Searching for love? There’s an app for that. Seeking a flirty, Friday fling? There’s an app for that. Gays and straights alike can now use their smart phones to connect with other singles on the same mission for romance. The evolution of dating and the growing addiction to immediate gratitude has taken finding relationships (or something of that nature) to the next level.
Tinder and Grindr are the personal ads for us Gen Y’ers. If you don’t use it, you likely have a friend that does.
Some create a profile as an experiment or even as a joke, but it seems that most users just suffer from “FOMO” (fear of missing out), a syndrome often provoked by today’s technological advances.
Since neither cost a penny, it isn’t surprising that together, these sites boast nearly 40 million profiles (whether real or fake—shout out to Manti Te’o!).
With a reputation as a hookup app for gay men, Grindr has seen impressive international success and is even celebrating its fourth birthday soon. There are options to chat, send photos and even block other users.
Flirting via technology just got a whole lot more daring with the overwhelmingly convenient ability to see the exact geographic location of other users, a feature that could make Spanish class a lot more interesting for some.
Even the name “Grindr” implies a short-lived satisfaction or perhaps a hint of danger because it is generally associated in one of three directions: scandalous dance moves, drug paraphernalia or someone who noisily rubs his teeth together. However you spin it, it lacks stability and longevity.
Tinder is a much newer app, which primarily targets heterosexuals and has infiltrated college campuses across the U.S. Surprisingly, its popularity skyrocketed after the Manti-Te’o-fake-girlfriend scandal in December.
Hopefully the correlation does not imply causation. Either way, students are really getting into this fad.
In downloading Tinder, you forfeit personal information, such as the last webpage you visited, and the app even has access to your publicly displayed information, photos, as well as the names and photos of your Facebook friends.
Non-users would like to thank their friends for allowing them to fall victim to being targeted by the unavoidable advertisements and online clutter it creates. However uncomfortable this invasion of privacy may be, I say it’s another genius marketing move.
The cheeky jargon used on the apps may even find itself sneaking into everyday conversation or, God forbid, pickup lines. “Would you swipe me to the left or to the right?” Consider yourself blocked.
Their serendipitous appeal encourages spontaneity. Not only is it thrilling to find a person mutually interested in you, but it seems to be implied that things are “casual,” until they are not.
Which leads to the next thin line to tread: Is everybody on the same page as to how the in-person meet up will go?
It seems more like an app to meet tomorrow’s regret. Not only can online photos be misleading, but as we know, college students have a knack for making terrible decisions. However, I could be very wrong. If the name “Tinder” holds true, it is the foundation for a fire. I suppose it also depends on what type of sparks you’re trying to ignite.
Some flames lead directly to disaster. The 2010 film “Catfish” portrayed an embarrassingly unsuccessful online relationship between a young photographer and a supposedly “beautiful model” that was actually a crazy old woman with a social disorder. Whoops.
At least the sucker from the movie landed a job hosting a show on MTV revolving around this very issue.
Probably the only MTV show I couldn’t want less to be on, other than “Teen Mom.”
I do have to wonder if anyone has listened closely enough to the lyrics of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song),” because sometimes the lady on the other side of the ad is actually your wife. Consider yourself warned.
So are these apps an online dating “don’t,” or are they revolutionizing finding relationships?
I say neither. It’s really just another harmless opportunity to interact via social media and check out hotties without the sting of rejection.