The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday February 3rd

Column: It’s going down. I’m yelling Tinder.

<p>DTH Photo Illustration. Delete the dating apps and shoot your shot!</p>
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DTH Photo Illustration. Delete the dating apps and shoot your shot!

Tinder sucks. Delete it now. Here’s why:

I’ve heard the "I just downloaded it for fun" excuse before from almost every person who has the app.

Looking at profiles with your friends, rating them and categorizing them into “Yes”' or “No” might sound like a fun video game. It doesn’t feel like real people on the screen. 

But remember, those same people are sitting with their friends and doing the exact same thing to your profile — and you deserve more than to be treated like a video game.

Because I’m a super smart psychology student who just made a giant Quizlet, comparing Tinder's hot-or-not swiping to Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning might help us make sense of this modern phenomenon.

A Russian psychologist named Ivan Pavlov had dogs who would salivate when they smelled food. Pavlov realized if he rang a bell and then brought food to the dogs, it would result in them associating the bell with food. Eventually, the dogs would salivate simply at the sound of the bell without any food, because they were conditioned to do so. 

Just like Pavlov's dogs, by using Tinder, you're conditioning yourself to associate someone’s five photos, quirky bio and top Spotify listens with their validity as a person. With every single swipe you make, you’re reinforcing the idea that people are a pass or a fail. 

When you look up from your screen, your brain will treat life like Tinder. That’s not fun.

Dating is supposed to be annoying, difficult and stressful, because real people are, too. But hiding within that giant mess are moments that make it entirely worth it. 

If you're reading this, I’m assuming you're a young, smart, single person who just wants to have picnics on the quad with a boo of your own. But let me tell you, there are better ways to make this happen than Tinder. 

Here are four tips to get a date like your parents did — no profile needed. 

Be Shameless 

For some reason, the people who invented social cues decided that complimenting someone is inherently embarrassing. I hate that. 

Think about the last time a stranger complimented you. Did you look at them and think, “wow, that’s really embarrassing for them that they think I’m attractive.” No, you probably went to sleep smiling for a week.

Shamelessly shooting your shot is undeniably cool and powerful (as long as you do it respectfully). It’s this simple: go up to someone, compliment their outfit or hair or whatever it might be. Worst case scenario, you boost their ego and move on with your cool and powerful day.

The Number

This part is really important: don’t ask for their number. Even if they want to give it to you, this person has no idea who you are. It'll make them super uncomfortable. Phone numbers feel private for some reason. I don’t make the rules. 

Write your number on something and hand it to them. When you do this, you’re giving them the power without any pressure. If they want to text you, they will. If they don’t, they’ll probably just take the paper and throw it away when you leave.

Stop Trying to Seem Cool 

If that person does text you, don’t wait too long to reply. It’s obvious when two people wait five hours, then six hours, then seven hours, etc. to reply to each other so they seem cool and unreachable. Let’s BeReal — you’re both looking at your phone or laptop almost 24/7. Just reply when you see a message.

Stickers? Stickers.

One last pointer for my shy people: put stickers about things you like on your laptop. It sounds cheesy, but when you whip out that ThinkPad in class and your outdoorsy crush from Boone sees your NOLS sticker, they’re more likely to talk to you because they have a reason to. “Oh, what trip did you go on?” 

Boom. You’re in. 

This is probably the last time in your life that you will live on a campus with thousands of other single people your age. After you graduate, your coworkers and neighbors will be 30 years older than you and you’ll miss the time when you had so many chances to talk to people. 

Down the road, you’re not going to remember 99 percent of the people you swiped on Tinder. But you might still be with the person from your class that you took the risk to talk to. And that's just my Two Spence. 


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