(MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)
One can swipe right on a person’s photo on Tinder if they are interested. Swiping left, on the other hand, is reserved for those one is not interested in. (MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)

Finding a date on Friday night used to mean having to shower, dress up nicely and put on the ‘ol charm at college party or bar. Now, students standing in the SAC line for Doritos or relaxing in bed with flannel pants and a dirty T-shirt are swiping through countless hook-up options.

How exactly is the aforementioned phenomena accomplished? Tinder, which is not magic but very close to it, is an app created for meeting and matching up locals. For college students, Tinder creates a seemingly endless list of gorgeous boys and girls to look through. But even though Tinder is mainly classified as a hook-up app, it is capable of being a place not just for booty calls, but a way to meet someone serious or even fulfill the simple need of giving you someone to interact with.

According to their webpage, Tinder is described a place for people to meet, and that is exactly what it is. When you open Tinder, you will automatically be presented with a profile, male or female, depending on what you are looking for. If you think the person is cute, you swipe right. If you are not feeling it, swipe the picture to the left. The only way you get “matched” with another person is if you both swiped right on each other’s profiles. A chat room then opens up, and the rest is just making conversation.

“It’s such an ego boost,” Sarah Eller, a sophomore political science major, said. “It’s such a nice feeling to know that you got swiped right on.”

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Because the app is connected with Facebook, shared interests or mutual friends that you may have with other Tinder profiles will show up, trying to create common ground for you to talk about if you get matched with someone. But if you begin chatting with the person and do not want to pursue meeting the match in person, you can simply leave them alone. It is not a dating site, so there are no obligations.

“If somebody asks me to go get coffee I just politely say no,” Eller said. “I use it for the fun of it, but I don’t take it seriously.”

A large number of Tinder users, however, do use it with the intention of meeting up with somebody. Some people go on Tinder trying to get a serious relationship out of it. For others, if a meet up happens to go exceptionally well, a second meet up might come from it, even if it was not planned.

Other users though have no intention of continuing past a first date or meet up. Some users exchange no more than a few messages to each other, just to agree on a time and place to meet up and do the dirty deed.

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“I just like getting laid,” Lucas Balzer, a freshman photography major at City College of New York, said. “It’s basically a bottomless well of women that I can hook-up with. It’s kind of hard to see a downside.”

What makes Tinder so unique is that it does not meet one specific criterion. Some students use it for the confidence boost. Others use it to find someone nearby to have fun with one a Friday night. But that’s the real beauty of Tinder: it is what you want it to be. You could spend hours talking to someone about politics, or you could spend two seconds just saying hi. It does not matter what you do with the app, you just have to enjoy it. Every human has a need for other humans, and Tinder is a great way to fulfill that need.

 

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