How Tinder’s New Feature Is Changing The Dating Game On The Forty Acres

On a college campus, your smartphone can check you in to class, hold your digital textbooks, and even in a school with 40,000 students, it can help you find your college sweetheart. Whether they’re using Tinder, Bumble, or another platform, even freshmen taking their first steps on campus can download a dating app and line up five potential dates on their walk from Gearing to Greg.

Most of these apps work on a double opt-in system where both users have to swipe over each other to “match” and start messaging. The app debuted on college campuses in 2012 and on August 21 they returned to school with the launch of Tinder U. The feature allows students to sign up with verified .edu emails and find other students to correspond with; it’s also meant to capitalize on 18-24 year olds who make up half of Tinder’s userbase.

Normally, while signing up for the app, users fill out a profile with photos, a short bio, and a list of likes that includes age range, distance, and gender preference. By choosing to opt for Tinder U, students can find matches who attend their school rather than people from the general population of Austin. But, for the most part, most students seem to have used the app this way before Tinder U launched. Whether that’s because they’re already looking for other 18-22 year olds or because their distance are defined for proximity, many students have found matches on campus over the past few years.

When recent graduate Caleb Attwell, BSA ’18, arrived at UT four years ago, he was from Waller, Texas, a small town outside of Houston with a population of less than 3,000. There, he had no reason to use Tinder, everyone already knew each other. But after moving to Austin, he enrolled early in his freshman year.

“When I got to college, Tinder seemed like a way around the whole ‘Is she interested? can find someone to talk to or hang out with from your living room without having to risk approaching someone and getting shot.”

The app definitely made meeting people and exploring the city easier, but there were some glaring downsides. There was always the risk of being ‘catfished’ – the term used when the person you’re talking to online is lying about their identity – or getting ready for a date just to meet someone who didn’t look like everything. exactly to the photos in their profile. But more than that, even if he found someone he wanted to continue dating, there was a stigma to finding a girlfriend on Tinder.

“If I had any friends that I knew might take it the wrong way, I would usually tell them that I met my date through other friends or at a party,” Attwell says.

A quick scan of a few Tinder bios—“Just looking for friends,” “Not looking for anything serious,” “Serious inquiries only”—reveals that while the app makes it easy to meet new people, find someone which is on the same page because you can be a bit more picky.

“I think most people on Tinder these days are more looking for a relationship. It used to be a good mix of people looking for hookups, dates, relationships, but I think some guys being a bit scary or nagging, people laugh at Bumble, a dating app where girls have to make the first move,” says Attwell.

Biology and Spanish senior Emmy Coffey started using Tinder and Bumble after breaking up a relationship. After seeing friends use Tinder the first few years of college, she was excited to have fun and meet new people.

“It was a great way to regain confidence after a breakup,” Coffey says. “People were sending great messages. They seemed happy to talk to me and take me on dates.

There were a few scary posts or unwarranted photos, but for the most part, Coffey said she thought she got more serious inquiries because of her bio — no winking faces, no emojis, just “biology student “.

Despite the more serious biography, she still had to deal with a few bad dates and swept left more than a few guys taking selfies with a dimly lit bathroom mirror or overly posed “stock photo” type photos. . There was the date she knew was going nowhere five seconds later, the dentist who told corny jokes that reminded her of her dad, and the guy she kindly dumped so he asks her if she had ever heard of “friends with benefits”. ”

Overall, though, she continued to use it because it allowed her to meet people she wouldn’t normally interact with. She describes herself as a studious biology student who likes to stay home and watch movies rather than going out. But these apps pushed her out of her comfort zone and pulled her out more.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to spend weekends indoors, so how can I meet people that way?” Coffey said. “With dating apps, I could find someone completely different from me, someone I might never meet in my classes.”

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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