Editor’s Note: After setting up simple, somewhat matching accounts, two Collegian reporters spent two weeks actively participating on Tinder. Both Chapman and Randi swiped right to 40 consecutive individuals every weekday and 20 individuals each weekend. Their profiles included only one photo of their faces, a simple bio that described themselves in a few words and a quote. They each matched with both genders. Read Randi’s results here.
How well does Tinder hold up as a form of modern-day romance?
With Valentine’s Day just behind us, Tinder has been a hot topic as of late. Personally, I prefer picking up potential mates in the classic way, which is of course developing a crush on someone way out of my league and then hoping they’re braver than I am. However, in the spirit of the holiday, Randi Mattox and I decided to spend some time on Tinder to experience this modern form of romance.
For me, the experience was positive and simple. After swiping around 400 people, I ended up with 90 or so matches. Considering I was neither shirtless nor holding a puppy, I felt 1 in 4 was doing pretty well. However, I did match with more guys than gals, and without making too many assumptions, I think that it was only a portion of them who matched with me because they thought I was cute. What seems more likely to me is that men adopt a strategy of “swipe everyone right and see what sticks.” While I’m sure this works somewhat well for them, it seems like it could be a bit more confusing for those gentlemen who are also seeking gentlemen. Luckily for everyone there’s Grindr.
Of the 90 or so people I matched with, I received 23 messages. Three of these were from friends of mine, who either asked me what I was doing, or flirted with me jokingly. Of the 20 legitimate messages, three were from girls, which just goes to prove the theory that guys have to be the one to make the first move.
The messages were pretty boring, to be honest. The majority of guys who messaged me said the exact same thing: “hey.” While this isn’t a terrible way to start a chat, I’d rather have people send me pickup lines or something that starts an actual conversation. One guy did comment on the leaf on my head in the photo, so that was a nice break. The girls were far more interesting in their messages. All three of them sent at least one emoji, and one girl even sent a pretty sweet pickup line: “You’re like sharpie.. Ultra fine.” So, that pretty much made my day.
Overall, my experience was pretty tame. This completely contrasts experiences that my female friends have told me they’ve had. While girls definitely get more matches, the sort of messages that my friends have told me they’ve received have been pretty inappropriate. What does it say about our culture where men think the semi-anonymity of the Internet means they can start a discussion with a girl with blatant sexual questions? In my opinion, there’s a pretty obvious distinction between flirting and sexual harassment. However, this is simply my perspective as a male, so Randi’s experience might offer more validity into the situation.
One nice thing that came out of this experiment was that it made me feel attractive. I think there’s something about our society where guys don’t get complimented as much as the ladies, and it was nice to feel wanted simply based on how I look in a photo.
On the other hand, I was slightly stressed out by the experience. I came to realize I’m not super comfortable with the prospect of people judging my worth based simply on my appearance, but I also realize that this was solely my experience, and others may not have the same problem.
At the end of the day, Tinder just isn’t my style. I felt pressured to message people in order to start anything, and I honestly don’t know what would happen if I did succeed in going on a date. What do you do with a significant other? Do you need to feed them, or take them on walks? I recognize that people enjoy it, and some great relationships can come out of it, but I simply prefer meeting people in person.
Oh, and if you did happen to match with me and think I’m cute, a grasshopper coffee from the LSC is a surefire way to win my heart, and you can usually find me in the Student Media newsroom downstairs.
Collegian Reporter Chapman W. Croskell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Nescwick.