By NATALEIGH MCCALLUM
A fingertip. This is all it takes to find out absolutely everything you need to know about a person. With a single touch you can view friends’ profiles, be in the loop with absolutely everything going on in their lives and see exactly what they’re doing, all without even speaking to them.
And now, with a single swipe, an individual’s physical appearance is judged within 10 seconds. That’s what it has come to. A mobile dating app somewhat like Hot or Not. Tinder.
Tinder, launched in August 2012, has become the new phenomenon. The app was created and aimed toward college students – initially being piloted on college campuses, the first being the University of Southern California.
Dating sites have been around for ages, sites like eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and Christian Mingle, but nothing like this before. The very brief profile individuals set up include five of their Facebook photos and a small space to write a bio, which of course no one takes seriously. The bios are mainly filled with Ron Burgundy quotes, “work hard, play harder,” or the famous “Tinderella” quote (the modern Cinderella, but, of course, on Tinder).
But is the app safe? Is the purpose of the app actually to meet singles and potentially date them – which is the definition of a dating site – or is it used for other purposes?
“It does not provide the opportunity for people to get to know each other and it really creates first impressions based on how people look,” said Shawna Bernard, the co-ordinator of Counselling Services and a counsellor at Conestoga College.
In the past two years the app has matched over one billion users. But, the purpose of the app has changed. Instead of being a typical dating site, it has turned into something like the personal ads on Craigslist.
“Tinder is good if you want to get laid quick,” said Ben St. Marseille, a first-year protection, security and investigation student.
Other students found Tinder to be a joke rather than something to take seriously. New messages range from corny pick-up lines, to those that straight up ask people if they want to “hook up.”
“I think it is a waste of time. It’s not taken seriously at all, it’s for people looking for a quick hook up,” said Turner Hettrick, a second-year police foundations student who has used the app before as a joke.
The app itself was a good idea, gaining its two founders Justin Mateen and Sean Rad a spot on Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2013. But the app has become something more along the lines of a game. When matches are made, it asks you if you would like to continue “playing” or start a conversation with your new match.
Our technology-based world has taken away personal interactions, and the Tinder app isn’t helping. Now, people don’t even have to meet potential partners the “old-fashioned” way – sitting in a bar or actually talking to someone face-to-face – it is all at your fingertips.
Bernard doesn’t like the app, saying, “It objectifies people and you don’t know what their personality is like.”
Brandy Core, a second-year practical nursing student, uses the app but not for dating purposes.
“I use the app to pass time when I get bored, but I don’t take it seriously.”