I Used Tinder and Bumble Every Day for a Week

OVERVIEW

I made my Tinder account last semester so that friends and I could swipe through it for fun. The app was partly entertaining and partly self-esteem boosting, but I ended up deleting it as my workload piled up. For the sake of this article, I re-downloaded it in the quest of finding someone I would genuinely want to talk to. This made the app much more frustrating as it pulled me into a world of pixelated photos, news-feed updates, and biographies that say, “You know why I’m here.” Although I matched with almost everyone I swiped right on (women get a lot of matches on Tinder), the entire process felt like a lot of nothing. On the bright side, none of this surprised me because Tinder’s reputation is based on its casual atmosphere.

Bumble, on the other hand, was much more work. I started off with the same information as my Tinder only to feel out of place in this new world of connected Instagram accounts and “move makers”/basic information that supplement your biography. In response, I filled all the questionnaires out and added a few group photos to match the platform’s elevated energy. I knew some of my answers would induce a few left swipes, but it was nice to have matches auto-filtered now that I wasn’t purely swiping for fun.

 

DETAILS

 

My Swiping Habits

I spent 45 minutes total on each dating app.

Tinder: I determined whether the person was reasonably attractive to me. If they made it past this first step, I then checked their biography to ensure it wasn’t annoying or nonexistent.

Bumble: The way profiles are set up forced me to look through the entire profile, pictures and biography and all, before swiping… which is a good thing!

I never super liked or super swiped… except once when I did so on accident and immediately unmatched afterward.

I surprisingly didn’t have to swipe on anyone I know, probably because the 281 men I swiped on were ultimately a minuscule portion of the university population.

 

My Messaging Habits

I looked through each match’s profile to find something I wanted to message them about. As a result, I didn’t message anyone first on Tinder because none of the profiles had anything I wanted to ask about or comment on.

If I received a message first (only applies to Tinder as men aren’t allowed to message first on Bumble), I first decided if I had anything to say to back. If I did, I looked through the match’s profile to confirm (a second time) that nothing in it annoys me before replying.

According to my (not 100% reliable) quantitative and qualitative data, Tinder is better if your ideal man is a Cadet who likes dogs and taking pictures at the gym, whereas Bumble is better if your ideal man is a student-athlete who likes to fish and drink beer. Bonus points if you want a man who likes both Netflix and the nightclub and would spend an extra hour of free time sleeping because those were “move-maker” answers for most of the men I swiped on!

Jokes aside, here’s what I saw the most (in order of decreasing frequency) on:

My Tinder Account: dogs, alcohol/smoking, cadets, gym/flexing, dead animal(s), frat boys and student-athletes [tied]

My Bumble Account: alcohol/smoking, dead animal(s), dogs, cadets, frat boys, gym/flexing, student-athletes

 

SIDE-NOTES

These dating applications love their push notifications for good reason. After my first three matchless Bumble swiping sessions, it was honestly motivating to get a notification about many “bees” wanting to “meet you.” Granted, these notifications were embarrassing to open my phone to… but that’s a self-consciousness problem separate from anything the companies did wrong.

Something else I appreciate about both Tinder and Bumble is that they’ve created ways for you to remove yourself from other people’s card-stacks and take a break from swiping. This would’ve been helpful to know about the first time I deleted Tinder’s app from my phone, but I’m glad I was able to use these at the end of my week to exit out of online dating in peace.

One thing I should mention about Bumble is that it has a BFF mode, which lets you swipe for friendship! I gave it a try, and while I still think it’s a great concept, swiping was too superficial for me to feel like any value was brought to the table now that physical attraction and potential for something new (I may be single, but I do have friends) had been eliminated. Regardless, it’s a service I’m sure many would enjoy.

 

CONCLUSION

Is online dating worthless? Absolutely not. It lets you chase after what you want without being judged, at least not by anyone who matters. It skips the awkward “are they interested?” phase, which makes putting yourself out there easier. On Tinder and Bumble, dating is like sifting through stacks of Yu-Gu-Oh cards; the turnover is high, and the stakes are low.

However, to say that low stakes are entirely good is a lie. I’m sure I’ve swiped left on people I would’ve found attractive in real life. I know I’ve used attractiveness and “biographies” to decide whether someone is worth my time in a way I wouldn’t anywhere else. In these apps, I ignore well-thought messages as if it isn’t a fundamentally rude thing to do, and I do so as someone who’d normally worry about whether her reply was enough. I take someone’s attraction to me like nothing: When men “super-like” me in real life, I feel flattered and respect them for putting themselves out there even if I don’t like them back. When men super-like me on Tinder, I cringe at the pressure to swipe right.

That said, I interact with mostly females during my regular week at TAMU because of where I sit in classes, what my student organizations/commitments are, and which friends I’ve kept in touch with. I’m sure that sounds nightmarish to some, but I personally don’t think it’s worth going out of my way to change. However, I know if I were to actively search for a relationship today, my only options would be to either drag previous love interests back into my life (emotionally draining, uncomfortable for everyone involved, and a detriment to my pride) or start swiping.

After all, the downsides of Tinder and Bumble only matter if you have something to compare them to, and the reasons you wouldn’t are often out of your control. While online dating isn’t something I see for myself now, it’s comforting to know it’ll be there if I need it.