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‘Hook-up’ apps: Taking a swipe at online dating

Sophia Xepoleas

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Illustration by J.Q. Hammer

I sat in a crowded room full of drunken pickup lines and sexual tension only to find myself fixated on my phone and uninterested in the company surrounding me. It was like a drug, I couldn’t stop. And the more I did it, the more I wanted to continue.

When you find yourself on a dating app at a bar, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

While some may judge others for using such a superficial and stereotypically desperate tool, some embrace the culture of Tinder.

Upon creating a profile, you must first sync the app to Facebook, choose a handful of your socially acceptable pictures, write a little something about yourself and then partake in one of the shallowest activities there is.

You can either choose to swipe left, in which case a large “NOPE” will stamp across the profile of your hopeful stranger. Or you can swipe right, leaving a large “LIKE” stamp that subsequently leads to digital vulnerability.

To receive a match, both members of the party must like each other’s profiles, in which case you’re then able to message each other and attempt to charm your way into getting a phone number.

On paper this seems pretty straightforward and innocent. But I assure you that more often than not this escalates quickly.

As a past and rather avid user of Tinder (not proud), I have experienced quite the range of discussion in my time spent on the app.

The conversations range anywhere from the painfully unoriginal “Hey, what’s up,” to the shameless, “Hey, I’m only here for a good time”, to a full-blown “Bohemian Rhapsody” lyric battle.

The difference in conversation varies with the type of person you’re dealing with, and what they are trying to get out of the interaction.

Women, being the hopeful creatures that we are, can sometimes take Tinder conversations too seriously. Men, on the other hand, tend to see the app as a one-way ticket to pound town.

Although it’s essentially just a dating app, Urban Dictionary defines Tinder as “the McDonald’s of sex,” and I’m not sure if I would disagree. I would argue that Tinder is just one step ahead of Craigslist’s “casual encounters.”

Although never fully stated or put in writing, Tinder has evolved into somewhat of a “hook-up” app. This implication is what tends to create problems.

High expectations for your Tinder match will only lead to disappointment. Keep in mind that there are a lot of strange people out there who will say anything and everything behind a computer screen.

So if you decide to partake in this alarmingly addictive app, make sure not to take it too seriously. Although some people preach about their Tinder successes, the chances of finding yourself on a painfully awkward date is much more likely.

Sophia Xepoleas can be reached at [email protected] or @soph_mxx on Twitter.

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‘Hook-up’ apps: Taking a swipe at online dating