Tinder: Clever or Creepy?

Is the art of romance dead? Well that depends on how you define romance.

The image of the stereotype of a male coming to the door to pick up a female for a date still can exist, but why knock when you can always text the girl that you are in the driveway? Media is changing the way we date today and thanks to apps like Tinder, dating is becoming even more tech-savvy. After downloading Tinder, you just sign in through Facebook, pick a flattering picture of yourself and you’ll be matched with photo after photo of potential mates. You pick a gender (male, female or both), then decide how far or close you want them to be (10 to 100 miles away) and how old (18 to 50+.) It’s like ordering pizza. You can also write a tagline to describe yourself and add a few more photos for people who want to learn more about you before making their choice. All you do is swipe right if you approve of someone’s appearance or swipe left if you’re not into them. Once you reject someone, the poor fool won’t be able to contact you. But if you both swipe right, you’ll be able to chat up a storm until you make plans for drinks at a mutually agreeable and safe location.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, Tinder strikes up some 10 million matches a day worldwide. To date, the viral smash hit has made one billion matches. The irony is that the 27- year-old co-founder and chief executive Sean Rad has said that the pressure to keep those who hookup happy and coming back is intense that the 27-year-old claims he’s okay with sacrificing his own youth and personal growth and development to keep Tinder sparking new relationships across the world. You’d think he’d get a few more “swipe rights.”

Online dating is here to stay and it is only improving from this point on. There isn’t as much stigma today as there once was since it is so common. A recent Pew study found that 11 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile apps — a figure that was just 3 percent five years ago. Among Internet users who were currently single and looking for a partner, 38 percent had tried online dating. However, according to the Pew study, 21 percent of Internet users agree with the statement: “People who use online dating sites are desperate.” Pew notes that’s an eight-percentage-point decline from 2005. Still, there seems to be lingering judgment about using a smartphone to find someone to love. Perhaps this depends on location and social circles more than anything. If you are in a big city, with lots of busy young professionals, the odds are higher that more people will be on the Tinder app as opposed to a smaller suburban area where more people are getting married in their mid-twenties.

Do you Tinder? If so, do you feel judged? Let me know in the comments!

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The List Fad

The popular social news and entertainment website, BuzzFeed is responsible for redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology. BuzzFeed provides shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video across the social web to its global audience of more than 130M. They are also responsible for countless lists which have grown in popularity on more than just the Buzzfeed website. These list-like articles join together images or even moving images called gifs to make a typically humorous story that is easy to share with friends. The content of these articles ranges from “27 Things You Won’t Regret When You’re Older” to “14 Cats Who Look Better With Bangs.”

If I made a Buzzfeed List, it would be something like this:

Five Annoying Reactions You Get When You Tell People You Are Getting an Online Master’s Degree

1. “Oh please, gimme a break with this!”

2. “Do you really think people will want to hire you with that?”

3. “…Wait… you can submit assignments in your pajamas?”

4. “That’s actually not a bad deal…”

5. “Now tell me how I can sign up for this WVU IMC program!”

 

 

So not only are they amusing to read, but they are also fun to create as well. It seems like the instinct is to say that lists work great, and to an extent, this is true.  However that’s not what makes Buzzfeed’s lists go viral. The secret is in the idea of micro-targeting. According to an article written on Contently, most Buzzfeed “listicles” are tailored to be shared by a micro-targeted online population. By just looking at the listicles on BuzzFeed’s homepage right now, you can see this in action from “24 Traits Of The Bay Area You’ll Miss When You Move Away” to “27 Painful Photos Every Short Girl Can Relate To.” People identify with a lot of different characterizations.

There will always be a new fad or trend to catch on to, therefore Buzzfeed will always have ideas for content. Because of the variety, this “list fad” is here to stay. What do you think of these “listicles?”

#Selfie Overload

We live in a world where the term “selfie” is used by all ages and at any given point. The humorous Urban Dictionary  definition for the word “selfie” states that it is:

 

“A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.”

 

This phenomenon is so popular that even my friend’s 5 year old niece took a selfie the other day on my friend’s Instagram account.

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Recently, there was an article published that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had officially classified taking ‘Selfies’ as a mental disorder. The announcement also stated that the APA also claimed to name the disorder ‘Selfitis.’ This story was so ridiculous that it was in fact as unbelievable as it seemed because the story was not confirmed to be a credible source and was instead found out to be a hoax. What makes it even more amusing is that the story went viral on social media, with many becoming obsessed with the notion of tearing apart the “selfie” and turning it into a mental disorder. According to Forbes, a survey of mental health professionals conducted by YourTango.com, revealed that the desire to feel appreciated is actually critical to a healthy relationship. The survey was focused on finding the most common issues within a marriage, and 65% of respondents cited “communication problems,” as the most common factor that leads to divorce. The top communication complaints by men in couples considering divorce were: nagging/complaining (70%), followed by their spouse not expressing sufficient appreciation (60%). The number one complaint (83%) from women who responded was “a lack of validation for their feelings and opinions” (sounds a lot like ‘recognizing’ feelings and opinions).

For better or for worse, this fraudulent article on “selfies” offers us all some insights that we can use. We can see that there is both a human desire to be recognized and appreciated, and that we shouldn’t make those people closest to us ask for that recognition. There are quite a few duck-faced selfies that become eye-roll inducing to say the least, but maybe when we see a friend posting dozens of selfies in one day, we should reach out instead of mocking them or immediately assuming they are mentally unstable….Unless you see this selfie:

 

… Then you may want to ask a few questions.