Remember the first message you received on Tinder? You probably felt weird, thinking how creepy it was that this conversation was based on a mutual “like” of looks. But once you got rolling on the app, you were addicted once and for all. When it was the hottest new thing, everyone downloaded the app out of sheer curiosity. Although the hype has since died down, the college population remains alive and well on the dating app–here’s why:
1. Um, duh. Procrastination.
You know that syndrome that compels us to type Facebook into a browser without even thinking about it, especially when we have work to do? Tinder takes it to a new level. Even if you don’t necessarily answer or send any messages, or even keep your profile updated, you keep coming back to check out other profiles. Or maybe just to mindlessly avoid that paper due tomorrow. Endlessly scrolling through Facebook doesn’t compare to the addictive nature of the left swipe.
2. New and interesting conversation…sometimes
Tinder shows any common interests with a potential match based on your “liked” pages on Facebook. This feature makes it easy for music lovers to find their obscure indie pop soulmates—or even just someone to join them at concerts. Even if you have no similar interests, one-time conversations with people you never would have chatted with otherwise can be fun and maybe even inspiring. Imagine that, enlightenment via Tinder.
3. Getting a nice dose of sweet talk
If you talk to your Tinder-obsessed friends, they’ll likely say that their presence on the app solely satiates their need for attention while drunk. Sure, many use it to find late-night hookup opportunities, but it goes beyond that. Drunken heart-to-hearts can only go so far with the friends you see every weekend, maybe even every day. Those deep (and ridiculous) talks are all the more fulfilling with strangers, and downloading Tinder is like placing talkative strangers right in your pocket.
4. Looking for new friends
Everyone knows Tinder as a dating app. Interestingly enough; the app’s slogan reads, “It’s how people meet.” Nothing about dating there. Whether using the app results in party connections, Internet friends or people to get coffee with, meeting new people allows you to leave the bubble of college—or perhaps to explore new areas of that same bubble. It’s easy to hang around the same ten people all four years, even though thousands of people you’ve never met are just within reach.
5. Looking for “friends”
Drunk or not, students on Tinder look for casual hookups. Whether or not it actually works seems to be a secret that people just don’t talk about. You never hear “I met her on Tinder.” You do hear “I met her at some party.” The FWB type is either embarrassingly blatant about looking for hookups or says “Just looking for new people to talk to!” This often coincides with drunken sweet talk, but not necessarily. Tinder users just want to have fun.
6. Looking for actual dates
Despite that common misconception that no one dates in college, some people do crave some chivalry. When it seems like they’ve exhausted all options on campus but are still really into the idea of getting to know someone, they turn to Tinder. Even though it probably rarely results in a successful relationship, it doesn’t hurt to look. Sometimes it seems like the only option for those who don’t want to look for a significant other in a sweaty frat party.
7. Seeing what’s out there
Yes, aimless swiping results from severe procrastination. But it also benefits those recently dumped folk. They don’t necessarily want to meet someone new on Tinder, but it can be helpful just to look. It’s like the cliché “There are other fish in the sea” making itself known right before your eyes. A few cuties in the mix might inch you closer to getting over your ex.
8. Building up self-esteem
Along the same lines, people just out of relationships, even if not necessarily looking for a new fling, could probably use a little confidence boost. Then again, who couldn’t? Even if you never respond to any of those slightly annoying “Hey beautiful”s, there’s no harm in receiving them. College students don’t even have to send a single message on Tinder to keep them coming back to the app.
(Main Photo By Tinder Memes)