Why Do So Many People Use Tinder?

Part 2 of 4 of the Tinder Dating Series. Find part 1 here.

If you are a millennial, particularly a single female millennial, this article is a read that should be on your radar. It is called “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse,’” and it was recently published online by Vanity Fair. The article has picked up quite a bit of press, so naturally, I feel the need to publish my opinions on the dating app. This article is a look into why so many people use Tinder, what they use it for, and why we are so drawn to it.

Tinder vs. The Bar- which scenario wins?

Playing the field has gotten exponentially easier thanks to dating apps. Girls and guys alike looking to have sex can find it after about an hour with a little luck and the right arsenal of profiles and mobile applications. Tinder in particular is an app that many are turning to for their next hookup instead of their next partner. It’s reputation as a hook up app has made the question “want to sleep together?” almost okay to ask a virtual stranger. As a result, Tinder has changed the dynamic of casual sex culture.

Going into public is no longer a prerequisite for sleeping with someone. When we go to the bar with the sole intention of getting lucky, there is a precarious balance of making yourself available enough to clue others into what you are looking for vs. coming off as overly eager and willing to go home with anything that moves. In a college setting, we are oftentimes surrounded by people we know. If you’re a little more secret about your sex life, it’s even harder to convey that you’re “ready to mingle” while also maintaining an element of secrecy to those around you. The balance of finding someone to sleep with in public without making it apparent to everyone around you- but making it apparent enough in the first place to end up with someone- can be a tall order. It’s no wonder people have started turning to an app to help aid their hookup escapades, right?

I would even argue that going into public nowadays to find someone to sleep with is the harder way to get lucky. There is so much guessing- who here is simply getting a drink vs. actively looking for someone of the opposite sex? And if they are looking- are they looking for a real connection or do they just want to have some fun as well? Body language, unless extreme, really does not answer any of these questions for us. The bio in a Tinder profile “Looking to have a good time,” or “fun but not looking for any funny business” sure does.

Enter modern day interactions- it’s now possible to sleep with people without the bar meet up and the guessing who around you would be open to going home together. On Tinder, you are free to be open about the fact that you are trying to sleep with someone- or find your soul’s counterpart. Imagine if you made it as apparent in real life that you wanted to sleep with someone as you did on Tinder- the judgment you would face! Tinder is a pretty judgment free zone- because the only way you’re being judgmental is if you yourself have a profile.

The Intricacies of Tinder

The beauty of Tinder for those looking to get lucky is that they don’t have to go to a party and be the crazy drunk person non-verbally communicating that yes- they are open to getting laid tonight. Tinder gives us the ability to maintain class and mystery while in public. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to forego the complicated process of figuring out who at the bar is down to go home and spend some ‘quality’ time together. Suddenly, “do you want to sleep with me?” has become not only an okay, but a frequently asked question on the app. Enter an era where consistent sex without having any form of a significant other is getting easier and easier to achieve.

Tinder lets us hide behind a screen and connect with people we have virtually no mutual friends with. When you ask the girl who is looking for a genuine connection if she wants to bang, and she responds with a horrified “fu** you leave me alone,” there was no real life rejection. In fact, you can delete the conversation and it’s like it never happened! If this were to happen at the bar, there could be drinks thrown, angry shouting, or your friends publically watching you try and fail to get someone to come home with you. All of these reactions will remain in the forefront of your memory for far more than the 3 seconds the Tinder rejection did. No wonder we choose virtual rejection vs. real rejection, right?

Because I am not a Tinder user myself, I spoke to a friend who is an avid user of the app to gain some further insight into why he used it. He’s a modern day gentlemen and will typically take the girls he meets on Tinder to get a drink or two before they hook up. His commentary was as follows: “Generally it seems like they (drink dates) are automatic third dates. Meaning that pretty much however the date goes, there is an impetus that we will sleep together.” My friend is not an exception in either direction when it comes to his willingness to get a drink or two with someone he meets on Tinder before he sleeps with them. I have heard of this happening along with people showing up at one another’s apartments, saying hi, sleeping together, and leaving. There is no rulebook or standard procedure when it comes to Tinder.

All of this being said, our generation is choosing to hide behind a screen vs. putting themselves out there to find a date, hook up partner, etc. Because of this, we need to re-think how they are going to go about attaining a real relationship. While I have stated that Tinder is not the solution, it’s interesting to look into why it isn’t, what our current dating culture is like, and how one is supposed to attain a relationship through the maze of apps and casual sex encounters. Stay tuned for the next article- how one gets a significant other.

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[…] 4 of 4 of the Tinder Dating Series. Find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 […]