When the pandemic hit, people were isolated and seeking human connection more than ever. Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble became very popular, as a convenient outlet to seek out new friends or lovers. Simply swiping through people’s profiles containing pictures, common interests, and mantras allowed users to get to know someone from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Tinder has been used by many people of all ages since 2012, when it was founded by 6 colleagues, one of which later left and started Bumble. Since then it has been very popular among college students, and even more so during the pandemic.
When the world went into lockdown, Tinder was a useful outlet for people to interact with others and make new connections. This year, Tinder has been awarded the 2022 Editors Top Pick innovative Award as well as Dating Sites Reviews Single’s Choice Gold Award, according to Dating Sites Reviewed.
Tinder is a place for everyone— from those looking for a quick fling to a long term relationship. Two University of Maryland students who wish to remain anonymous joined Tinder last fall during the peak of the pandemic.
Initially they were just “on there for hookups and not looking for a relationship,” said one of the anonymous UMD students.
After the students matched and met, they continued to use the app and to meet other people in addition to each other.
As they spent more time together, they realized that Tinder’s algorithm had finally worked, and that they wanted more than just a casual relationship.
“We realized that we had developed feelings and decided to be exclusive and deleted Tinder. Neither of us really saw it coming, but it just kind of happened organically which is surprising because we initially met on a hookup app,” they said. A year later they are still together and happier than ever.
As for a not-so-happy ending, sophomore public health science major Lauren Habighorst downloaded Tinder because she was recently single.
“I soon realized when I started using it, I had genuinely no interest in meeting the guys I met on there, because it felt unnecessary and a bit creepy,” Habighorst said. “I go on Tinder now if I’m bored just to swipe, and I’m honestly sure it’s just for a validation boost, but overall I don’t use the app as intended. I have never met anyone from it because for me it just feels forced and a little uncomfortable.”
The new smash-hit Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler, exposes the dark side of the dating app. Pernilla Sjöholm was one of the women in this film who joined the app looking for true love like in the movies.
“Everyone has that little bit of hope that it’ll be as magical as they say it will be…it sticks with you like a prince coming to save you,” she said in the documentary.
When she matched with seemingly rich and successful Simon Lievev, she thought she found it. She, along with many other women who he matched with, were lured into trusting him because of his good looks, wealth, and extravagant lifestyle. He convinced women that he was in serious trouble and needed money, but he used this money to go on trips with other women he met on Tinder, and the cycle continued as more women fell into his trap and fueled his endeavors.
Tinder can be a scary place because you don’t really know who the person behind the screen is, even possibly after you meet them. But for college students, it is a great outlet to meet new people and maybe even fall in love.