SHEPHERDSTOWN – Tinder is a social matchmaking platform introduced to the public in August of 2012. Although the application was originally intended to be for college campuses, Tinder became a socially accepted public integration tool for users 18 and older.
Using Facebook profiles, Tinder has the ability to access first names, ages, pictures and interests, and broadcasts them on Tinder profiles. Using a global positioning system, or GPS, users can set a mileage distance, which allows them to narrow down their search options. Along with distance, users can also set an age range based on their own preferences.
Once a Tinder profile has been made, potential match candidates are shown one at a time. Based on the candidates, users have the option to anonymously swipe right, which means yes, or swipe left, which means no. If two users are interested in one another, Tinder will “match” them, which allows the two users to direct message each other.
Although there is much debate whether this application was originally intended to be used for dating or not, it is a widely used resource of communication among Shepherd University students, and the Shepherdstown community.
Of the six Shepherd students interviewed, two said they used Tinder for fun, three said they used it to meet new people and one said he did not use it because he is newly single.
“I just got out of a relationship and I would rather meet someone in person,” Jake, 21, said.
All students interviewed asked that their last names not be used.
Cassidy, 23, said she used Tinder openly when she was single because she wanted to meet new people.
“I wasn’t hanging out with anyone, and a friend showed me the app and I thought it was kind of cool,” Cassidy said. “I was serious about meeting anyone in person. I met this guy on Tinder who I actually went to a concert with.”
Cassidy said she set her distance to 25 miles because she wanted to meet local people.
“I was really picky about the people I matched with on tinder. I would find myself swiping left so fast that I would accidentally swipe over someone I wanted to match with. I knew what I was looking for.”
Courtney, 18, said, “I use Tinder to meet people, have cool conversations, and for entertainment purposes. I have actually met a few people via Tinder in person and made some friends. No relationships have come from Tinder. I just became really good friends with someone I met.”
Courtney said she has her distance set to 50 miles.
“I have a few consistent people that I talk to on Tinder,” Courtney said. “I’ll talk to them every few days or something.”
Billy Mars, 23, said he uses Tinder for fun, but would be willing to meet someone in person if he were asked.
Sam, 20, also uses Tinder for fun.
“I guess the potential is there, but it’s just to kill time,” he said.
Sam has his distance set to 35 miles. When asked if his standards change when using the application compared to meeting someone in person, Sam said, “I have higher standards when using the app, actually. Group pictures bug me and it depends on what the girl is doing in her pictures. For instance, if a girl is smoking a cigarette in one of her pictures, that’s an instant turn-off.”
Kara, who declined to give her age, said she uses Tinder to meet new people.
“I’m not there for hookups. It’s hard meeting guys when you work four jobs, and you can weed out the creeps almost instantly,” she said.