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Saravanan B

What brings people to tinder?

Tinder is a location-based service app that is used to like or dislike users based on their persona. For example, when two people like each other, it is considered a match. In a nutshell, Tinder comes across as an app that helps individuals to connect with others if they mutually like each other. 

One fine evening, I was wondering what drives people to Tinder. As a matter of fact, I saw most of my friends installing Tinder in their mobile phone and start to swipe right (if they like someone) or swipe left (to dislike someone) which drives me crazy. In this regard, I decided to explore more information on this line to uncover who is more susceptible to frequent Tinder usage and who is not. Some of this information is based on my observations as well as through some empirical works done in the past.

Why do people need Tinder in the first place? Why is this phenomenon popular in metropolitan cities? Are men prone to use Tinder frequently compared to women? What plays a major role in a match? Are they extraverts or introverts? Which age group do they come from? Are they staying away from family due to their career?

Considering these questions, I was in hot pursuit for relevant empirical information on these lines. I came across a study carried out by researchers from the Leuven School of Mass Communications Research. The following observations are documented into two parts namely, Personality Traits and Motives.

  • Studies have confirmed that users of this application tend to be more sociable, impulsive, and not necessarily interested in sexual motive. Most people believe Tinder to be used as a medium for hooking up with someone which is disconfirmed through a study carried out by Timmermans et al in 2016 where the casual sex was the least common motive for using the app. I know you may ask, how is this possible? Psychologists love using questionnaires for figuring the personality traits of people. In this study, the researchers used the Big Five Personality Inventory for getting their observations. For those who don't know what this questionnaire is, please take a moment to Google it. They found that introverts prefer these communication platforms since they experience less social anxiety. Moreover, a significant chunk of the population uses these applications for entertainment and distraction purpose. These observations were found to be statistically significant. Readers to note that there is a high probability that users of this app tend to experience loneliness;  openness to new experience traits, etc. In simple terms, your match might be seeking for a new experience or might be lonely or both. And, these people who are novelty-seeking are also tending to be frequent travelers. Yes, one person in our group who does the weekend getaway travel. Like that guy. I am talking about 95% of the cases.
  • Neurotic individuals are more likely to seek social approval. Studies have confirmed that neuroticism is positively correlated with sexual curiosity. whereas openness to experience is positively correlated with novelty seeking similar to socializing and travelling. Please note they are correlated and not casual in particular. Some of the neurotic personalities have also tended to have experienced relationship breakdown in the recent past. Are they using the Tinder App to come out their recent breakup? I am not sure. Might be true.
  • Conscientious people are least likely to use these apps for entertainment/pass-time activities. 
  • Most of the users tend to be in the age group of 18-30 (as per Tinder statistic). The swipes are also predominantly more in metropolitan cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai, etc. The cultural penetration of this app usage is not dominant in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities compared to the metros.
  • What plays a major role in a match?  Pictures and Age of course!
  • Are men prone to use Tinder frequently compared to women? Yes
  • Are they staying away from family due to their career? Most likely. 
  • Why is this phenomenon popular in metropolitan cities? Demography is skewed towards a younger audience which paves the way for more usage.
  • How to get a match? I am not the best person to answer this. :P

To sum up, personality traits and motives play a huge role in app usage. Observe these patterns in your friends and have fun. Please feel free to share your thoughts. 


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