Dating app fuels social media relationships
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02
Junior Alex Farrell says iPhone applications for dating have become popular due to the instant gratification they provide. She says she discovered Tinder within the last month and has been using the app ever since.
“It becomes addicting after a while,” Farrell says.
While dating applications such as OkCupid and Bang With Friends have gained recent popularity, Farrell says more and more people have begun doing their networking through Tinder.
“Tinder anonymously finds out who likes you nearby, and connects you with them if you’re also interested,” Farrell says. Tinder allows users to network with people nearby using a GPS feature and gives them the option to “like” or “pass” the users suggested by the application. If two users “like” each other, Tinder then connects them, which allows them to start a conversation. The application is compatible on iPhone, iPad, and iTouch devices. In the Apple App Store, the description reads, “Tinder anonymously finds out who likes you nearby, and connects you with them if you’re also interested.”
This concept of readily available communication based on mutual interest is exciting for users who enjoy the immediate connection with others, says Farrell. Sophomore Caren Fitzgerald says she does not use Tinder but can see why some students find the app enticing.
“I think the appeal behind [dating apps] is that people are on a college campus because they want to get to know new people and have new experiences,” Fitzgerald says. “The fact you can connect with people you have similar interests with sounds like fun, sounds adventurous and a great way to make new friends. Still, there are definitely far too many cons to outweigh any kind of benefit.”
However, junior Alex Moore, says the concept of Tinder makes him uncomfortable because of the integrated GPS component that allows users to know how close in proximity their matches are.
Users are able to see distance from one another rather than an exact location, Farrell says. She says although the feature does not provide an address, using the application makes her feel unsafe to a degree at times.
“It doesn’t give you the actual location, but it can get creepy,” Farrell says. “Knowing the Internet and apps like this, no one is really safe.”
Fitzgerald says she believes the GPS element could put users in a difficult situation if they decide they want to cut off contact with a person they meet through Tinder. She says if a person decides that they are not interested in another user, the fact that the other user still has their location and information means that the user may continue to contact them. As a Tinder user, Farrell says students should remain aware of the fact that fake profiles exist. They should also use precaution and meet fellow users in person at a safe location, she says.
Sadie Leder, a psychology professor at High Point University, says users should filter the information they reveal to the people they meet through outlets such as Tinder.
“I would say that we have to be very careful at the rate we disclose things about ourselves,” Leder says. “There is nobody looking directly at us when we say these things, there is anonymity divulging more than we might otherwise if someone was besides us.”
Farrell says she uses the application to meet more people on campus and has not considered using it for dating. She says over winter session, she connected with someone through Tinder and was able to meet him at a party she was having.
While the application is advertised as allowing users to ‘connect’ with their matches, Leder says she is unsure of whether a romantic relationship can blossom from these interactions. “I will say that it’s probably likely that good people who are looking for relationships are almost anywhere, in a nightclub or a bar, real relationships have started that way,” Leder says. “I can imagine casual, as well as long term relationships, are possible.”
Using the application to meet new people, whether it be for dating or for friendship, is unnecessary, Moore says. He says students should try and meet new people in classes or around campus.
“Grow a pair and go talk to somebody in person, especially if you already know they are in the same room or nearby,” Moore says.
While opinions regarding the application and how it allows students to communicate may be differing, Leder says she thinks dating through convenient methods like Tinder is something that is here to stay. “I think that all of the same rules that are applied to business apply to relationships; we are looking for the easiest, fastest way to make that connection,” Leder says.