Ever think you could find the love of your life simply by swiping through a few of someone’s pictures and reading a byline or two, all from your smartphone? Lately, there has been a rise in the popularity of mobile applications such as Tinder that allow students to find, and potentially meet, other single students on their own college campuses and beyond by doing just that.
There is not one simple answer as to why these dating (though some have coined them “hook-up”) apps have become so popular among young adults in college, so I took to Fordham’s campus to ask a few students what they think.
Without any prior knowledge as to whether or not these students have used Tinder, their answers were pretty insightful.
When asked why students think these apps have become so popular, Lindsay Javitz, FCRH ’15, said that Tinder has become “another kind of gateway to the college lifestyle that provides students with easier solutions to find potential partners.” She continued, “It definitely provides an alternative lifestyle at college where people don’t have to leave their room to meet someone new. It’s more like a back and forth on a screen where it’s up to you to make it into something more.”
In response to the same question, Lauren Ramos, FCLC ’15, said that Tinder has made “meeting people easier and much simpler, especially since you don’t have to travel far. It’s definitely superficial, almost like a game.”
(Joshua Kim/The Ram)
Applications like Tinder are interesting because of the way the app is designed. It is programmed to survey the local area for people who have also made profiles and, in turn, locate one’s own profile in relation to others. It also allows users to customize their mileage settings, so that they can select how large of a radius they want in order to single out closer matches. In such a college setting, this goes to show how minimal the effort has become.
Natalie Galarza, FCRH ’15, said that what makes Tinder thrive is that it has taken away a bit of the anxiety that comes from having to approach someone at a club or bar. “Why go out when you can just meet someone you’ve matched with later on in the week at a convenient time? That’s what attracts college students to these applications, especially with their busy schedules. Sometimes students do not want to go out and party and would rather hook up and date on their own times and terms,” Galarza said.
Rachel Lee, FCLC ’15, said that “it has become a very easy way to put yourself out there without the fear of getting rejected.”
Funnily enough, these mobile apps have also been described as superficial by some of Fordham’s students.
Kedwien Valdez, FCRH ’15, remarked that while “Tinder is fun, it’s also pretty shallow. But that’s okay because students are all trying to reach the same goal when they make these profiles. Intentions aren’t really hidden through Tinder.” No shame in the dating game, there.
When asked whether mobile dating apps have ultimately provided an alternative to the hook-up culture already evident throughout many college campuses worldwide, students’ answers were mostly consistent.
Ramos argued that the hook up culture “has definitely enhanced because of how superficial it has become. Instead of getting all dressed up, going to a dark club and trying to figure out whether someone in the dimly lit corner is cute, you can just go on your phone and swipe through someone’s pictures.”
Galarza said, “College is already stigmatized to be about hooking up, so these apps provide an easier route except with a lot less fear.”