By Peter Finegan
Kutztown University, among nearly every other college in the country, is home to a new social media dating trend called Tinder. On a campus comprised of nearly 10,000 undergrads on 289 acres, one would think that meeting people could not get much easier. Well, it has.
The new iPhone and Android app has spread across campus and is redefining the college dating scene. According to a poll of 20 Kutztown students, nearly 35 percent of Kutztown undergrads have or still use the app.
The app is simple, signed in through Facebook, users are connected to each other using their location services on their mobile phone. When liking somebody’s short profile and picture, swipe right, if they are not for you, swipe left. Users will only be matched together to chat if each user likes the other’s profile.
According to Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, nearly 10 million Tinder matches are being made around the country each day with 750 million “swipes” allowing people to connect that may have never met otherwise.
“Roughly 45 percent of those who use tinder are women and the other 55 percent are men making the app almost evenly distributed among sexes,” said Mateen.
A random poll of 20 Kutztown University undergrads shows that 7-out-of-20 have or are still using the app to meet new people on campus.
Junior pre-med major Mike Jarrell says, “I’ve been using the app for months now. My major requires a lot of my time and it’s sometimes difficult to get out and meet girls. The app has helped me set up two dates in just the past month.”
“If you think somebody is attractive or want to ask them out in person, you risk denial which can be devastating for most people. You just don’t know if somebody thinks you are attractive or if they even notice you. Tinder breaks down that barrier because you both know that you at least have some sort of commonality,” Jarrell said.
Unlike most online dating and social media apps that pair people based on common interests, Tinder filters out all the unnecessary noise and simply lets people who want to communicate do so.
“I personally have never used a dating app, and when we did a poll, 96 percent of our users have also never used a dating app. So we’re tapping into a different demographic,” said Mateen.
While there are many success stories with using the app to find dates and creating real relationships, some students found the app repulsive and a knock off way to meet somebody.
“I just don’t see how you can judge somebody based on looks and a few words. I downloaded the app when it first came out and nearly every guy I got matched with was just looking for a one-night stand,” says sophomore business management major, Jaclyn Johnston.
“I believe in face-to-face communication and asking somebody out in person. This app is ruining that experience for its users. After all, half the fun of dating is having the courage to ask somebody out in person,” Johnston said.
Tinder’s users are increasing each day and the app is now spreading to other countries and can be used in 46 languages worldwide. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad said “It’s just the beginning.”