Tinder is on the rise

Anna Ferguson, News Editor

Since Tinder’s launch in 2012, dating apps have become immensely popular, with Tinder alone garnering over 1.6 billion users, a small portion of which are New Trier students.

More and more, New Trier students have started using Tinder over the the past couple of years. Tinder has an 18 and under policy which prevents users ages 13 to 17 from matching with users 18 and older.

“I’m on the under 18 Tinder so sometimes I scroll past a bunch of 14-year-olds and I’m like, what is this?” a senior girl said. Because of this limitation, the majority of New Trier students using are 18-year-old seniors.

Tinder is appealing to students for a number of reasons. First, Tinder makes it easier for students to find and meet people who they might be interested in hooking up with.

Hookup apps like Tinder are particularly helpful for New Trier’s LGBT students. “It’s nice to be able to talk to other guys you know are interested because it’s really hard to find other gay guys at New Trier,” a senior boy said.

Meeting up with people through Tinder also gives users the opportunity to be completely honest with what they want out of the relationship. “In many ways meeting up is a lot less pressure because it’s obvious that you are both there to just hook up,” the same senior boy said.

Students also use Tinder as a way to meet or hook up with non-New Trier students. Some students actually make a point of avoiding other New Trier students on Tinder. “I turned off Tinder here in this area of fear of finding people from school on it,” an anonymous senior girl said.

Tinder is also used by some students as simply a fun social experiment. “A ton of my friends and I were on a trip near a lot of colleges, and we were bored so we all got them [Tinder accounts] for the weekend,” a senior girl said.

For those students who use Tinder but don’t actually meet up with people, Tinder is more of a fun and pressure-free way to flirt. “We aren’t actually going to get with these people. For the most part, it’s just interesting to see other people in this area. It also gives validation to people because they don’t get it at school,” a senior girl said.

Dating apps such as Tinder open up the dating pool for students who have trouble meeting others at New Trier. For the New Trier area specifically, Tinder allows students to connect with both students at other high schools and at nearby colleges, notably Northwestern University.

Not all New Trier students are fans of Tinder, however. “Basically it’s just talking to random people and not actually working up the confidence to meet them,” senior Brendan Loftus said.

Even those students who do use Tinder recognize the negative aspects of the application. “There will always be “creeps” and also the hyper aggressive guy who will bluntly ask for sexual favors, which is rude,” a senior girl said.

The students who admitted to using Tinder all seemed to agree that Tinder’s biggest attraction is the convenience and the pressure-free aspect of anonymous hook ups. “Everyone’s there for the same purpose, so it’s easy,” a senior girl said.