesy or creepy line, and I’ll reply with something witty to make them feel stupid. The infertile conversation is probably my favorite [see below]. The conversation didn’t last much longer, just him trying to cover his tracks. I don’t only troll on Tinder, though. I do see it as a game usually, but there have been some decent guys on there.” – Mary, 20, junior, marketing major
If you’re looking for a serious relationship and not entertainment on a night in, make sure you are upfront with what you’re looking for. And if it seems like the person isn’t interested in something serious, you can either see where the conversation goes, or unmatch them.
4. Don’t take everything your match tells you at face value.
“I went on about three Tinder dates. The first was with some guy I had chatted with for about a week, we met up and he had said he went to New York University (this was over winter break so I didn’t question it). Turns out, he was planning on going to NYU but was still a senior in high school …” — Grace, 21, senior, visual communication & education policy major
Although the app connects with Facebook and your basic information, the bio portion of a users profile is completely controlled by them. Sometimes people are not one hundred percent honest, so going into a conversation with a bit of wariness isn’t a bad idea. Don’t question everything a match says right off the bat, but if it seems questionable, it probably is.
5. Finding the right match can be as simple as a mutual love for baked goods.
“I asked him, ‘How many pies is a lot?’ Because he had said in his profile that he baked a lot of pies. He said he baked 4-5 per week, which was impressive. Other than his enticing baking hobby, he just seemed very genuine and made me feel comfortable.” — Sarah, 21, senior, marketing major
Finding someone who shares a common interest with you is always going to be a winning match up. On Tinder, having a conversation that flows easily and is genuinely interesting should be a green light to you that maybe a real life date wouldn’t be so bad. And obviously, if your match loves pie, there can’t be anything wrong with that.
Still looking for more?
Put cheesy pickup lines and autocorrect with a splash of anonymity and you’re
likely to get more than a few ridiculous Tinder messages. Luckily, Instagram and Twitter accounts (and a few websites too) have started collecting examples of Tinder’s finest trolls. Take a moment to look at Tinder Lines’ website to catch some of the “best, worst and funniest Tinder pickup lines.” If you have an Instragram account, you can follow tinderconvos, which has plenty of cringe-worthy screenshots. The Twitter account @TindrProbs follows along the same vein. Prepare to laugh heartily.