I used to be so anti-Tinder it was crazy. The thought of someone basing your worth on a couple of pictures and a short bio was disgusting to me. I also didn't have the self-esteem to think I'd ever even get matches. I never thought that I'd be on the app, but a couple of months into my freshman year of college, thanks to a whole lot of boredom and curiosity, I took a leap of faith and downloaded Tinder.
My college experience was then changed.
Within a few days, I was talking to quite a few guys. I found myself crushing on a guy who lived in the building across the street from me. I'd get nervous when I'd see him on the bus stop right outside of my dorm. That was just the beginning. I started going on Tinder dates — from movies to walks around campus at 10 pm to dining hall dinners. As someone who was pretty shy, Tinder was my main way into the college dating scene. I honestly don't think I would've really ever met anyone if it wasn't for that app.
But as I look back on my college experience, if I could change one thing, I would've never downloaded Tinder to begin with.
I started putting my worth into it. I took it too seriously. If I saw someone that seemed like a perfect match for me and we never connected, or they'd unmatch me after I sent a message, I'd be devastated. I felt like I always needed to have someone messaging me and asking for my attention, even if all of their attention was purely sexual. Not only was it a form of entertainment but it was also something that truly kept me going.
I was naïve through a majority of my Tinder conversations. In some ways, I still am. Even after going through Tinder heartbreak after another, I still kept going, allowing guys to use me and then ghost me and hate myself for it afterward. Tinder guys know their game and they knew exactly how to wrap in innocent girls like me.
If it wasn't for Tinder, I would have never met many of the guys who broke my heart (and inspired plenty of the things that I've written in my life). Sure, I wouldn't have learned the lessons that came along with that, but I also would've avoided the pain. Yes, that means that my relationship with my ex would've never come to be, but I'm to the point in my life where I can calmly say that I wouldn't mind if I would've never met him. I wouldn't mind if I never met any of these Tinder boys who screwed me over.
Tinder brought me a few good things, like self-confidence looking back at the number of matches I was actually able to get, an ability to tell even the shittiest of guys where to go, a couple good laughs at the wild pick-up lines guys are willing to send, and a few friendships that have carried on for a long time. But when I look back on it, the bad does outweigh the good, and does leave me wondering why so many people flock to that app as the main way to find any type of relationship — whether that be hookups or something serious or fall somewhere else on that spectrum.