Tinder – does it scream one-night stand or the ringing of church bells? It’s no match.com or eHarmony but it’s the romance app of the 21st century that has just about everyone talking.
But it’s the simple steps of the app that leave people questioning its ability as a dating app, according to Natasha Sharma, relationship expert and founder of NKS Therapy in Toronto.
Sharma says that because of what Tinder has to offer, people can choose whether they will want a short-term or long-term relationship.
“People who use Tinder are more inclined to see it as more of a hook-up app,” said Sharma. “But that’s not to say they might not be using it as the potential to find someone more dateable longer term.”
Tinder is a free, location-based mobile app that has a less complex process that most dating apps require. The simple set-up only requires a total of six photos for viewers and a short bio about the individual.
Simply swiping left indicates you are not interested, but if you swipe right, it means you are interested. If that same person swipes right on your profile then you will see the words “It’s a Match!” and the app will urge you and your match to get chatting.
But it’s what the app has to offer that can often have people wondering can Tinder lead to a long-term relationship? Or is the app only for hook-ups? These are some questions that lead to the plenty of discussion about the “seriousness” of mobile dating apps. People may find these apps superficial because of how simple and easy they are to use.
Sharma says that because your first instinct to swipe right to a person is usually based off of physical attraction, this is what can make compatibility a bit harder to seek.
“Tinder is set up so that you have very little information about the person before you make a decision about whether you’re interested or not. You’re basically using strictly visual stimulation in deciding ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Just based on the fact that it’s purely visual and physical, I think people are going to be more inclined to see it as a hook-up app because for dating usually people are interested in more information,” says Sharma.
Regardless of the end game, Tinder continues to grow in popularity. The app has received so much use that it has started to give users premium features such as a “passport” to expand distance and explore new matches that exceed the 160-kilometre range that the basic Tinder allows.
Whatever the reasons, people are swiping away on Tinder worldwide. In fact, research shows there are 50-million active users on Tinder, who spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app and check their accounts 11 times per day.
Although there are no statistics of how many active Tinder users there are in Canada alone, Tinder’s popularity has created a name for itself worldwide.
“There’s a demand for what Tinder offers and Tinder is building it,” says Sharma.
Sharma says although people may view the app as a casual experience, depending on your experience and choices, the idea of a relationship can arise.
“Before technology maybe people would have an encounter in a bar or a club and have a one-night stand based on purely physical attraction and sometimes that does turn into a relationship,” says Sharma. “It’s not impossible.”