Back in March (right around the time we got sent home for the semester), I hopped on Tinder for the first time. To be completely honest, it wasn't even my idea. One late night with my brother's girlfriend, we got especially bored and she had the brilliant idea to set up a Tinder account for me.
I'm not going to lie to you, it was weird, but I ended up learning a lot about myself those first few days. We picked a few pictures from my camera roll, put in a bio that was more of a conversation starter, and got to swiping. For the first few hours, we looked at several profiles and swiped, and then the messages started rolling in. Now as a girl with anxiety, this REALLY stressed me out. I hate having unanswered notifications on my phone, and I was getting a crazy number of messages. Some weird, some corny, some sweet, and some pretty awesome pickup lines. The best part was adding guys on snapchat just to see pictures of their dogs (that was my bio, my dogs were still the cutest).
I met a few great guys, but none of them really worked out. I had some really great conversations and realized I'm a little more outgoing than I may have realized. I usually keep to myself and let people come to me. I'm not typically the one to start up conversations, but this time I started A LOT of them. I also learned more about my confidence and body image. I came to realize that the way I see myself isn't the way that others see me, and I should start seeing myself that way too. I saw that genuine human connection is still out there through some of the deeper conversations I sparked up. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though; I came across a few major weirdos and my screen time skyrocketed. I spent so much time on my phone that I was starting to get really detached and stressed out.
Overall, I'm glad I had my "Tinder phase". It helped me grow, in a really abnormal way. While it didn't lead me to the person I love today, it was a steppingstone on the path to that person. Personally, I don't think internet dating is for me, but I'm glad I had that experience.
So, thank you, Tinder. I wasn't expecting to learn so much from a dating app.