Tinder is defined as dry, flammable material, such as wood or paper, used for lighting a fire. But developers of a popular new iPhone application that goes by the same name hope that it can ignite a lot more.
Over the last several weeks, the vast majority of iPhone and iPod Touch users on campus have made it clear that Tinder is all the rage.
The Twitter-sphere has been abuzz with users’ experiences with the dating app, sometimes attached with screenshots of “matches” and conversations through direct messaging to illustrate.
Some have called it creepy, and others have described it as a contemporary version of the old “hot-or-not” theme. But whatever the stance, people are crazy about it either way.
You must be signed onto Facebook to utilize the app. Once configured, the GPS in your device lines up other users within a 50-mile radius through their Facebook accounts.
You are able to see the interests and friends you share along with some additional pictures.
With each prospect you are given, you have the option of pressing the green heart to show that you ‘like’ them, or hit the red X to see the next potential candidate. The main difference between Tinder and other apps of the like is the fact that everything is totally anonymous.
Whether people have ‘liked’ or ‘X’ed’ your profile is completely unknown. It is not until you both happen to ‘like’ each other on the app that you are shown you have a ‘match.’ The ability to chat with the user through direct messaging then becomes available.
Junior Kristin Szym said she thinks that the application doesn’t make you feel vulnerable.
“You don’t know when another person ‘liked’ you, or didn’t, unless it’s a mutual ‘like’,” she said. “It’s a safer way to put yourself out there I guess.”
Matthew Lynley of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Requiring both users to like each other also helps instill a level of privacy for the app that isn’t present in other apps, where users can send messages to anyone. So, instead of a creepy dating service, it’s more like a game.”
Szym also noted that it felt more real than a dating site or social network site, and because of its connection to Facebook, it would be difficult to lie or create a fake profile. So what exactly made the application so popular? Szym said she found herself asking the same thing. “I personally went on it because of the hype,” she said.
“Everyone seemed to be on it and I knew a bunch of people who had it and were talking about it. I wanted to see what it was.”
She expressed that it is geared more toward younger people and college students.
Szym said, “Some people, myself included, like to have fun with it and ask ridiculous questions or stupid jokes and kind of just see how a stranger would react.”
Sophomore Tom Mohr also uses the app just for fun. “I like how you can see people you know on it,” he said. “I think it’s pretty funny to be honest.”
Junior Dan Barzottini agreed with that idea.
“I personally think it’s a huge entertaining joke where you can say basically anything you want to people, but some people take it seriously,” he said.
However, one of his friends may fall into that category. Barzottini spoke of how one of his pals actually set up a meeting with one of his matches. They exchanged numbers and eventually set up a day to hang out within a week of starting to talk.
“With the whole ‘Catfish’ craze, he’s a little nervous about getting stood up,” he said.
While Tinder isn’t a brand new app, released in September of last year, it is gaining serious momentum in college towns like Keene.
Whether Tinder is used in jest or as a little black book, more people seem to be ‘liking’ the app than ‘X-ing’ it.
Kattey Ortiz can be contacted at