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Hooking up in the digital age

Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

You wake up, hungover from a hard night of partying, not remembering the night before, lying next to someone unexpected.

Whether you’ve seen it in a movie or have experienced this personally, it can be a great or terrible experience. Before the Internet brought us social media and apps, we had to go out and actually meet people to socialize. Now with an easy “swipe” to the right, you can “like” someone based on his or her picture. And if you are lucky, you might get a “match.”

For those of you who don’t know, I’m talking about Tinder.

Social media has finally created it: An app that can skip interacting with someone and go right to the “good stuff.”

Hooking up with someone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For some, this is how you could end up meeting the love of your life. Whether it is a one-night stand or a friend you started dating, there is always a story about how you and your significant other met, and a growing number of those are thanks to the Internet.

Going out is all about having fun. You meet new people and try to have a good time. You socialize and get to know the people you are with. If you meet someone that you like or want to go home with, it is because of many different factors. This includes having good conversation, chemistry and the thrill of excitement that makes you want to see them again. Beyond looks, it is about human connection. These are all things that I believe you cannot achieve with apps and websites.

Tinder, as described on the app store, is “a fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you.” So this app creates a profile that allows you to see others who are physically close to you.

Pretty basic so far.

It goes on to say, “swipe right to like or left to pass. If someone likes you back it’s a match! ” I downloaded it, wanting to see what it was all about. To log in or create a new profile, I needed to have a Facebook account. Once I had connected and gotten through the profile making, a red button appeared that said “Start Playing.”

It caught me off guard, as if I was going to play a game or something. I didn’t get it, what was I playing? I pressed the button and the infamous search for “buddies” started. Since it was connected through my Facebook, it knew I was male and “interested in” women. Therefore, only women appeared as options.

As the app had said, it was “a fun way to connect with new and interesting people,” yet it caters to your sexual preferences. It is then made clear that Tinder is only for “getting to know” people that you are attracted to sexually.

The first profile shot up. It was a picture with a name and age. I looked for more. After all, how can I “like” someone only by looks? When I opened up her profile, other pictures came up but nothing more. Then it hit me: you are only “liking” people based upon how attractive you think they are.

Tinder takes away that precious time where you get to know the person. The people who created Tinder must have thought that that part isn’t necessary. Or maybe they just think that that the initial reason people like other people is because of looks.

What does this mean? Are we just judging people based on appearances? Or is this just becoming the new way to have sex? Tinder seems to be a judging of others on their appearance, which is a completely impersonal way to establish something personal: a human connection.

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