by Zara Mohammed, Relationships Columnist
Published in Relationships on 15th February, 2019
Essentially Tinder is a location-based social app that is most commonly used for dating or hook ups. But Tinder is so much more than just a dating site.
Tinder has been described as a Cultural Movement, and it is strongly driven by Hookup Culture. It has been suggested that Tinder is changing not only the way we meet and date people, but according to The Independent, it is also changing the way we think by teaching us that "nothing matters unless you want it to matter" - Kate Ng.
Tinder is a simplified and fast method of starting up multiple conversations with strangers you share something in common with, and who are mutually attracted to you visually. But some people question whether the app is just creating robots by speeding up what should be a slow and emotional process, encouraging decisions to be made in a mechanical way.
Tinder can be anything you want it to be though, and the only way to judge it is to use it.
Tinder takes the mystery and complication out of dating and getting to know people. It simplifies interactions and makes starting up conversations with complete strangers so simple and immediate that you really don't have to do any thinking.
In fact the way the app is designed to be used forces you to initially rely on what you see then on the chat, and later after meeting up in person you can turn to questions about how you feel and what you think about the person.
Keep reading to find out how to use Tinder. Set yourself up in minutes and start meeting people straight away!
Once you have set up your profile - which is as straightforward as downloading the app to your smart phone, linking it to your Facebook account, and then uploading a few photos and writing a short bio - you can start searching for people you find visually attractive.
If you have heard of Tinder then you have probably heard of the terms "swipe left" and "swipe right". These are the key functions that characterise the Tinder app and set it apart from the rest although there are now copycat apps and alternatives, which we will take a look at later.
Based on your preferences the app shows you photos of single people in your area and all you have to do is swipe left through the list until you come across someone who catches your attention. If you decide you like them, you simply swipe right.
When you swipe right, that person is informed by the app and has the option of liking you back. If they do then the app announces it to you as a "Match" and you can both start chatting via the message service.
If you are new to Tinder or are perhaps a bit older and haven't been on the dating scene for a while, familiarising yourself with the "Tinder Glossary" or internet dating slang in general may save you from embarrassment, awkward situations, and other Tinder nightmares.
Tinder hook-ups are very common, and this is because the app is designed in such a way that makes it extremely easy to provide mutual consent to "hook up" with someone who wants the same things as you.
A hook up is an invitation to meet up and have sex, without the need for a date, so don't get caught out if this isn't what you are looking for. Luckily Tinder enables you to clearly state in your preferences whether or not you are interested in sexual encounters.
It can be useful to do a quick "Tinder Glossary" Google search to find out more about the kind of language and phrases being used on the dating and mating scene before you enter it.
Now that you know how Tinder works you can hack it to create a profile that gets you what you want - a swipe right every time.
Due to the speedy and relentless nature in which people can swipe through a stream of photos one after the other with barely a pause in between pictures, your photo is notably the most important tool with which to get yourself noticed.
You have to stand out from the crowd. Therefore the quality of your photo is a priority. Any photograph, whether it is of a person, an animal, a product or a landscape will grab attention if it is a good quality photograph. So you should take some time to choose photos that demand attention.
You don't have to have a stunning face or a great body to create an awesome eye-catching photograph that stands out from the rest.
Alas, the Tinder app does come with limitations - For example, how many likes there are available to you within a set time period. But by upgrading to a paid version of the app you can enjoy unlimited likes and other perks.
Tinder Plus has a nifty feature called "Rewind" which enables you to undo accidental swipes so that you don't miss out on a potential connection. This is handy if you get a bit swipe-happy, jaded, or are distracted when multi-tasking.
Another useful feature is called "Passport" which allows you to change your location so that you can search for matches in different areas. This might be useful if you are travelling and want to set up dates in the areas you are travelling to ahead of time.
Tinder Plus also gives you a bigger "Super Likes" allowance. If you don't know what a super like is, the hint is kind of in the title. They tell someone that you're really into them and are desperately hoping for a match.
Tinder Gold is an upgraded version of Tinder Plus. So along with all of the above you also get to enjoy a few extras. For example, a "Monthly Boost" gives your profile a heightened visibility in your area for 30 minutes.
You also get "Tinder Top Picks" in which the app's algorithm does it's magic to curate a selection of, you guessed it, top picks especially for you.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of Tinder Gold is that it kind of gives you a sneak preview into who has swiped right on your profile, so that you can essentially pick and choose from a list of people you already know like you.
Once you have started using the Tinder app yourself you might discover how addictive it can be. And when you realise how normal it starts to feel to be creating connections with so many different strangers basically at the same time it might make you question the intentions and Tinder behaviour of the people you are currently chatting to or dating on the app.
There are many different reasons as to why you might want to be able to find someone specific on Tinder. The obvious one is to check if your partner is cheating on you. But you might also just be hoping to find someone you know and like on Tinder, as it would be the perfect excuse to make a connection.
You will be pleased to know that it is actually fairly easy to find someone on Tinder. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Create a brand new Tinder account. This way you can be sure that you haven't already swiped left or right on them, which is easily done.
2. Edit settings to include their age and location, if you know how far away they are from you.
3. Swipe left.
4. Swipe left again.
5. Keep swiping left until you find their photograph along with their name and their age - and then swipe right!
Okay, I didn't mention that though simple, it's a long and tedious process that requires stamina and resolute determination. Alternatively you can pay for an app that will make the process quicker.
The answer to this question really depends on you. Here are a few closing questions to ask yourself in order to evaluate whether of not Tinder is worth your time and effort.