Head to Head: Swipe left on Tinder

She was a high-strung student who wanted to find that Mr. Perfect. He was a jock hoping to score a late-night booty call. Each thought the other looked attractive enough to possibly satisfy their given needs. Love at first swipe? Not exactly.

While online dating may be a good idea in theory, it leaves much to be desired in practice. Tinder introduces too many concerning variables that cannot help but make you wonder whether it would be better to go back to good, old-fashioned, face-to-face connections.

In an age of Twitter feeds filled with important discussions of depression and anxiety, an app like Tinder just feels counter-productive. After all, the app is founded on the principle of judging people based on first impressions, specifically looks, and either assigning or withholding value accordingly.

In this way, the app encourages rather shallow interactions among its users. In fact, 40 percent of its users admit to using Tinder as a means of hooking up as opposed to finding lasting relationships, according to Business of Apps. This statistic is not the biggest issue with the app, however.

Foremost of all the Tinder-related concerns is safety. Though one would like to assume that the individual they have swiped right is indeed the person he or she claims to be, nobody can be quite sure. Herein lies an inherent danger of online dating. Who exactly is the person on the other side of the screen? A 40-year-old looking to catfish some unsuspecting college students? A convicted felon? A pervert? A finger sniffer? Who knows? Certainly not you. 

This introduces another valid point: People put their best foot forward online. They love hiking, animals, caring for grandma and long walks on the beach. Their photos portray them as bronzed beauties who hit the gym twice a day and find joy in the little things, as expressed by their profile pictures in which they are inexplicably laughing while standing amidst a field of freshly sprung daisies.

What their bios do not share, though, is that they spent a significant amount of time grooming their photos with edits and filters, and they threw out all photos taken from their “bad side.” Sure, they may love grandma, but they also have terrible road rage and persistent coffee breath. And that love for hiking? It's more of a once-a-year type deal. 

In short, Tinder encourages exaggeration and superficiality. The app is one big sales campaign, and you are the willing object. Thus, we arrive back to the original argument: In a generation that decries unrealistic body imagery, Tinder serves as an enticing roadblock that places image front and center.

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