Speed dating with Tinder

Monica Velez

Has technology made it possible to literally have love at your fingertips? Or are apps just another thing that help an hour break go by faster?

Whichever one it is, online dating has become more relevant in recent years, becoming a legitimate way to connect and meet people, especially with dating apps like Tinder.

Tinder has been around since September 2012 and uses Facebook to gather basic information and match compatibility by mutual friends, common interests and geographical locations.

Users also have the power to change the age range and location.

User profiles display the person’s age, how many miles away they are, the last time they were active on the app and whatever picture or biography they offer.

Tinder works by displaying photographs of different people to the user, and you either swipe left for a “dislike” or right for a “like.” When two people both hit “like,” Tinder lets each of them know they have a match and have the option of messaging each other.

There are many different views of the dating app. Controversies between it being a place for hook-ups or a genuine place to date people.

Robert Surratt, 22, has encountered different girls that have had both intentions on their minds, and said every guy he knows that has joined Tinder did it for the sex.

“Women are a mixed bag,” said Surratt. “Some are there for sex but don’t admit it at first, some are there for relationships and a lot are on there because they’re bored.”

However, Tinder has had positive impacts to dating as well.

Michael Bradley, 26, said it helps him to lean away from the people that he probably wouldn’t be compatible with and get the chance to meet people that enjoy doing the same activities as him.

Bradley has also experienced the negative side, making him question whether or not online dating is for him.

“I would say 60 percent of people are there trying to hook up because you’ll see just pictures and people don’t even put a description, so obviously it’s all about the superficial as opposed to emotional and intellectual,” said Bradley.

Similarly, Yvette Castellanos, 26, has tried opening up to the idea of online dating and has met a variety of different people through Tinder, most being short-lived.

“If I’m out somewhere, it’s more likely that someone is going to look on their phone like, ‘Oh I like this person, they matched me,’ so there is more assurance if someone has an attraction to you as well, as opposed to going to someone at the bar or a restaurant,” said Castellanos.

Although the reassurance of attraction is the safer route, and getting rejected at the bar will never be ideal, one must ask: Has this generation completely killed chivalry and romance through impersonalized dating profiles?

In Bradley’s and Castellanos’s opinion, chivalry is dead and technology has the power to change relationships.

“Whenever I go out and do the whole flower thing and open the door I hear gasps, or a look of awe, and they’re like, ‘Woah, I’ve never seen this before,’” said Bradley.

Getting matched with somebody can simply be the difference between a left or right swipe on a smartphone, and even though there is a larger selection of potential dates, the human connection disintegrates at the same time.

“People are more disposable, because if you decide you don’t like someone you can get another match in 10 swipes,” said Surratt. “It seems like a lot of girls try to get by on pictures and a lot are good with trick photography.”

The power of a smartphone is more relevant in today’s culture than ever before, dating now being as easy as downloading an application.

Whether Tinder profiles are being used for hook-ups or relationships, it does bring people together that might have never encountered one another.

“I guess it has its positives, I’m just trying to stay away from it I guess,” said Bradley. “I’m trying to go back to the old school way of just meeting someone randomly… I’m trying to stay away from social media because it conquers the world, and I just don’t want to be a part of it.”