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It makes me look at my external world in a more favorable way, she says. Actually communicating with people is another story. Her two dates both persuaded her to go out by being really solid text conversationalists. They did not end in sex, unlike many of her first dates on Ok Cupid.I do a lot of not responding, which is probably horrible, politenesswise, she says. I’m a social worker, and I talk to people all day, she says. Part of this was simply that expectations are so much lower on Tinder; all you know about the people in your folder is that your advances are welcome.Then a casual encounter had turned menacing, and Katherine decided she no longer wanted to pursue sex with total strangers. Katherine wrote: You can’t be psycho or I will tell [name of mutual friend]. I first signed up for Tinder in May but found it skewed too young.But she had a problem: She liked the adventure, she had the usual human need for other humans, and she needed the convenience of meeting people online. When Katherine and Eli downloaded Tinder in October 2013, they joined millions of Americans interested in trying the fastest-growing mobile dating service in the country. He did not, like one guy, start the conversation with Don’t you want to touch my abs? (I’m 32.) When I looked again in mid-October, everything had changed.It takes an especially dynamic person to win her over at text messaging. The lack of stated purpose in each profile can lead to some confusion.In fact, many of the people I interviewed asked what the site is supposed to be for. I ask what that means, and she says, More earthy, hipstery thirtysomething folks. They were all so cute and looked so friendly and warm and fun.
Two people who swipe each other to the right will match. In December, I flew out to Los Angeles, where Tinder is based, to visit the company’s offices and meet two of its founders, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, both 27.They first encountered each other at 14, when Sean made a play for Justin’s girlfriend. They had both experienced the frustration of sending smoke signals through social media.(We met because we both liked the same girl—but the girl was my says Justin.) They reconnected at USC, and then both started independent companies. Sean’s was Adly, a platform that allows companies to advertise via celebrities’ social networks. There are people that want to get to know you who don’t know you, so they’re resorting to Facebook, explains Justin.Nicole is 30, a willowy brunette with curly hair who describes herself on Tinder as Dancey, smiley, lovey, tall. Since joining Tinder last summer, she has chatted with dozens of guys but only gone on two Tinder dates. Sometimes she’ll start Tindering while on the train and will get so distracted she’ll miss her stop.She finds she sometimes falls into a soothing swiping rhythm where she’s not really looking at the men, just calming herself with a repetitive pattern of left-right swipes.