A Goose and A Gander Let’s talk about Tinder, hook-ups, relationships, and more

By Catalina Righter and Dan Teano

News Editor and Elm Staff Writer

In this day and age it seems that most are using dating apps to hook-up with new people instead of getting to know someone face-to-face. This week Cat and Dan are talking about their experiences with dating apps, specifically Tinder, and the types of people they have met. Whether you swipe left or right, you are sure to have an interesting experience when using Tinder. Check out what Cat and Dan have to say about it.

Cat says…Tinder is a tricky thing to talk about, and I think that’s because there are so many different types of expectations. The app seems to offer a very simple premise: look at a selection of people and choose the ones you want to hang out with, but because humans are creative and complicated little mammals, different people have wildly different uses for the app.  Here’s my quick and dirty guide to the types of people you’ll run into most often on Tinder.

The Straight-Shooter:

Bless their hearts, these are the people who are using Tinder as a traditional dating app. They look for people with shared interests and usually post pictures of activities like hiking and boating. Common catchphrase: “I’m looking for someone who likes a good conversation.”

The Swipe and Dodge: 

These are the people who aren’t looking for any kind of commitment from a Tinder match. They just want instant gratification. When most people think of Tinder, they think of swipe-and-dodgers because the setup of the Tinder app lends itself well to quick hookups. Usually their profiles will consist of some type of sexy photo and a pic of a cute pet because one or the other will attract most potential matches. A subcategory of the swipe-and-dodge is the swipe-and-won’t-leave-you-alone-even-when-you’ve-turned-down-their-propositions-for-sex-three-times-already. These are the type of people that end up on the Tumblr blog “Guys of Tinder.” Common catchphrase: “Swipe right for a good time.”

The Class Clown:

These people are actually looking for some kind of romantic action from Tinder, but they use  straight-up weirdness to stand out from the pack and hopefully attract a mate with a sense of humor. You will know you’ve found a clown when an inflatable ostrich costume pops up on your feed causing you to swipe a hard left or right. Common catchphrase: “Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got fine written all over you.”

The Troll:

These people are either just so curious about the Tinder culture that they made a profile just to check it out, or they’re using the app for a “social experiment” where they can send weird messages to strangers with little consequence. The first subtype will probably have a photo of themselves with their significant other or making weird faces. The second subtype will probably be masquerading as a goldfish. Neither is looking to meet up. Common catchphrase: “Did you just fart? Because you blew me away.”

The No Good, Very Bad, Stay Away:

Remember that on Tinder you are essentially talking to strangers and be cautious. Look out for people who pretend to have casual conversations but are actually looking to collect personal information from you. If you meet an online beau in real life, meet in public and make sure you have a friend who knows where you’re going and when you should be home. For more Tinder safety tips, go to www.gotinder.com/safety.

Dan says…“How did I end up sharing a bite sized blueberry scone with a stranger?” I thought to myself. I had to deal with the situation as best as I could. What followed was tense conversation with guarded emotions and mixed signals. Only occasionally did we look each other in the eye, but more often our eyes would droop down to our phones.

It all started with a swift swipe to the right. Today’s dating world is ruled by the all too convenient mobile apps such as Tinder, the product of the teenage hookup culture. Out of curiosity I decided to try it out for a week. While it seemed like a wholly innocent idea at the time, I soon found the several underlying cons.

Some use dating apps such as Tinder to meet new people and sometimes those new people provide some interesting experiences. Will you swipe left or right?
Some use dating apps such as Tinder to meet new people and sometimes those new people provide some interesting experiences. Will you swipe left or right?

In my spare time, I would frequent the app, swiping left on some and right on others, depending on the person’s profile. After only a couple minutes, it dawned on me that this app was made purely for convenience and efficiency. Thus, if I spent more than a minute going through all of someone’s pictures and reading their bio, I was defeating the very purpose of the app. In the end all I wanted was a match. With this realization, I swiped right on everyone, as many probably do, not thinking twice about who appeared on my phone screen. As expected, I had matches at a much higher rate than I had prior to my new carefree technique.

After a list full of matches, I now had to endure the hardest part of the online dating experience—starting a conversation. Not surprisingly, only a handful of people replied to my introductory messages. Especially on Tinder, striking up a conversation is one of the toughest feats. As one can get thousands of messages by the hour, I had to come up with a thoughtful, comical, and intriguing opening line. From my experience “Hey” does not fit that criteria.

Finally, after breaking the ice by simply typing out their name with an exclamation point at the end of it, I somehow managed to arrange a date with my match. Though it seemed adult-like and contrary to the underlying purpose of the app, we agreed to get coffee.

There I was sitting across from her, staring blankly at the leftover crumbs, and wishing I had broken off a bigger piece for myself. It wasn’t a date, it was more of a big reveal to see how compatible and intimate we could be. After we ran out of small talk the date ended abruptly, and we both went our separate ways.

Most likely my underwhelming Tinder experience wasn’t typical for most. I have many friends who have had their fair share of success, but not me. Almost immediately I deleted the app from my phone without hesitation. Although Tinder could lead many to enjoyable experiences, in retrospect, I saw how it changed my outlook on people. When I was on Tinder people were reduced to objects of desire, and I could not care less about their personality. I barely took the time to read someone’s biography. In the end, nothing beats meeting people in person. From now on I’ll stick to the old school face-to-face conversations and give up on finding my Tinderella.

Photo by Emily Stakem

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