Yukata TsutanoOnline dating has recently been given new life. Ever since iPhones and smartphones began to dominate in the world of mobile phones, and the Internet became readily accessible with a touch or indeed since their now appears to be an app for everything from booking flights to doing your groceries. Is it any wonder online dating is on the rise again, with the release of Tinder in September 2012.

“Tinder is a location based social discovery app that facilitates communication between mutually interested users”, which in layman’s terms means if you ‘like’ someone by hitting the green heart icon or swiping left and they like you back, and you ultimately ‘match’ there is the chance that you may actually get talking to through the messenger aspect of the app and could potentially go on date. Discussing the app makes me cringe, however I have heard of couples meeting on the app and making it work – these people have been categorized and aptly nicknamed “Tinderellas”. The app has quickly gained a reputation as being a game among its key demographic – men and women aged between 18 and 35. A demographic teemed with people searching for “the one” or over-run with sexual tension.
First launched at a University of Southern California party in 2012 it eventually expanded to other college campuses in the US and has since become known the world over as the go to app for dating, friendship and sex. Sixty per cent of users check it daily, while many check the app five to six times daily.
Using Facebook profiles, Tinder gathers users’ basic information and analyses users’ social graph to match potential candidates that are most likely to be compatible based on geographical location, number of mutual friends and common interests. However in reality (and based on personal experience) the majority of people who do appear on the app are completely random with no mutual friends or common interests utilized to see who could possibly be compatible.

It is interesting to me that people use an app to find dates and love in this day and age. It is a completely different way than what society of the late 20th century would have considered normal, in today’s society the ability to socially approach and interact with people we find attractive was left behind with the fear of the Y2K bug and looking for love has gone digital, like everything else. It seems that the old iTunes slogan “There’s an app for that!” is just as true and poignant as ever.

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