Tinder has fast become one of the most popular apps among college students, and I’m determined to find out why. Sure, there are more important things going on in the world that are probably more worthy of my or anyone else’s time—local news, world affairs, my (course/academic discipline) homework, and so on. But, to be honest, I just wanted a whole bunch of 18-50 year old guys to tell me I’m pretty. So, Tinder it is! Here’s how the app works: First, upload a couple of smoking hot pictures of yourself. Then, narrow your search radius so that the app will find users within your area. And finally, curate that profile: Tinder displays shared interests, and mutual Facebook friends, which is beyond creepy if you ask me. Nevertheless, if you find yourself a hottie with a body, be sure to swipe right. That’s where the fun begins: If the other person also swipes right, you’ve got a match and you two can chat away into the night and begin a romance to last the ages. However, if you see someone who’s less George Clooney and more George Bush self-portrait, swipe left—you’ll never see him again. Basically, it’s like any other dating website—only it’s almost solely based on your looks. Sure, if you have overlapping Facebook interests with a person, they’ll be able to see that. But I highly doubt somebody will swipe you right because the both of you share an unholy passion for the Back to the Future trilogy (at least, that still hasn’t worked out for me). It’s all about your looks: If you’ve got them in the eyes of your swipe-happy beholders—congrats on your matches! Prepare to get chatting. Lucky for me, I’m the hottest thing within a one-mile radius of Hyde Park, so I have a sky-high match rate with the boys. Either that, or everybody just swipes right to increase their chances of getting a match. But that doesn’t sound right…I’m just smoking. Anyway, after talking with so many boys on this app, I’ve come to one conclusion: UChicago is just as socially awkward as we thought. I mean seriously, people. For an app that is solely about hooking up, the conversations are just plain boring. Here’s an average transcript: John: Hey Me: hey John: What’s up Me: nothing much, how about you? John: hahaha just doing some work. Me: Cool John: Cool Me: Ok I’ll spare you the rest of the details. Of course, there are some outliers. Some boys call me flirty pet names (sex kitten, the great pumpkin, mother of dragons, Esteban Julio Ricardo Montoya de la Rosa Ramírez—standard stuff); others just straight up say what they want to do with me later (it’s usually a problem set). But for the most part, we all just seem to be missing the point of the app. What’s the point of using an app that helps you meet people if the conversations you can have on it are utterly lackluster and don’t go anywhere? Here’s my theory: Most of the app users don’t actually want to converse with anybody or even plan on starting a relationship with the app. Rather, they just want confirmation that other people think they’re good-looking enough to swipe right. Nothing beats the thrill of somebody who’s not your mom or uncle telling you that you’re cute. I live for that. Who cares what the other person has to say to me? They think I’m cute. Hell yes. There’s hope for me and I may not die alone with a Marty McFly's face playing on loop on my television. If used correctly, Tinder would probably be a great way to meet people on campus you never would have otherwise. But who am I to complain? I’m too scared of the possibility of meeting someone shallow enough to use Tinder (read: as shallow as me) in the flesh. I’ll stick to my policy of swiping right on every boy who likes his shirts off and his conversations short.
Sarah Zimmerman is the blogger behind After School Snack. She is a first-year in the College.