By Brahmjot Kaur
The season of love is upon us, but that does not stop college students from canoodling the rest of the year. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr have shaped dating culture for millennials and Generation Z. With approximately 50 million Tinder users across the globe, it is evident how impactful dating apps are on human culture.
What is it like using a dating app as a college student in New York City? When asking students around City College about their experiences with dating apps, it seems to be a unanimous agreement that these apps are not reliant dating tools.
A sophomore at CCNY, who preferred to go by their initials, E.G., due to the nature of this article, recalled a time she used Tinder:
I’m usually on tinder just for fun, nothing serious. I matched with this guy named Nathan last semester, an older guy than me. We started to text and eventually he followed all my social media. He kept asking me to go eat with him, but being an engineer major, I was really busy and specifically told him that I didn’t have time until after Christmas. So he agreed and we just texted on and off. I rapidly started to lose interest in him because he would say some things that I would find offensive and he would make inappropriate sex jokes at me when I told him that it made me uncomfortable. He would also constantly text me and I wouldn’t respond quickly enough for him but I told him from the start that I didn’t have time to be constantly texting him when I’m always in school. He graduated from college a year prior in business I believe.
During finals, I told him if he could hold off until the 21st since I had to pass these exams and he took it as a joke so I brushed him off. The next day he snapchatted me and I told him that he needs to respect what I say because I can’t afford to be distracted. So he literally blew up on me. He started to call me the “B” word and said that I’m a low life that will get nowhere in life and that he doesn’t even like me. He started to say a lot of vulgar things and kept calling me stupid which I found hilarious and a little relieved that it meant that I never had to talk to him ever again so I just blocked him on everything and called it a day.
While some pickup lines on Tinder are quirky or funny, some truly miss the mark.
Like many users, E.G. is not on Tinder for anything serious. Still, it’s pretty common to be harrassed and sent inappropriate messages. From messages about sexual acts and performances, to deratogary messages about one’s appearance, the creativity of these specific messages never seems to impress.
I asked E.G. how she felt about receiving messages like these. “I feel objectified, but I like how I don’t really care since I know that I’m not in any danger” she explained. Like many college students, E.G. is skeptical about meeting with individuals from dating apps and choose to send their location to friends before even considering meeting with anyone from Tinder.
When asked about the efficiency of Tinder? E.G. said “I feel like tinder isn’t a good place to meet relationships. I believe that people should be more up front”. On the other side of this, Richard Kish, another sophomore at CCNY, explained that while people don’t take dating apps seriously, it is possible to find that special someone.
“I think [Tinder] is effective in that it gives people way more of a sample space to pick from, but it’s very ineffective in actually building empathy with someone right off the bat. You can’t really tell if you’re going to click with someone until you actually meet them,” Kish discussed. When “swiping” right or left on a person’s profile, it is solely based on their pictures and bio.
On a positive note, Kish revealed that he actually met someone on Tinder whom he is now involved with. While it may be difficult to meet someone online, it is possible. Open yourself to the world y’all. Happy Swiping!