Aside from all the objectification and creepy men, Tinder is amazing. It’s makes “dating” quick and simple in a frenzied world.
Sadly, it burst onto the scene long after I’d found my “match,” Laura.
We’re both still on it, though.
Don’t worry. It’s not what you’re thinking! We just signed up to see what all the fuss was about and to see who could get more right swipes (spoiler: she did, unsurprisingly).
Call it friendly competition — we occasionally compare our Tinder lists to see who’s on their game. We’re a really normal couple.
But there’s something more here. The point is, Tinder isn’t just a hook-up tool. Its use isn’t purely mindless debauchery and honing cheesy pick-up lines. I’m not talking about cheating. I’m just saying you don’t have to lose out on the Tinder fun just because you’re in a relationship.
Here are some alternative ways to use everyone’s favourite dating app:
1. Role play.
After years of going out, funnily enough, my other half and I actually found one another on Tinder while doing our competition thing — thankfully we both swiped right. Afterwards, we chatted for a while pretending we were strangers. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. We talked about Nandos, the spiced chicken joint, mainly. After a few minutes it got weird and I bailed, but for more adventurous types it’d be a good way to go.
2. Alternative chatting.
It doesn’t have to be role play. Tinder has a decent chat function and is a decent alternative to WhatsApp or iMessage. If David Cameron really does block those tools, perhaps it might even act as a free method to communicate. A colleague of mine at BI has used it to talk to friends in the past.
Who can get the most matches? An exciting game to play with your other half, friends, or colleagues.
4. A source of drugs.
We’re not advocating drugs here. But Tinder is used by some to find new gear. See this thread on a drug forum called Shroomery, in which someone explains how they managed to track down some cannabis after moving to a new area — far away from their regular dealers. Another person, on Reddit, wrote about how he was offered pills by an anonymous dealer.
5. Finding out more about the area you live in.
Tinder is an awesome way to map your area; to find out more about the social demographics of where you live; discover other parts of towns and cities. I live in the murky depths of south London and using Tinder to see how people change between communities while travelling north on the Overground is fascinating. In New Cross, home of Goldsmiths University, there are loads of arty students, for example; in Highbury and Islington, you’ll see tons of girls sporting Arsenal scarfs.
6. Something to do on the commute.
Tinder is simply something to do while bored on the bus. You never know who you might find while journeying on the 249 to Clapham Common — it can take ages, especially in traffic. Basically, if you haven’t downloaded the latest episode of Catastrophe on 4OD, hit up Tinder and see what’s going on. You can talk to random people about Nandos.
7. Brand marketing.
Yes, companies use Tinder to reach out to potential customers. Domino’s UK used the app to advertise its 2014 Valentine’s Day promotion. Marking Week reported that the pizza chain gave away free or discounted meals to Tinder users who matched with the company on February 14. Iris Worldwide said Domino’s had a social reach of more than 230,000 people.
8. Charity campaigns.
Probably the most high-profile use of the platform was the Sex Trafficking campaign by eightytwenty for the Immigrant Council in Ireland. The group wanted to raise awareness in the country and used Tinder to tell the stories of past victims.
9. TV show promotion.
In the USA, the show Suits, which has a similar target audience (18 to 29), also used the dating app to reach out to viewers — and potentially bag more. This Contently post mentions the VP of marketing and digital for the programme, who said it was “experimental promotion.” People could swipe right with one of the Suits stars and get the chance to chat about the series.