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Digital dating: Is Tinder the perfect place to find an online valentine

February 9, 2021
Photo by Hope Ann Flores | The State News

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, many things are at an all-time high. Emotions, flower sales, chocolate prices and — Tinder users?

That’s right. Last year, Bustle reported that according to Tinder, user activity reaches peak user interactivity between Jan. 1 and Feb. 13. However, for some students, having no valentine is preferable to finding one virtually. 

“I feel like when you meet someone in person it’s much more genuine," marketing sophomore Colin Wood said. "You can read the room a lot better whereas on Tinder ... you can’t tell how the person is actually going to act. You can seem completely different over texting." 

Advertising junior Lauren Veldboom shared similar thoughts.

“I can’t judge someone enough based off of their Tinder profile," she said. "I need to see if our ... energies match and how we interact in real life. Over an app, it isn't as authentic." 

Along with connections seeming less meaningful, Veldboom also holds Tinder responsible for the way it portrays users as expendable. 

“Tinder has made it so that people are disposable, honestly,” she said. “Whether that be in hookups or relationships, anyone that you talk to, well, you know what? You just keep swiping and you can find another one.” 

At the end of the day, Veldboom said Tinder just boils down to desperation. 

“(It’s) desperation, either desperation for hookups, desperate for validation or desperate for an actual relationship,” Veldboom said.

However, not all students' experiences with Tinder involve hookups and awkward conversations. For packaging senior Andrea Vortriede, Tinder was the beginning of her adventure with J.J., her boyfriend of nearly two years. When she saw J.J., she thought he was cute and swiped right. 

“We ended up matching, and he had this really good intro picture,” Vortriede said. 

After they matched, he pulled a line that she had heard many times before. 

“He said the classic ‘Oh does this mean we’re dating now?’ which is so irritating," she said. "Every guy says that one." 

The answer to J.J.’s question turned out to be yes. 

“Our first date we went to go ice skating, ... and then we ended up hitting it off," Vortriede said. “We went to go get Cold Stone ... and we ended up driving around in his car.”

But the date didn’t end there. After two hours of talking and driving around, the duo decided to make the 90-minute drive from East Lansing to Detroit. They stopped at a pastry shop, ordered some pastries and drove all the way back.

Before her lucky match, however, Vortriede had her fair share of Tinder flops. 

“I would say I definitely had a very positive experience with one of them, but the other guys that I met on Tinder all kind of sucked,” she said. “It just takes that one I guess, right?"

This article is part of the Restricted Romance print issue. Read the entire issue here.

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