Getting a date can be hard. Even with over 50,000 students on the 40 Acres, the potential obstacles of finding a new love interest are numerous. Whether too busy balancing work and school or not the smoothest single on the block, students can be easily dissuaded from pursuing new romantic interests. However, not all hope is lost: Tinder and other dating apps can be a helpful solution to many qualms. Students should recognize the benefits of Tinder and consider incorporating it into their social lives.
For students short on spare time, Tinder serves as a quicker alternative to conventional socializing. Swiping through potential matches is easy and accessible at anytime, almost everywhere: in between classes, while taking the bus to work or just before going to bed. To meet someone you click with, blocking out multiple hours to go out and socialize isn’t necessary. For those of us who find nights out fruitless and exhausting, Tinder whittles down the hours of searching for a potential date and gives you a lot more flexibility.
Tinder is also a helpful tool for students who may not feel comfortable or confident in meeting new people. Unlike online dating, Tinder doesn’t require meticulous and detailed bios. The self-consciousness that comes with displaying your entire life story for internet strangers is lessened with a short bio and six pictures. The fear of rejection is also reduced, because conversation is only possible once both swipers have signified interest in each other. Of course, there is still the possibility that the other person may not be interested after messaging, but you know there is at least some interest before starting a conversation.
So why does Tinder seem to be the butt of every pop culture joke? Many critics claim that dating apps distract from reality, and meeting on the internet is impure or not genuine. However, Tinder is designed to be a vehicle for meeting people, not the foundation of relationships. All these dating apps do is help connect singles, so they can develop a relationship beyond the internet.
For Bea Gilmore, geography and Spanish sophomore, using Tinder actually improved social skills in organic interactions.
Gilmore said in a text message that she “used to be extremely shy and would avoid talking to people,” but the no-pressure conversations with people on Tinder eased her anxiety and “helped [her] get over [her] fear” in face-to-face interactions.
Furthermore, the “hook up app” stigma surrounding Tinder is very narrow-minded. Certainly, people swipe for one-night stands, but this demographic does not represent the majority of users. Although students should use dating apps for sexual experiences if they are so inclined, others should not be deterred from trying them out because of this reputation, as there are lots of potential matches who are looking for more than a hookup.
College isn’t getting easier any time soon, and the length of the day isn’t increasing either. In the meantime, students should try out Tinder or other similar dating apps and look beyond the negative stigmas. The potential for a fun date is just a swipe away!
Larcher is an economics and Plan II freshman from Austin. Follow her on Twitter @veg_lomein.