I got in touch with a friend that has been using it so she could enlighten me and here's what she had to say:
"Tinder is a personal ad / findsomeone on steroids that needn’t contain any written information (if you don’t want it to – you can write a wee profile about yourself, or tell a joke, or whatever you want). It has to be setup linked to a Facebook account and the photos you use come from your Facebook account. If you have mutual friends, this will show, as does your first name and any groups or interests that you have selected on FB that are mutual. Otherwise it doesn’t show anything else. If you have mutual friends, this definitely assists with face stalking the person and of course is a good way to start off a conversation and giving you an idea that they might be alright seeing as you know the same people.
It is free. You swipe left to ‘like’ someone (or press the heart key), or right to ‘not like’ someone (or the X key). If you both like each other then you can being messaging each other. There is no rejection when someone swipes the other way, they simply just won’t show up as a ‘connection’ or ‘match’.
I have made a couple of friends which is cool. One guy was just a running buddy as we had started seeing other people and he comes to my pub quiz now – definitely no spark there. I have met a guy that was only after one thing. I met a guy that I thought could work out, but then he dumped me. I dated a farmer that I would otherwise not have met as he lives 100km away. I dumped him. I met a guy who was really short, like really short, so we only had the one coffee. I’ve dated short people before, it was more about the rambling and uncomfortable coffee we had than anything. I’ve had a few matches where the guy is straight up that they’re looking for a good time, at which point you can delete them if that is what you want.
You can filter your search by an age range (minimum of 5 years) and location, anywhere from 2km to 100miles (whatever that is in kms). There is also an option of male or female, but no filter for sexual preference, as in straight, gay, bi etc.
It’s fast, you don’t have to create anything (you can change your photos around if you like, normally first photo is your FB profile pic, but you might want to change this for anonymity if the person face stalks you, or you just want a different picture. I read an article where it says that girls get more hits for first picture being a full body picture, so I changed my photo to one where I had been diving in a wetsuit, got a lot more matches. It is amazing how many guys go fishing and hunting – most of their pics are with a fish or pig/deer in hand. First impressions count - for me, anyone with a child, pulling the fingers, weird selfie pic (surely you can do better than that for a first picture), lots of tattoos are an immediate no. Also, if the person only has group photos, how can you tell which one they are?! Swipe No. I have a friend who has started an album with guys tinder pics and them with cats titled ‘men of tinder and the cats they love’. It’s no seedier or superficial than meeting someone in the pub.
While you would like to think you are being yourself, the ability to hide behind an app and think about your messages can definitely lead to what I would call un-natural conversations or replies/responses. Not intentional, but is normal to over analysis and think about what you are going to say when given the chance to. I think it is best to meet up asap rather than spends weeks messaging back and forth, somewhere safe of course, and don’t limit yourself to a coffee date with one Tinder-in-shining-amour. There is no harm in meeting multiple people, so long as you’ve set your own boundaries of when you cut the other person or people off.
Also, when rejecting someone it is just as easy to hide behind the app. A little bit of honesty goes a long way, and hey, you might be back on the Tinder horse sooner than you think. Although I am guilty of the old just stop messaging or texting if I’ve exchanged numbers – just sucks when it happens the other way around!"
Very interesting. I love living vicariously through my single friends! I also found this article on Stuff that could be helpful if you are considering using Tinder.