By ELIZABETH RUDD
That’s how 22-year-old Shevin Halvorson feels about the dating app that’s gaining popularity across the Palouse.
“It’s less risky than other things, less of a shot in the dark,” the University of Idaho music education student said.
What’s nice about Tinder, Halvorson said, is its users are only paired with people who have both given each other “hearts,” signifying they’re interested in meeting one another. Having that mutual interest is something you can build-on, he added, eliminating a lot of the unknowns that go with walking up to someone at a bar.
Halvorson said with Tinder, there’s less risk of being embarrassed, put off or rejected — and it’s a chance to meet people you might not even see in typical social settings.
“The reason I use this (is) it’s people I might never have seen before, even though they’re two buildings down,” he said.
Halvorson learned about Tinder while at a friend’s place a couple months ago and decided to install the app when he heard how easy it is to use. Tinder is the only dating app or website he uses and he’s met three or four people by using it.
“It’s just a new experience,” he said.
Earlier this month, Halvorson said a woman messaged him who he has had class with for the past two years, but because there were always so many people around they had never met before.
“So I met another friend on Tinder,” he said.
But Halvorson said he has friends who use Tinder for reasons other than getting to know someone new.
“I might talk a big game to the guys, but I’m not going to ‘take someone out to dinner’ without knowing who they are,” he said.
That’s not the case for others, which Halvorson said is the other side of Tinder. He knows people who will get matched with someone, message them that day and invite them over to “do what they do best.”
“It’s more about the physical attraction based on first impression as opposed to what you know about them,” he said.
When Caitlin Bayly first heard about Tinder, she didn’t really get the point of the dating app and thought it was kind of creepy.
But once she decided to get a profile of her own, the 22-year-old Washington State University student said she could see why people like it.
Tinder doesn’t give a person’s last name and users do not have to chat with one another even if they are matched, she said. That made it seem a little less creepy for her.
But Bayly said it’s still not her preferred way of meeting someone she might want to date.
“It’s lacking the human elements,” she said.
Bayly first installed Tinder this summer after a friend showed her what it was and explained how it worked. She said she’s gone through phases since then of deleting the app when she’s tired of it and downloading it again as a way to fill time.
“I just use it when I’m bored,” Bayly said.
She hasn’t gone on a date with anyone she’s met on Tinder and has only chatted with a few people, admitting she doesn’t do well with small talk — especially when it’s not face-to-face — so the conversations typically fizzle quickly.
But the sociology student isn’t necessarily ruling the possibility out — it’s just not a top priority for her right now.
Priority or not, Bayly said she still cares about who gives an “X” or a heart.
She might think someone’s cute, but if they have a lot of mutual friends she starts to wonder if they actually do know each other and typically won’t like them. She also doesn’t like people she somewhat knows or is just an acquaintance.
“You never know when you could bump into them and it could be weird,” she said.
And then there’s the accidental likes or dislikes. Bayly said she’s done both — liked someone she didn’t mean to or gave someone she did like an “X.”
“I feel like every time you unintentionally like someone, it’s a match and they always try to chat,” she said laughing.
But at the same time, Bayly is starting to feel a little uncomfortable with the liking or X-ing someone on Tinder because it is just based on physical appearance.
“Personally, I would prefer to go out to the bar or go out and meet people,” she said.
Rudd may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.