It is the app everyone is talking about, but is too ashamed to download. Yet, on their walks to class, or before bed when they can’t fall asleep, they are deciding whether to throw a heart or an X. You know what it is, I know what it is, it’s Tinder. It appears to only be socially acceptable when you are on it with a crowd of friends behind you screaming, “OHMIGOD HE’S GORGEOUS…oh, wait never mind…” or “EW GET THAT OUT OF HERE!!” Then there is the friend who is a little inept with her social media who will ask, “Wait…what’s that app again? Tinder? What does it look like? I really don’t get it. Show me, show me!”
They say it is the new J-Date, E-harmony, Match.com, whatever dating website your heart (pun always intended) desires. But, the social etiquette involved in using Tinder is completely unknown. Are people using it as a joke? What do you do with the hot guy who is on it that you know has a girlfriend? Can your matches track down your location and kidnap you? What if you are being completely catfished? There are millions of questions with millions of possible answers, none of which are solidified. So I wonder, when technology moves faster than Usain Bolt, how are we supposed to keep up with it? Especially when it does not come with a rulebook.
I see Tinder in two stages, both of which lead to possible questions on how to handle the newest form of social media:
The Totally Creepy Stage: This is the primary stage of Tinder, when you first download it and explore the app. It starts off kind of okay, not too weird, because you are being presented your friends, or people you have at least 100 mutual friends with. Guys who bought you drinks at Skeeps last night or sent you that study guide for MO yesterday morning…Wait who am I kidding, you probably sent HIM the study guide. Then, slowly you have less and less mutual friends and mutual interests (usually these interests are University of Michigan, Michigan Football, you get the trend). If they are not, do you "heart" them even though you do not even know what frat he is in? Or, if he is in a frat? Or, if he even goes here?..Or, if worse, he goes to Washtenaw Community College?
Then, if you do decide to be daring and "heart" the hot boy you have always just been “bros” with, or the boy who you only have six mutual friends with, what if they chat you? Did your hot guy friend only "heart" you as a joke? Or does he actually think you are worth his heart (again, pun intended)? The total stranger will then probably chat you something ranging from a casual “hey” to something totally freaky to “whatsup sexy, wanna chat?” That is, when you fully enter the creepy stage. (Unless you have already entered it because you get the unnerving cab driver with a bio on Tinder longer than the script of Lincoln, in which he claims to be an electrician, which we all know he isn’t, because he drives a blue cab and we all know who he is. So, once you get him on Tinder, that is your official initiation to the “Totally Creepy Stage”…just saying…sorry for that little tangent…but seriously WHAT IS HE DOING ON TINDER?!?!) So, you block the guy, and claim to delete the app…
The Addiction Stage: But you don’t and you won’t. You might stop throwing hearts so easily, but even as you "X" your way through the pile, you cannot stop. Then, you run out of people and your fingers start to twitch. The only solution: extending your matching distance. Now, the pile is all strangers, who go to MSU, what could be worse? And again, the questions arise…do you "heart" these people? Will they find you? Could this Tinder thing actually lead to you meeting your match? But where are the answers, when will they come…and ARE YOU BEING CATFISHED?!
By now we have all heard the stories. The two people from UCLA who "hearted" each other, started chatting and were two aisles apart in the grocery store. Now, they are dating. True love at first sight…literarily though, because the whole app is based on your picture. Or of your friend’s sister who went on a date and had a little sleepover with her Tinder match, and she wasn’t even kidnapped. But, with rules so unknown, how is it supposed to last? When will people know if a heart means a flirt or a joke?
The thing is, we all know the rules of Facebook, like not to accept your parent’s friend request (unless they are as cool as mine and will only mildly embarrass you); and the rules of Instagram, not to upload fifty pictures of yourself in a row or not to #hashtag nine million things to get some likes; and of course the rules of Twitter not to tweet your every move like when you blow your nose and what you just ordered at Starbucks. And, of course, the rules of Twitter combined with Facebook, that your Facebook status is really reserved for things along the lines of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIEND…insert picture collage…” or “BUCK THE FUCKEYES! GO BLUE!” Your Facebook status is not your Twitter account, and no one cares if you have a broken </3. You get it, we know all the rules of all the basic social medium, but what we don’t know is how long it took for us to learn these rules and who came up with them. If we did, then Tinder wouldn’t be such an embarrassment to be on, and you wouldn’t be exing out of the app faster than a snapchat disappears.