The names of students quoted in this piece have been changed to maintain anonymity in this personal topic.
If you have ever been single and craving a quick hookup to get over your ex, a friend has probably referred you to Tinder, an online dating app that allows one to find singles in nearby areas.
The app finds current locations using GPS, and then uses an account holder’s Facebook information to create a profile complete with first name, age, photos and Facebook likes. As soon as the profile is set up, Tinder suggests potential mates with things in common. If someone catches your eye, simply swipe right to ‘like’ him or her. If not, swipe left to ‘pass.’ It’s simple. If you and another person both swipe right on each other’s profiles, a match is created. This now opens a chat between the two and can potentially lead to meeting up.
Tinder is commonly used by heterosexual couples while Grindr is an app created for gay or bisexual people.
A college campus teeming with sexually active young adults seems like the ideal location to use Tinder, but the University of Rhode Island may not be the place.
“College is all about hooking up with people,” said Clara, a sophomore. “But if you’re looking for a relationship, you shouldn’t get this app.”
In fact, that may be the exact advice that URI students are taking. According to a poll by “The Good 5 Cent Cigar,” roughly 67 percent of students surveyed do not have Tinder, suggesting that the once popular app may be on its way out.
“People were all hyped up about it last year but now its like nobody uses it,” Ruby, a freshman, said.
Tinder users face the nerve-wracking decision of whether or not to take their flirtations offline by meeting their matches face to face. Of the students surveyed who do have Tinder, only 20 percent have ever met a match in person.
“My match actually ended up becoming my best friend,” Stella, a senior, said.
After chatting with a guy on Tinder, Stella gave him her phone number and texted him for several months.
“When we finally met in person, I was nervous so one of my friends came with me. But he was great! There was nothing romantic and now we’re just really good friends.”
On the other hand, some Tinder meetups certainly lead to more than just friendship. Though she has never met a match in person, Ruby said she has a friend that did. Her friend, a junior, started chatting with a guy when he asked her if she wanted to have a threesome with him and one of his friends.
“I was a little surprised that she went for it, but I think she actually had a great time,” Ruby said.
Overall, Tinder can lead to some unique experiences, but it is not overwhelmingly popular at URI. Â Results from the poll showed the majority of students who do have Tinder, only use the app a few times per month.
Although Jerry, a sophomore, uses the app multiple times per week, he thinks Tinder is not worth the trouble.
“My Tinder game sucks,” he said. “I rarely get matches. It kind of [hurts] my self-esteem.”