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Tinder. A dating app with something of a reputation for casual encounters. 

You make a short bio, you post no more than 6 pictures, and you get thrown into the dating pool.  You're shown picture after picture.  You can decide if you'll like someone based on a few characters (sometimes just emojis) they've written about themselves, or more likely based on the carefully curated pictures they've chosen to display, to give you a glimpse of how fun and attractive they are.  If you like them, you swipe their picture to the right, if you don't then you swipe left.  And that's it.  If you like someone who also liked you, then you get matched up, and are given the ability to communicate with one another.  "Hey, did you fall from Heaven, because let's have sex."  You can imagine the kind of deep, spiritual connections that you make with people.

People are on Tinder for different reasons.  What was originally conceived as essentially a hookup app has evolved and its userbase has moved it in many directions.  Some people on there are looking for serious, committed long term relationships with people whose initial interest is sparked by mutual physical attraction.  Basically, the digital equivalent of "We locked eyes from across the room, flirted, went out, dated, fell in love, got married."  Sometimes these folks are embarrassed to admit to others how they met.  Others are looking for friends.  Lonely, awkward, or sometimes just anxious people who would prefer to swipe through and mutually like someone before risking engaging them in friendly conversation.  The equivalent of "I don't like going to bars. We met through our tiny social circle and have been BFFs ever since."  And then you have what I would consider the target demographic userbase of the app.  The people who are looking for casual sex in whatever form; friends with benefits, one night stands, swingers, couples, etc. 

In all my time flirting in bars, I've noticed that conventional gender roles and prevalent social constraints and taboos make most women less comfortable being forward or open about their sexual desires.  With Tinder, no longer does a woman have to deal with the judgement of society (or more particularly, her friends) if she meets someone at a bar and wants nothing else from him but to take him home for the night.  Nobody else even has to know.

"Are you looking for a boyfriend, or a hookup? Or maybe just a good time?"  

However, I think the major appeal of Tinder for many users is a combination of volume exposure and risk reduction.  You can get a glimpse of MANY potential matches very quickly.  More than you could approach in a bar in a single weekend.  And once you do match with someone, that means he/she swiped right too.  You already KNOW they think you're attractive.  You don't have to understand or be able to interpret subtle social cues that have always been lost on many.  You don't have to walk up to the person you're interested in and explicitly express your attraction and interest, risking repeated usually-kind-but-sometimes-brutal rebuke and rejection.  The playing field has been leveled and the focus narrowed.  People who think you are attractive are served up to you on a silver platter, or their pictures are anyway, along with an avenue of communication.  After that, it's up to you not to screw it up.

See also "How to improve your chances of having sex."

Tin"der (?), n. [OE. tinder, tunder, AS. tynder, tyndre; akin to tendan to kindle, D. tonder tinder, G. zunder, OHG. zuntara, zuntra, Icel. tundr, Sw. tunder, Dan. tonder. See Tind.]

Something very inflammable, used for kindling fire from a spark, as scorched linen.

German tinder. Same as Amadou. -- Tinder box, a box in which tinder is kept.


© Webster 1913.

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