I'm deadass 6'4"

Tales from the wild side of Tinder

It felt like a secret — a spark that rattled and hummed within the air, always present, never put into words. The red tinted box, the ominous white flame that flickered on my phone, glaring at me from my home screen. Minutes, hours, even days after downloading it, I could feel its power. Upon clicking the icon, it was searingly evident to me that this place was a jungle. Reaching past boundaries of formalities or traditions, the app is riddled with pheromones and desperation. 

As a first time Tinder user, I felt the full force of the app from my fateful initial swipe. Tinder is a social entity, a cultural phenomenon especially affecting university students. So, as a newly minted college student, I felt that Tinder deserved some close attention. 

More specifically, Tinder’s new feature, Tinder University, needed some love. Tinder U allows college students to use their university email account to connect with peers from their own campus as well as surrounding universities. The goal of my specific experiment was to explore the new Tinder U algorithm and experience the raw power of collegiate lust. 

Read More: Will Tinder U have ASU students swiping right on familiar faces?

Creating my account was pretty standard: I typed in my name, threw a few pictures on my profile, and crafted my bio, which read, “for research purposes only.” I would come to regret this decision. What I felt was a no-nonsense summary of my purpose actually turned out to be used against me in covertly sexual one-liners followed by unspeakable strings of emojis. Lewd emoji chains aside, I strode on and acquainted myself with the hottest bachelors and bachelorettes within a 50-mile radius. 

The first shining face on my screen sat slouched back, straddled by a neon green inflatable alien. His bio read, “just tryna hook up tbh.” As any reasonable person would do, I swiped right. 

This was, unfortunately, just the beginning. From there I made the executive decision to swipe right on every single person, yet another choice I would eventually regret.

My first few matches seemed nice enough. Their messages, though predictably flirtatious, contained nothing too alarming. That was until five minutes later. This message was so bold, so bizarre, I almost had to respect it … almost. 

It read, “Would you be my Tinderella and listen to the Frozen soundtrack as I …” I’ll omit the last part as most could fill in the blank. I find it tough to choose between a Cinderella or a Frozen reference, so let’s do both. It was bippity boppity bad, but I decided to let it go, kind of.


  

On account of the inconsistent Disney reference and vulgarity, I had to change my approach radically. I swiped left from that point forward. 

In my continued research, I started noticing patterns in the types of pictures, bios, and people. A few common themes emerged, the first being that if someone happened to be over six foot, they made sure to let you know that they are, in fact, over six foot. My personal favorite boldly declared that he is, and I quote, "deadass 6’4." Congrats, dude. 

Many also entice others using pictures of their most valuable assets: their dogs. Love truly is a battlefield, and those poor puppies are caught in the crossfire. The cuteness quota also unfortunately extends to babies. As one baby-toting bro said, “she’s my sister, not my child, but you can still call me daddy.”

Then, Tinder showed me a whole new world. I stumbled upon some gems, true diamonds in the rough. One of the bios read, “great with moms.” Heartwarming, maybe there is some vague sense of companionship on here. Another claimed he was, “more interested in your brain than your butt.” Who wouldn’t hit this gentleman’s line? 

But alas, not every single man was in it for the brains. For all my honors college ladies, you’ll be disappointed to hear that “Barrett girls are to smart” for one of the fine bachelors on the app. 

At the conclusion of my swiping, I encountered a moment of sweet nostalgia when a familiar face appeared on my phone screen. I found the profile of a former Culver’s employee who asked for my number while I was decimating an order of fried cheese curds. Nice to see you again.  

Exasperated by heterosexual Tinder, I decided to leave no stone unturned. With a switch of my settings, I went off to browse the local ladies. In short, women’s motives for the app differ greatly from men. 

Many were seeking companionship or friendship. Others sought out party addresses or extra funds, and most had better selfies on their profiles.



My personal favorite quote from my searches read “No hookups, no Trump supporters, no negotiations.” Another asserted, “I WILL ruin your life.” After a few more swipes, I found enough evidence to support my claim that girls rule and boys drool.

I also checked out the option that included people of all genders and found more of the same. It doesn’t matter how you identify or who you’re attracted to, everyone’s a little bit of a freak. 

Aside from a few commonalities, there truly is not one type of person on Tinder. I felt that the people I encountered came from every walk of life. From gym rats to furries, student athletes to anime cosplayers, everyone is just looking for a little love, whatever form that might come in. Still, the jungle might not be a hospitable abode for all of us. 

Following my first romp about the fiery app, I decided to call it quits forever. For me personally, I found each minute I spent on the app entertaining but excruciating. But, this is not to knock Tinder.

Tinder makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. It’s a cruel world out there, and if an app makes it just a little bit easier to find someone to tough it out with, by all means, use it. Some find true love, others find fleeting satisfaction, and as for me, I found a lot of quotable material for this article.


Reach the reporter at kiera10riley@gmail.com or follow @kiera_riley on Twitter.

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