Tinder is a winner

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The advent of the new dating app Tinder is a mostly positive development as the application gives its users a platform to engage with possible mates in a quick and painless manner that can be safer than alternatives.

On Jan. 27, Maclean’s On Campus published an article that analyzed the rise of Tinder on university campuses. Tinder is an application that uses geolocation to match users by proximity. Users look through photos of nearby users and swipe right to “like” a profile or swipe left to move onto the next. If two users have “liked” each other, then it’s revealed as a match, and they can message one another.

The article alleged that Tinder primarily caters to users looking for casual sex rather than relationships and perpetuates “hook-up culture.”

Tinder has many benefits. It’s marginally safer than other methods of online dating as it requires users to connect their profile to their Facebook account. It’s easy and convenient, and allows users to make quick connections without any initial awkwardness or hassle.

For people in their early 20s who tend to be busy and disinclined to start long-term relationships, Tinder is the perfect avenue for casual dating.

While it’s possible Tinder might slightly aggravate “hook-up culture”, that’s far from clear. What’s more, “hook-up culture” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Hook-up culture” is a label invented by overly-concerned middle age adults to describe youth exercising sexual freedom. The sexual culture on university campuses isn’t perfect, but it certainly doesn’t fit into one overarching term with negative connotations.

Nevertheless, young people should be somewhat concerned about the trend towards efficiency in sex and dating. One of Tinder’s possible downsides is that it removes a certain amount of face-to-face interaction from the dating process. Tinder might also aggravate the pre-existing superficiality that pervades young people’s sex lives, as flipping through photo-based profiles can take on a commodified meat-market-like quality.

Tinder provides a useful platform for young people who desire an easy way to meet others in their vicinity. It might slightly increase the tendency towards casual sex, but who cares? Its combined problems do not negate its great utility.

-Journal Editorial Board

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