What Tinder Has Given To Me

What Tinder Has Given To Me

Online dating: the realization you can get more out of it than a hook-up.

I've been single for a little over a year and a half at this point, and while my last relationship is long over and done, I have actively and unashamedly been on a couple of dating apps on-and-off since then. Inevitably, people often question my motive behind using dating apps when I'm "young and pretty and could meet a guy in real life!" Yeah right! Mostly, I use them to talk to new people and see if I develop any kind of connection with someone.

Obviously, other than a handful of new (and surprisingly really close) friends, I've been less than fruitful in my search. But honestly, it's kind of what keeps me coming back. You'd think that after a couple of months, I would have given up and tried to venture out in the real world to search for what I seek - but no.

Initially, I was kind of defeated when I met up with various guys for coffee and it didn't work out, but in a way, I'm kind of happy it didn't, too.

Let's say - hypothetically - that after my first or second try, I met the "love of my life" through Tinder. Though I would have had a new partner and companion to confide in, I would have missed out on meeting and talking to so many new people. Coming out of a long-term relationship, I definitely wasn't ready to dive into a new situation where I'd have to dedicate all of my time and energy to one individual again. Making friends, however, was definitely something I wanted and needed to do.

See, I've always liked the idea of online dating apps as an introvert because I feel like I can get to know someone on a more personal level than if you go to a club or something of that nature. I'm normally not one to go to bars, but I've gone to a few the past month or so (for the first time ever!), and I still declare that it's not a good way to meet someone and talk to them even as friends.

Tinder, for me, has become more of a friend/confidant search tool rather than a dating - or, as it's notoriously known - hook-up app.

Because of Tinder, I've met friends from all across the city - people I'd never have gotten the opportunity to meet or speak to in any other instance. I've made friends who are big hockey fanatics like I am, friends who I discuss religion with, friends who studied English like I did, friends who love classical music as much as I do... I even met my tattoo artist through Tinder!

Truthfully, some of these friendships happened because of a failed attempt at a "romantic" connection, but I can't say I'm unhappy with how things went. When you meet someone in person, it usually wipes away the rose-colored glasses you see them under, and only then can you see you two were better meant as friends. Because of these "failed" connections, I now have an arsenal of awesome guys who are there for me as much as I am for them. We're there for each other in different ways as well. We can discuss dating and romance and things like that without intertwining mixed feelings for each other, which is truly refreshing.

So, as you're reading this, I want you to realize that you shouldn't shy away from Tinder or other dating apps just because you've heard bad things. Like anything, you're going to get out of it what you put into it. I put a lot of effort into my profile, picture choice, and conversations, and I normally get back what I put out into the world. Of course I've gotten creeps and weirdos in spite of how much I try to filter my way past them, but for the most part, people leave you to your own devices unless you're actively seeking a certain type of encounter.

Universally, there's still a stigma around the idea of admitting that we as a generation use apps like Tinder to find dates, love, or fulfill our lustful desires. But frankly, I don't care what people think anymore. I used to be too shy to admit that I use this app, but I found that the more open I am about it, the more I discover a majority of my friends use or have used it in the past as well.

Tinder can be an awesome app for developing friendships, dating, and maybe even finding love.

For me, I've only known the former.

And for now, that's perfectly okay.

Cover Image Credit: CollegeMagazine.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Stop Making Instagram Your Only Outlet For Social Activism

Instagram is a great place to spread awareness, but stop confusing your desire for clout with your desire to save the world.


Instagram is, without a doubt, one of my guiltiest pleasures. I often find myself spending way too much time on social media, caught up in the world of likes, filters, and hashtags. On the daily, I scroll through hundreds of selfies, beach pictures, happy birthday posts, and the occasional dog pictures. I am all for posting whatever you want on your Instagram account and personally hate the so-called "rules" that govern how we use social media.

Just as the use of Instagram and other forms of social media keeps growing, so has our generation's awareness of social issues. Everywhere I go, I get reminded of the issues our world is facing. Whether it be plastic, global warming, poverty, animal rights, etc., it is clear that our generation wants to see a change. Even though this is amazing, recently I've noticed that so many people my age are confusing the true desire to spread social awareness with the desire to make their Instagram account look better.

A few months ago on Earth Day, my Instagram feed was flooded with pictures of nature. Almost all of these pictures were of girls at the beach, or hiking with their friends, or even taken from the window of an airplane. While the idea of posting about how much you love the Earth and want to save it is a harmless idea, it does nothing to actually save the planet.

I fully support posting a picture of yourself at the beach, and showing off your confidence, but don't post it on Earth Day, pretending it's the ocean behind you that you care about. If you really want to save the Earth and make a difference, posting a yearly Earth Day picture of yourself is not the way to do it. Wanting likes and clout on social media is a part of how today's generation values themselves and each other, but thinking that this is actually promoting any form of social justice is plain wrong.

More recently, videos of baby calves being taken away from their mothers (highlighting the truth behind the dairy industry) have been flooding my social media feed. These videos are heartbreaking, and I am sure that the people posting them truly think they are horrific as well. Posting this type of content is a great way to spread initial awareness, but don't let it be your only outlet for promoting justice for the things you care about.

Social media keeps our world extremely interconnected, and without it, awareness of many of the problems our world is facing wouldn't reach nearly as far as it does. I'm not saying that using Instagram to spread awareness is a bad idea, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be your only outlet for doing so.

If you hate how much plastic our world consumes, go around to local stores and restaurants and ask them to cut their use of plastic. If you hate how the dairy industry treats cows, become a vegan. Promoting awareness while not actually doing anything to change the issues at hand is useless. Our generation is so strong and powerful, and we all need to stop hiding behind our desire for Instagram likes and start actually changing the things we care about.

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