College students face a communication crisis thanks to social media

Tinder takes over campus

More stories from Bri Hageman



We are in the age where socializing in person becomes such an infrequent occurrence that making friends can get a little tough.

We text people our problems and secrets and Skype our friends to catch up. With all this, it makes meeting new people in person extensively awkward.

In college you go through phases where you introduce yourself to the same person 10 times over because they forgot who you are.

Think about it, we are surrounded by new people daily on campus yet we still take extraordinary lengths to “meet” new people. In reality we could just walk up to any person we see around campus and introduce ourselves.

We all seem to have hit this crossroad where we crave human connection in the presence of people we have never talked to. Instead of reaching out and introducing ourselves to fulfill that desire, we resort to different forms of meeting people.

We’ve all heard the lingo around campus: “Swipe left,” “Swipe right.” For months, I was completely oblivious to what people were actually talking about. Is it a game, perhaps another popular form of  the fruit ninja app? My excitement built, until the real secret unveiled: they were on Tinder.

Many say Tinder is like a “game.” It is basically just swiping a certain direction on your screen if you like someone’s profile picture.

Most of my Facebook photo’s are embarrassing pictures my weird friends decided to tag me in, like a picture of me on a children’s bike, or of my face covered in ice cream. Essentially, most of them aren’t my proudest moments – yet this is how people are deciding whether or not I’m worth talking to?

It all seemed pretty rash. I watched my friends pick the people they decide to swipe yes to and the process was puzzling. Oh he says he likes cats? Swipe right. He has a man bun? Heck yes.

I tried getting Tinder months ago to see what it was really about. Not for the dating purpose, but more of a search of understanding of my peer’s new obsession. I just swiped and eventually landed a few matches and chatted with them.

It was all fun and games until I ran into my Tinder match on the streets of Eau Claire.

I was sitting at a table next to a guy and it took me minutes before I realized we had a conversation before on Tinder. I had flashbacks to his awkward pickup lines, and the pictures of him dressed up as Harry Potter.

I couldn’t take the silence so I got up in left, as I soon realized that I will forever have that small anxiety of running into my weird tinder matches around campus. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the future awkwardness, so I deleted it.

Tinder can have different effects depending on the person. My friend from back home found her current one-year boyfriend on Tinder, but nine times out of 10 it seems to be a total Catfish situation, where you think you are about to meet tall, dark and handsome, but end up meeting a short, bald 40-year-old man instead.

Be careful guys, Tinder can get tricky. Just remember that there are other forms of communication out there if all else fails.

That is why we need to broaden our horizons and be more social face-to-face. Instead of reading someone’s short little bio, why not go up to people in person to get a real idea of who they are?