Dating is not something that comes easily to me. As a guy whose last relationship was in high school, followed by 10 years of an on-again, off-again relationship with college, I’ve got some work to do in the “meeting girls” department.
Somewhere down the line, a friend convinced me to get an account on Tinder. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get a lot of matches; granted, I can be very picky and I’m always dubious of attractive women on the app with a bio reading something along the lines of “Snap me @thiqqgirl69.”
Even after an overhaul of my account where I changed my profile picture and bio to something more “approachable” to a broader demographic, my results were still pretty weak. My self-esteem has felt the effects.
According to recent statistics revealed by Tinder, only 54% of Tinder users are single, meaning that 46% of users are either cheating on their partners or are just on the app to help boost their self-esteem. Who doesn’t like to see how many people like them?
Ironically, this helped boost my own self-esteem. Maybe Tinder isn’t being used as much as it used to for its original purpose, so I took to the UW Oshkosh campus to find out.
UWO junior Paige Nelson said she gets so many matches that it’s kind of a problem, though she just uses the matches for a self-esteem boost.
“I honestly don’t message back,” she said. “I just like to feel like I’m popular when I’m not.”
When Nelson does get matches, many of them turn out to be less than ideal.
“I’ve gotten a long message about how a guy would have sex with me, and it was like, to the point where I was scrolling,” she said.
Nelson said she had one serious boyfriend for about a year and a half that she found on Tinder, but most guys are just looking for hookups.
UWO sophomore Cody Barnes gave Tinder a try in hopes of meeting people, but said he found it to lower his self-esteem due to the low number of matches he was getting.
“I think there’s a negative impact to thinking about the people that are getting the matches, and the idea that even if you do match with someone, they have a million other people waiting in the wings,” he said.
Many other students I talked to, both male and female, gave me the impression that they had tried online dating in the past but have since found more value in meeting people face-to-face. Most were looking for relationships, not just sex.
“Meeting people in person is kind of hard, and it’s really easy to have everyone right there at your fingertips,” UWO student Maggie Clementi said. “But people are creepy.”
From what I’ve seen, it looks like UWO students have a pretty dysfunctional relationship with Tinder. Depending on how you look or how you present yourself, this app could really improve or stunt your self-esteem.
As it seems many others on campus have made this change as well, I think I’ll try taking my chances on awkwardly talking to women out in the real world.