Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left.
These are the actions that now consume an estimated 50 million people’s thumbs (90 percent of these thumbs belonging to 18-24 year olds), as they plow through millions of individuals’ dating profiles every day on social media app, Tinder.
Tinder is the latest in relationship/rejection-avoidance, using the “double-opt-in” effect, named so by Tinder’s creators. This double-opt-in modification only allows you to communicate with people that have liked your profile as well, saving you the feeling of rejection. The profiles you find are based on GPS location, Facebook information and simple demographics to lead you to potential “matches” within your surrounding area. This allows for instant gratification in that you can immediately speak with anyone in the surrounding area.
Tinder hit the social media scene in August of 2012, making its debut on University of Southern California’s campus. Creators Sean Rad and Justin Mateen launched the app with the intentions of making a site for people to meet one another and have basic communication on an immediate local level.
However, this media application has now taken the world by storm, appearing in over 24 countries. With the power of the smartphone and dating sites/apps, like Tinder, people of all ages are able to connect with individuals throughout the world like they’ve never been able to before.
However, while we now have the unprecedented ability to know people’s personal lives from thousands of miles away, the youngest and most tech-savvy generation on the planet can’t seem to make many deep connections on a face-to-face level anymore. What happened to men asking women on dates the “old-fashioned” way, with a phone number and smile?
I can tell you where that ancient practice has gone: straight to the pits of antiquity, along with phone conversations, opening doors and tipping your hat. Anytime a gentleman does these things for a modern-aged woman now, he’s perceived as a “creep” or “desperate.”
This type of mentality toward dating and the opposite sex will of course pave the way for the success of sites like okCupid, Tinder or Grinder. But what are the consequences of these apps to the youngest generation’s social and bonding skills?
While it has the potential to make dating easier and more efficient, it doesn’t necessarily equate to the foundation for a long-term relationship.
According to research done by The Guardian, Tinder is “incredibly effective at identifying a local population of potential mates and at helping people contact one another.” However, this same article also claims “apps are not so good, experts say, at predicting or inspiring chemistry.”
Not only does this research from experts suggest that the “rejection-free” aura of Tinder can be harmful, the app is not conducive with commitment and monogamy; why be with one person in a dedicated relationship when something new and exciting is just one swipe away?
My suggestion for combating this “Tinder effect” is to simply put down our phones, and stop letting the glow of our screens guide us to instantly-gratified love. The college dating scene could use a makeover, and a new train of thought; instead of focusing on the next hookup we’ll have, college students should focus more on what we can be doing to prolong the chivalry and grace of old-fashioned, committed dating.