Online dating expands to pockets

We’ve all heard the scuffs revolving around online dating since the early 2000s. The chance to meet potential mates through a means of non-face-to-face interactions leaves some turned off.

This stigma doesn’t seem to hinder business. Between 2005 and 2012, as many as 35 percent of married couples in the United States met online, according to the National Academy of Sciences. This trend has grown larger than eHarmony. Demand has introduced the development of an array of different sites from, a dating site for people with STD’s, to, exclusively for beautiful people.

The community of online dating is expanding, and it’s finding it’s way into our pockets.

For those of you who are not familiar with this newfangled form of dating, let me update you. The trend has shifted from online dating sites, to applications on your smartphone. Apps like Tinder, Grindr and Zoosk allow you to interact and meet people near you without the hassle of actually, you know, meeting them.

In its simplest form, Tinder is a game of hot or not. A profile displays a person’s name, age, shared interest via Facebook, distance from your location, and how long ago they last used the app. A user is able to upload four photos and that’s it. From here you can approve or decline other users based on the scant information provided, be it age, looks, or whatever else you can gather. Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings because you can only communicate to another user if there is a mutual approval. Communication is similar to instant messaging, and is hosted on the app, so you’re able to talk to your matches through the site without giving out your phone number. Profiles are easy to produce—simply connect to your Facebook and fill out your bio which is referred to as a tagline.

From what I’ve gathered, people have had different responses to the Tinder app. Some see it as a nonthreatening way to meet hotties in their area. Others, a convenient way to find a decent hook up. In my shameless experience, Tinder is more of a game to play while passing time. I’ll admit it does fill me with a boosted sense of ego when “You’ve made a match!” fills the screen. I have conversed with a few major babes because of the app, but never with the sincere attempt to find a connection.

Whichever it may be for you, I’ve heard testimonials from both sides. Each comes with its own set of politics. To put it plainly, you get what you put into Tinder. If you’re looking for a hook-up, you’re able to modify your profile to reflect that, and vise versa.

No one is expecting anything from you because there is the barrier of quasi-anonymity. Maybe you match a hot creep that sends you inappropriate messages with an obnoxious amount of emoticons and blatant grammatical errors. Feel justice pulsate through you as you block their profile and swiftly erase them from your life.

Perhaps the most overwhelming response I’ve gathered is that Tinder is as shallow as its premise. It’s a game of hot or not that uses real people from your area—people that you may recognize from classes, or even your own friends. You base your judgments on superficial qualities, and that doesn’t settle right with some.

Perhaps four photos and a super neat tagline isn’t enough to determine if someone is right for you, but it does somehow capture the essence of dating—or at least the initial snapshot judgment of if a person seems compatible.

You encounter X-number of potential mates in one day—that is people that you could mate with—and yet you instinctually lookover most of them. You stare at the same three guys in your economics class or you only linger the thought of a few people from the gym.

It’s natural to not want to hook up with everyone you cross paths with, and most don’t find that shallow. That’s just dating.


Amanda Iron can be reached at [email protected].