Tinder Dating App Review :: Let’s Talk About Tinder
(Deep breath.) Ok, let’s talk about Tinder.
For those who haven’t heard, Tinder is not a traditional online dating site; it’s a mobile-only dating app. Tinder has quite the reputation, both in the secular and Christian world. We’re going to attempt to break it down and explain why it is/is not a good idea for Christians looking for marriage.
“Nobody joins Tinder because they’re looking for something,” Tinder co-founder Sean Rad said to Time magazine in 2014. “They join because they want to have fun. It doesn’t even matter if you match because swiping is so fun.”
So, that’s all you need to know really, isn’t it? We can stop this review right here. No? Okay, well let’s continue…
Tinder Dating App Review :: What Can You Expect?
For starters, it’s probably safe to not anticipate marriage from Tinder. That’s not to say that it can’t happen at all, but it’s probably best to keep those expectations low. Why? Well, did you read the founder’s words above? Most folks aren’t on Tinder to find marriage. Often billed as a game of “Hot or Not?” the simple truth is that Tinder decisions are based primarily on looks.
Here’s how it works: After downloading the free app, you create a profile by connecting it to your Facebook account. Like the Hinge dating app, Tinder will then pull information from your Facebook account—name, job, where you went to school, and your Facebook likes. Tinder also compares your Facebook friends with those of your matches to show you any common friends that you might have with your matches.
You can edit some of the information in your Tinder profile—like, remove Facebook profile pictures that you don’t want to display, as well as add a 500-word paragraph describing yourself. And, if you want to throw all internet safety protocol out the window completely, you can also connect your Tinder profile to your Instagram account.
But that’s it. That’s all it takes to set up a profile on Tinder. There’s no long personality assessment, and there are no short answer questions to help you show more of your uniqueness. There aren’t even check boxes to declare if you’re a smoker or not.
All of the above are edits you can make to your profile or ways you can spiff it up, but you don’t have to. At the very least, you just connect your Facebook profile to start receiving matches. Sadly, that’s the most common way of using Tinder it seems.
You’ll immediately start receiving matches. If you’re interested in a match, you’ll tap the heart button (swipe right); if you’re not interested, tap the X (swipe left). If you and a match both express interest in each other, you can move to chatting. No one knows the other swiped right if they don’t both do so.
Tinder Dating App :: Tinder vs. Hinge
Hinge is another dating app that came a long after Tinder, and there are some similarities between the two, especially when it comes to aesthetics. However, once you set up an account on both, you’ll soon find the quality of matches between the two to be somewhat different.
Hinge targets a professional, college-educated crowd in their mid-20s to mid-30s. Tinder began by targeting college students, and even though they’ve grown beyond the college-aged crowd, the majority of their users are still in that college demographic of 18-24.
Hinge gives you the option to choose tags for your profile in order to help define your personality a little better—words like “wine snob” or “night owl” or “adrenaline junkie.” Tinder, on the other hand, pulls from your Facebook likes, so if you and a match both happen to have liked Compassion International or the Texas Rangers or SingleRoots (of course we had to say it!) on Facebook, it will show you your commonalities.
Hinge bases your matches on your proximity and Facebook connections—matching you only with people nearby who are connected to you in some way via Facebook. You could be 1, 2, or 3 degrees apart via someone you know on Facebook. Conversely, Tinder bases your matches on proximity. So wherever you are when you log in, Tinder will show you who is within the geographical range you have set. If you happen to have mutual Facebook friends with a match, Tinder will let you know, but Facebook friendship isn’t Tinder’s primary matching method like it is for Hinge. Tinder deals in proximity. If you are on a vacation, you can pull open Tinder, get an entirely new slate of matches, connect with someone (or multiple matches), and meet them wherever you are.
Where Hinge runs out of matches eventually because you only have so many Facebook friends and connections in those networks, Tinder seems to be a never-ending well of matches. So much so that it gets tiresome and mind-numbing swiping left or right and at some point you’ll want to take a break. At least, that’s the case if you live in a major city.
Tinder Dating App :: Are Christians Using Tinder?
We do know some Christians who have used Tinder and found dates. Those anecdotal numbers fall dramatically when considering the number of friends we have who use Tinder and have found a serious relationship and/or gotten married. And by “dramatically,” we mean zero marriages and one friend who is in a serious relationship and he met her on Tinder.
The common piece of advice we hear from Christians who use Tinder is to add a lot of Jesus to your About Me paragraph. If you’re looking for other like-minded believers, you need to let them know who you are.
Sure, your common Facebook likes could tip them off to your shared interests. After all, if you both like John Piper, there could be potential with that match. John Piper is a very niche interest that most non-Christians probably aren’t going to have liked on Facebook.
But if you write an About Me paragraph that lets your matches know the importance of your relationship with Christ, it helps your profile stand out beyond what you happened to have liked on Facebook.
Again, you’ll just want to temper your Tinder expectations and keep them fairly low. Sure, there are Christians using Tinder successfully, but there are a lot more people using Tinder for things the typical evangelical Christian won’t want to take part in. So mitigate your disappointment by lowering your expectations of finding the love of your life on Tinder. And then, if you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Tinder Dating App Review :: Bottom Line
If we’re talking about mobile-only dating apps, we think Hinge trumps Tinder in every way except availability. As Hinge continues to add cities and becomes more globally available, it has a slightly better platform for helping you find like-minded Christians.
Still, we cannot overemphasize the fact that mobile-only dating apps like Tinder and Hinge are basically free. And free means matches can flake out on you at any given time because they don’t have any money invested in the game, for lack of a better term. Another complaint we often hear is how matches just stop communicating. Well, if there’s no subscription period driving them, it’s easy to check out.
Tinder also poses a problem for people who have struggled with sexual sin. Often users can be approached for hook-ups as well as other sexual encounters. For some, this isn’t a temptation, but we would still advise some sort of accountability in using the app. If this is an area where you have a history of struggle, Tinder is probably an app that you do not want to use. [For more discussion on this topic, check out our post: Should Christians Use Tinder?]
Our advice with Tinder—or any other mobile-only dating platform—is to try it if you want to, but if you’re serious about finding a spouse, pair it with a traditional online dating platform like eharmony, Match, or Christian Mingle—at least until someone makes a better mobile-only option for Christian singles who are marriage-minded.
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