I was only a sophomore in high school when Tinder launched in 2012."Never in a million years," I said to myself, "would I download an app so degrading as Tinder." Online dating was one thing - it held a more serious, "I-Want-A-Relationship" type of tone: a last resort for single parents, thrice divorcees, and forty somethings looking for love. However, dating on an app implied something entirely different: a form of online shopping that made it easy for twenty somethings to sleep with X number of people in a single week.
And yet, just a few weeks into my first semester of college nearly three years later, and I couldn’t help but see what all the hype was about. College without Tinder is like peanut butter without jelly, the Patriots without Tom Brady, or an Emerson student without an aesthetically pleasing Instagram.
I’m ashamed to say that today that little red flame sits on the back page of my iPhone where I pray no one thinks to look. I’m not ashamed of having the app, itself - it’s entertaining, and after I’ve switched back and forth between Twitter and Facebook for half an hour, it’s nice to have another app to waste time on. But I am ashamed of what it condones and what it says about me for engaging in something that I’m so openly against.
Tinder requires you to judge your interest in a person based solely on five or six pictures that they’ve pulled from their Facebook and a brief description of themselves in their bio. Whenever I use it, I feel like I’m on some cheap Craigslist rip-off where college kids in my area are advertising themselves to obtain the most matches possible. It’s a game, really and one that’s excessively demeaning.
Talking to people is hard, you know? I mean, why should you talk to someone and get them to like your personality when you can narrow your search and talk to people that find you attractive? It’s a confidence boost, one that stems from our inability to communicate effectively with each other growing up in the age of social media.
It won’t be long until it becomes okay to purchase a significant other after scrolling through a couple pictures online. Okay, maybe not, but maybe even worse is the fact that phrases like “I’d swipe right” or “I’d super-like him” will become mainstream...kind of like how Drake made YOLO a thing in middle school or how Instagram and Tumblr made it mildly acceptable to use acronyms like TBT or OTP IRL (in real life).
The era of dinner dates has come and gone, and the ideas of the walk of shame or the one night stand no longer exist. Now more than ever, our generation is proud of this hookup culture that we’ve created - and people are taking notice (see: this article from Vanity Fair).
Monogamy is so five years ago. Non-commitment and casual sex is all the rage.