Breaking the Tinder Norms

Abstract & Introduction- On the breaking the norms of social media I decided to do the Dazed and Confused option. I went on the app Tinder which is notorious for meeting people to hook up with but instead used it to make new friends. When I first started inboxing people I got many weird and inapporiate responeses. People were confused why I was on the app to meet new friends. One guy even warned me that I will meet a lot of creeps on this site and mentioned how this was not for just meeting new people. Another was offended when I made it clear that I only thought this app was for making new friends. Overall, every guy I talked to seemed to not care how I thought people were supposed to use tinder and continued to use Tinder the way which the app is used to all the normal tinder users.

Methods- I first began my expierment by making a Tinder account connected to my facebook account. All the profile pictures and information was my real pictures and info. I set the perfernce part to all males. I then began to just swipe right for every person I saw so I could get as many matches as possible. Once I started getting matches I began inboxes everyone I matched with. I tried the casual “Hi” to start but after a couple short convos I started with “ Hey! I’m Victoria! I’m new to tinder! How long have you been using it for?”. I got various responses but many of them never even answered my question but instead just asked a random one back. Sometimes my matches would inbox me first therefore I had to change my responses. I tried to seem innocent and unaware of the truth of what Tinder is for. The project overall took me around a couple hours because the users of Tinder were on the app 24/7. Some of the men would immediatily inbox me right when we got matched. I came to the conclusion after a couple converstation that this is a lifestyle for a lot men on this app.

My age is actually 18..not quite sure why it says 20.


Case A- “The Good Guy” This was the first converstation I had on Tinder. Case A actually inboxed me first. When I first mentioned I was new to Tinder he warned me about what the app was really about. The descprtion he gives about the usage of Tinder is the best way to explain the truth about the app.

Case B “Not into New Friends” The second conversation I had on Tinder was with Case B and he inboxed me first with a compliment. Once again I eased into the fact that I was new too tinder. He was interested about it at first but then when it was clear that I only thought it was for new friends he stopped messaging. It beginning to become clear that people on Tinder are really not intrested in new friends.

Case C “Straight to the Point” After several failed conversations I got one were the guy was just clear on what he wanted from the conversation. I begin with the introducing myself message and he responded “Too Long”. It seems I was breaking a tinder norm when I wrote a long message to begin with. He then wanted proof of who I was because apparently there are a lot of people who are not who they say they are. This did not surpise me because of the new “catfish” thing that has been happening on websites like this. “Catfish” means that someone is not who they are in their profile pictures and there trying to fool people. And then once I was not willing to, he proceed to ask for it again!

Case D- “The Location User” On Tinder one of the features is that it shows how many miles away you are from someone. In this case I was 9 miles away from Case D. The reason for the mile feauture is so people can meet up but for a person who just wants to make friends I acted creeped out when he asked where I lived. At the time I was home in Boston therefore he started listing out close colleges.

Case E- “For anything, I suppose” Many Tinder users are pretty up front for the reason that they use Tinder. This was the first conversation I had were the guy did not get into specifics for the way people use Tinder. This could be because he himself was new to Tinder. Tinder has a very notorious reputation when people talk about it. I was surprised he did not realize what it was or if he did then why he did not share the reason.


Through conducting this experiment I learned a lot about what happens if you break social “norms” online. In the case of Tinder the social norm is that everyone is looking for a hookup if their using the app. Therefore, anything goes. You can inbox anyone anything you want in a flirtatious way and it is all considered normal.

With that being said if you do not follow that norm than people get confused. For example, in the experiment I played dumb about what the app was really used for. I acted like I just wanted to make friends and that I had no idea about Tinder rep. I had various reactions most of them were trying to help me out and tell the truth of why people are using Tinder. It was interesting to see what happens when you do not follow the norms on an app just as Tinder.

The norms on Tinder came to be because of the swipe right and swipe left on Tinder. You swipe right if you think the person is attractive and swipe left if you do not think they are. With that motion on Tinder it causes people to focus on people’s looks on whether or not they are interested in them. Therefore this causes people to become romantic and or flirtatious while having conversations on the app becuase of the focus on being “matched”. Tinder is the only place where conversations solely for the purpose of hooking up is accepetable. If you are not aware of why people use Tinder I came to the conclusion that you are not welcomed on the app due to the conversations I had.

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