Tinder and Valentine’s Day

Tinder is a dating app with widespread use, especially among college students. Some will download it in hopes of finding a committed partner, while others use it more casually when out of town or wanting to meet people in their area. If you don’t have  your own Tinder account, you probably know someone who has one. You may even know a couple that met through Tinder; I personally know two couples who proudly met using the app.

According to the 2015 Google analytics, it was the most-searched online dating service of the year. Contrary to it’s widespread popularization however, many find themselves humiliated at the thought of using Tinder and online dating in general. But everyone has their own reasons. Whether it’s a distrust in how the system guards user privacy, safety concerns about meeting with strangers, or the quickly disappearing entailed myth of social ostracization linked to online community participants- many people admit hesitantly or completely deny having a Tinder. In my most recent podcast over dating on Tinder, you can even hear the apprehension in the voices of those who admit to having a Tinder. This beckons the question: why is something so widely popular still so strongly stigmatized?

This past Valentines Day, I decided to further explore the world of online dating. After discussing with my friends’ experiences with Tinder, I downloaded the app, and dove in.

I uploaded my four most flattering photos, created a unique bio, and swiped right on nearly every bachelor I saw… just to see where it would take me. After talking with a handful of gents, I made plans to meet with a few. Though they remain anonymous, the two most distinct were a guy I call Cheesehead and one I call Pocket Knife Chuck. During our dates I dug deep into their own Tinder experiences and asked them personal questions about their dating lives. I got the feeling they found it incredibly weird that I recorded the entire duration of our date, but boy-oh-boy I’m glad I did.

Listen to see how my dates went and if I found my Mr. Right…