Swiping Shallow: Tinder Edition


Valentine’s Day is good for two things. One: discount chocolate the day after. Two: it’s the one time of year that fully awakens everyone’s dating desperation. It’s cuffing season, lonely people! Are you tempted to jump on a dating app? Over the next few weeks I will be looking into the culture and functionality of four different dating apps. Read on for a look at the most mainstream app, Tinder. I think the true beauty of Tinder is in how low it sets the bar for its users’ profiles.

Unlike most dating apps, Tinder skips the usual “who are you?” survey in favor of letting you craft your own personal statement. Want to list your most “woke” feminist thought, Meyers-Briggs type and the beer that describes you the most? Go nuts! Want to tell the entire world that you are 420 friendly and love The Office ? You and a million other users already had that same idea! Hell, you don’t even need words. Most users opt for a straightforward eggplant or peach emoji. Let’s be honest, no one reads your bio. Tinder’s store front model encourages snap judgements based on the profile pics you post. I wish more people understood that.

I spoke to UIS student Simone Patterson, a first time Tinder user, about the most common thing she noticed when she was swiping. “I noticed two things” she said, “One, no guy can take a good selfie. Two, a lot of people think that fishing is really sexy.”

The app also added a new looping video feature that allows users to post looping GIFs on their profiles. It is an interesting feature, I just wish everyone would stop using it to show them taking a hit from a bong. Tinder messaging is a simple experience that packs some features adept flirters can use. While you may think your nasty pick up line is funny, it usually isn’t. You might want to check out the GIF tab for a better conversation starter.

I will give Tinder credit: its user interface is easy to grasp and functions well enough. The only drawback is that the design helps feed shallow profiles. It may be quicker to swipe through but don’t let that stop you from posting a bio.