Although controversial, Tinder could thrive in college communities

Graphic by Karl Enghofer

Graphic by Karl Enghofer

Swipe left, not interested. Swipe right, good looking enough to talk to. That is the type of mindset we are shallow enough to put ourselves in with the newest dating app.

Tinder, available on iOS and GooglePlay is the latest app guaranteeing a social connection, which we’ve all heard so many times before, but does it work?

Here’s how it works. You sign up via Facebook (little text at the bottom of the Tinder login screen promises anonymity), and you can set your ideal age range and maximum distance away for potential mates.

Tinder then thinks a little bit and soon enough you have hundreds of girls (or guys) to look through and, somewhat degradingly, swipe yes or no to based completely on looks.

If you swipe right (or interested) and the person that you swiped right, swipes you right — it’s a match. Once you get matched up with a person, you can chat with them within the app.

With the girlfriend’s approval, I decided to take Tinder for a test swipe for one week, to see what, if any, results I would get. I learned a lot about how deplorable it is, and why it will ultimately work.

Day one — I set up my Tinder account and swipe right to all girls for about a solid 30 minutes. I set my age preferences from 18-25, and give a maximum radius of ten miles. Not shockingly, I don’t get any matches that night — whether it’s because I’ve put on a few pounds since my prime college days or because my account hasn’t registered yet, I don’t know.

Day two — Right, right, right. This is getting pretty boring, but I start to notice myself looking at the girls more than I thought I would. Some girls have pictures with friends, some girls have pictures of themselves super close up, some selfies and some bathing suits. When I realize the risque and chesty photos are getting to be about 50 percent or more I realize this might not be an app just to go get coffee with a fellow scholarly college student.

Day three — My first match, how exciting. After swiping constantly right on my iPhone for what seemed like forever, (mostly during those great guest speakers in class) I get a match. I don’t really know how to flirt anymore. So, when she sends me a virtual winky face, I don’t know what to do but reply, “Hey, what’s up?” It takes about three more messages before she asks my plans for the evening and continue to explain she has a warm bed with a movie in the DVD player. Sorry, Evelyn, maybe someone else will make your night.

Day four — I now have three matches and I’ve been invited to get drunk at an apartment building (which I declined), asked what my favorite sex position is and in a surprise occurrence, which basketball team is my favorite. I’m slowly coming to grips with what is going on with Tinder, and then it happens. That awkward moment when one of your close friends swipes you right. I’ll be honest, for the purpose of this little experiment I didn’t necessarily look at the girls or discriminate who I swiped right. I just swiped everybody, and I didn’t realize that I probably knew some of these people. It took a while, but my friend finally chatted me within the app and said, “Don’t you have a girlfriend, Davo?” After not replying for some time, she responds, “It’s totally cool if you do, I won’t tell anybody.” Looks like I won’t be making eye contact with this friend on campus for a while.

Day five — I dropped the ball on swipes on this, my last day of Tinder. At 3:42 a.m. I get a message from a Wendy 10 miles away. “Wanna have fun good lookin’?” Needless to say, I’m flattered by all the nice comments and matches but I have definitely realized, this is just not my niche.

I deleted the app right then and there and fell peacefully back to sleep. I think if I’m ever seeking a relationship, I’ll stick to meeting girls in person — whichever way that may be.

Why will this work for some? Single college kids seem to have uninhibited ambitions to have a bunch of sex, that’s why. This app is an app for meeting people, but for a majority of its members, their real intent is to hook up. That’s why this app will probably continue to work until someone dies or gets sexually assaulted and a lawsuit comes up.

Its double-blind theory is pretty ingenious. The app doesn’t allow people to figure out who likes them, unless they like them back. It can be the two parties’ little secret and no one knows they are even talking. It takes away the outside social implications and just lets college kids be college kids.

Would I have used this app when I was a single cat rockin’ the bar scene back when? Maybe. It’s smart, but it’s shallow. You strictly decide if you wanna talk to these people based on the physical looks and physiques of their bodies. No one will tell you they swiped somebody right because they looked smart and respectful. No way.

It’s controversial and kinda sketchy, but it will work in the college scene. Tinder will most likely be around for a while.