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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Tinder dating app: your guide to online speed dating

There is a common saying to the effect of “there’s an app for that,” and if you use the saying, you are almost never wrong.

We can pay our taxes with an app, read a book, deposit a check, and find the nearest bathroom (a real blessing on a long road trip). Apps seem to make our life a whole lot easier, so it was only a matter of time before we started dating through one.

Tinder, the fast-growing app of the hour, is essentially online speed dating (without the fee and possibility of sitting across from someone who had too much garlic in their lunch). It works like this: first you download the app and sync it with your Facebook account. Tinder then generates a brief profile of you, including a few pictures taken from your Facebook site. Once you’re synched, you set a perimeter of how far you are willing to go to connect with that special someone (100 miles being the limit).

Now it is time to Tinder. The app presents you with a series of profiles of individuals who meet your geographic criteria. You see one picture of the other individual (you can look at more pictures if you feel so inclined) and have two options to pick: The green heart for yes, or a red X for no. If both two people both say yes to each other, a conversation can be started between the interested parties.

I have to say, when I first heard about tinder I had some interesting flashbacks to the Chatroulette fad that was all the rage three years ago (oh, the things we wish we could un-see). Chatroulette, like Tinder, was all about checking something out and hitting next if you didn’t want to stay on that screen. However, Tinder seems a little bit different. It’s geographically based, and you get some information about the person you are looking at.

Seeing as I am not (and will never be) an iPhone user, I have yet to experience the Tinder app for myself; however, I have a few friends who are active on the site. Surprisingly enough, some of those friends have formed genuine connections with fellow tinder-mates. It seems as though busy people (at least 35 million of them) appreciate the lack of cost and convenience of this online speed dating. Let’s face it, Tinder isn’t all that different from meeting someone you don’t know at the bar- and it’s a whole lot easier to walk away.

Part of me wants to hate Tinder. How can something that is supposed to be so sacred be reduced to a mere swipe of the finger? Yet due to the success that some of my friends have had on the site I can’t quite dismiss it.

My advice (act like you want to hear it): have fun on Tinder, but tread carefully. You don’t want to end up like Manti Te’o.
ccolleran@lanthorn.com



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