Since its launch in , the relationship program, Tinder, has obtained quite a lot of publicity. It’s one of the very popular lifestyle apps with over million daily active users.
For the uninitiated, Tinder is a mobile relationship program which allows users to find other singles in their geographic area. Users fill out a short bio and upload photographs. They could then start seeing photos of other users who match their age, gender, and location criteria. Users swipe right if they enjoy what they see and swipe if they don’t. They are subsequently notified of any games, where both people swiped right on every other’s profiles. Thus, users can easily view hundreds of local singles and pick with a fast swipe of their finger should they’re interested or not.
From the popular media, Tinder very much has the reputation of being a hookup program, designed to ease fleeting sexual encounters. At the summit of the Tinder hype, an article in Vanity Fair announced that Tinder represented the sunrise of their relationship apocalypse. Whereas other people in the popular media have indicated that many use the program in search of love.
So, why do people use Tinder?
Two recent studies shed some light on all the hype.
The analysis mostly involved open-ended queries concerning users’ motives for and adventures using the program. The researchers then coded participants’ responses into categories.
So what is the most commonly cited rationale for using Tinder? It’s popular: . percent of those respondents indicated that the primary reason they used Tinder revolved around its prevalence the press hype or the simple fact that a number of their peers were using it. Only about of those surveyed indicated the desire for hookups has been their primary motivation for joining the website. This data is outlined in the table below.
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The participants were asked what was the purpose of Tinder. As it came to individuals ‘s perceptions, unsurprisingly, they were true to stereotype.percent said they believed Tinder was created for hooking up, . percent stated relationship, and percent meeting individuals.
While this open-ended data is valuable, it doesn’t provide the whole story on why people use Tinder. Participants in LeFebvre’s research were asked what their primary reason was for using the program, but individuals frequently have several motives for their behaviors. Someone might primarily have joined Tinder since it seemed like the trendy thing to do, but that person might also have a desire to fulfill a potential romantic partner or hookup.
The researchers then used a statistical approach to set those evaluations into general classes. The categories and the average evaluations of these participants for each category are outlined in the table below.
Another common motive that wasn’t cited in the LeFebvre analysis was self-worth validation. It wasn’t unusual for participants to utilize the program since they wanted positive comments on Tinder or simply because receiving such best hook up sites opinions felt great. Obviously, finding a romantic partner was also a comparatively common reason for using Tinder. As can be seen in the table, using the app for casual sex and hookups was less common than these other reasons.
Unsurprisingly, both research also suggested that men are more likely than girls to use Tinder for the purpose of looking for casual sex.
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These studies reveal that using Tinder meets a variety of psychological needs, beyond the clear ones pertaining to dating and sex. Tinder can also be used to meet general social needs. Both studies showed that the trendiness and excitement of the program were bigger drivers of its use than motives that are related to what many users believe to be its purpose (relationship, sex). Additionally, it may help to fulfill our requirements for self-worth. Acquiring games on Tinder can be an ego boost. On the other hand, not receiving games could damage self-worth, and in reality, LeFebvre discovered that lack of success on Tinder, such as not receiving games, was one of the main reasons users quit the program.
What do people do if they get a Tinder match?
In LeFebvre’s qualitative analysis, percent of those respondents indicated they had met a game in person sooner or later, with the average participant reporting . offline meetings with games. And in reality, percent reported that a Tinder date resulted in an exclusive relationship relationship. What about these infamous hookups? Well, these participants did do lots of hooking up. Of those who met a Tinder game in person, just . percent indicated they had never hooked up. Another . percent stated they’d hooked up but it didn’t involve sexual intercourse and yet another . percent stated their hookups did involve sexual contact. In addition, the average number of hookups reported from the participants was only above three.
Participants in the Dutch study appeared to be less successful on Tinder. Slightly fewer than half the participants (. percent) had gone to an offline date with a game, and . percent reported having had a one-night stand. This rate is a lot lower, but other data from this study indicates that these participants were less active on the program compared to participants in LeFebvre’s research.
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How do reasons for using Tinder relate to individuals ‘s experiences?
You might also be wondering how Tinder users’ reasons for using the program relate to their actual use of the program. LeFebvre’s qualitative data couldn’t actually address this question, but Sumter and coworkers were able to examine the association between Tinder use participants and motives ‘ likelihood of going to a Tinder date or having a Tinder hookup.
People who have been looking for love or casual sexual activity were likely to go on Tinder dates. Unsurprisingly, the further that participants signaled casual sex for a motive for using Tinder, the more likely they were to have a one-night stand with a Tinder match. Those who employed Tinder as a means to boost their feelings of self-worth were not as likely to have a night stand. Interestingly, people who employed Tinder since it seemed like an easier way to match people were really less likely to go on dates together with Tinder matches. Maybe these folks were particularly likely to be bashful and consequently ultimately didn’t follow through with their Tinder matches.
What exactly do we actually understand about Tinder?
Returning to the question which began this article, is Tinder a hookup program? Tinder-initiated hookups are rather common, but the belief that Tinder is mainly about hookups is overstated. Tinder consumers are more likely to be seeking relationships than casual sex. Moreover, dating and sex are not the main reasons that lots of men and women are using Tinder.
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Both of these studies provide us a window into the reasons of Tinder users, but finally it’s difficult to generalize the findings. As I pointed out, the actual dating and hookup adventures of the two samples of participants differed considerably. So which experience is nearer to that of their normal Tinder user? It’s difficult to say without polls that seek out a representative sample of Tinder users. Nonetheless, both studies suggest that a lot of Tinder’s popularity is, paradoxically, due to its popularity. This may not be the best news for people who do utilize Tinder to look for love or sex, since they may find that their games don’t take the app quite seriously and aren’t as interested in following through.
In addition, we know very little about the long-term prospects of Tinder-initiated relationships. Conventional online dating websites, like match.com, have existed long enough that researchers are starting to comprehend the prognosis for those relationships and the types of people using the sites. Only time and more research will tell.
. LeFebvre, L. E. (). Swiping me off my feet: Explicating relationship initiation on Tinder. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships . Published online before print. doi: ./.