Tap photo: mutual friends, mutual interests—swipe right. Tap photo: no friends, no interests—swipe left. Unless I slip, rarely do I swipe left on Tinder.
Tinder simultaneously capitalizes on and proves our generation’s much–derided digital narcissism. As we sit in lecture perusing the endless library of photos on Facebook, judging ourselves and our friends at parties and abroad, there’s no denying that at least some critiques of “millennials” are justified. Our addiction to social media has undoubtedly caused some of us to become shallower, at least online, and Tinder is only the natural extension of that.
Regardless, Tinder doesn’t exactly function as a dating app, and it’s hard to imagine a Tinder match “made in heaven.” Yet, Tinder does have an important purpose to its users: it’s a wonderful way to score an easy ego boost. Yes, the better–looking the match the higher bout of confidence you may gain, but it’s more likely you will never end up meeting the match on the other end, due either to distance or the admittedly creepy nature of Tinder.
Personally, I find Tinder sort of soothing. When I’m bored or need a brief break from reading, I’ll just sit and well... judge people. Sure, I try to take friends or interests into account as much as possible, but in the long–run it doesn’t ever really matter. By senior year I’ve basically just gotten through the first problem set in Flirting 001, and I’m certainly never going to be smooth enough to land a good line on Tinder. My go–to is usually “‘Hey Ya.’ My favorite song by OutKast is definitely ‘Hey Ya.’” Then my matches just tell me their favorite song by OutKast and everything just goes downhill from there. Alternatively I pull the old "ohi" out and see where I can go from there. I’ve made a few temporary friends, I’ve been blocked without even sparking a conversation and I’ve been hit on by numerous robots and scam accounts.
Ultimately what comes after doesn’t honestly matter—only the match matters. Only that brief moment of acknowledgment holds true significance, and even then it’s as fleeting as coming up with a clever comment in class. With Tinder, everything boils down to the statistics, in which my skills are severely lacking. Despite this, I’m pretty sure the law of Tinder states that the more I swipe right, the higher the probability I’ll get a little confidence boost to get me through the day. So I’ve learned to stop worrying about the number of matches I might get or the conversations I might miss. If I end up matching with someone I really didn’t want to, then I can just ignore it with no repercussions or commitments.
Remember, Tinder isn’t a dating service; it’s just a confidence engine—you put the effort in out of boredom, and then every so often the little tinderbox puffs out a match and you press onwards. And if something comes of it, well then, there ain’t nothing wrong with a little bit of bump and grind.