Four people and a dream. That’s all it took to begin our quest for love on Tinder Social.
Tinder Social was released last July. It’s a feature of the popular dating app (“dating” as a loose term) that enables users to link up with each other and enter into the deck as a group.You can enter in a group as small as two and as big as four. Each group member swipes on his or her own phone and if your group matches with another (as in, someone in that group swiped right on you, too) then a giant group chat is created in which all of you can talk. It’s like that group phone call in Mean Girls, but about a million times worse.
One crisp October evening, four Blog writers gathered in a living room on Williams Street and let all Social hell break loose. It had to be tested on Brown’s campus, and who better to test it than two girls, two guys, multiple sexualities, and a lot of vodka?
We had one goal, and one goal alone: to have a successful meet-up. Could we find love in such a hopeless place?
Here’s what happened to us. Hopefully, it will never, ever happen to you.
HDP: The first and most important thing you should know is that Tinder Social needs a shitload of engineering work. The moment we began swiping, all of our phones and apps crashed. Tinder could not handle the heat. Literally. There were long periods of time where I could not access any of the conversations, click on anyone’s profiles, or message anyone. At one point, all of my group conversations crashed.
KC: For the duration of the hour and a half we spent just talking to people on Tinder Social, I managed to successfully send maybe 5 messages total. For most of the experience, I would receive everyone’s messages 5 minutes after they were sent and almost none of mine would actually go through. I was also unable to send or receive messages in the normal, single-person dating part of the app, meaning that using Tinder Social may unintentionally cost you a kinky Tinder hookup if your timing isn’t right.
HDP: The second thing you should know is that the swiping is overwhelming. If you, like us, go on Tinder Social at 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night, things are going to move quickly. There is no game playing to be had at this point — no waiting to respond, no Snapchats leading up to the night. Everyone is, for lack of a better phrase, very down.
Toto, we’re not in Bumble anymore.
AG: The most exciting part of Tinder Social was probably the actual creation of a Tinder profile. Choosing the correct order of photos, the age range, the geographic constraints. The biggest decision? Choosing my bio, of course. Ultimately, I went with three saucy, slightly suggestive emojis: a lightning bolt, a winky face, and a glass of wine. The big one.
JC: I heard once that under control conditions, men on dating sites garner the most interest when their photos and bios contain the following: puppies, surfing, and yoga. Naturally, I fabricated my tinder bio with all three: “I teach stand-up paddle board yoga with my 3-month old golden retriever, Scout.”
HDP: I think part of the reason why the app was so finicky was because we had quite literally a dozen conversations going at once. Waiting to get a match, or receiving notification of a match, felt a lot like being a parent and watching your kid score in a soccer game. We were high-fiving, we were jumping, we were screaming.
Also, pro tip: you have to give zero f***s. I promise I’m not always so eager with the winky face.
KC: You really have to throw caution to the wind. Tinder Social is weird because you have to judge people’s personalities by their appearances. And if it seems like that doesn’t make sense, it’s because it doesn’t. So if you actually want to have a conversation, you gotta take another shot of grapefruit vodka and then lie to some girl about loving the clothing brand she works for.
HDP: It would take hours to comb through all our archival footage, but here are some highlights. (Also, for clarity’s sake, our group is Hannah, Alli, Jackson, and Kelly — every other name is someone from a group we matched with.)
JC: Tinder could have made it clearer by color-coding everyone in your own group, I constantly was forgetting if the last text was one of us or some rando.
Brandon & Thomas: The Fragility of Masculinity
JC: Got to give Brandon the award for “We don’t switch hit” as the smoothest way to say “I’m not bisexual,” however he lost a ton of points with the “gorls” typo, and even more with the “your girls” comment.
AG: Shoutout to Kelly for saying “we made them ourselves.”
KC: I don’t understand where babies come from.
Noah & Eric: The “Divide and Conquer”
KC: I’m still not sure what religion Eric was talking about but, after we left them on read, I know these two boys needed Jesus Christ.
Hannah & Kyle (unsure where everyone else went)
HDP: Kyle double texted, and we didn’t text him back.
The Late Bloomers
AG: Like… 24 hours late. Like, 2:50 p.m. the next day late.
The “Divide and Conquer,” part II
HDP: We quickly started to realize that this wasn’t uncommon. Anyone who frequents Tinder social knows that dibs-calling is a thing. I appreciate and understand the urge to swipe right on a group because you’re attracted to one person in it, but is it necessary to “call” one, publicly, in the open group chat? Like, wouldn’t it be smarter and more effective to engage in group conversation, and then try and get with that one person should you actually meet up?
KC: I thought Nicholas was cute so, if the app hadn’t been crashing at the time, I would have messaged “dibs on the entitled f***boi.”
Us, Tyler, and Lehman: Everyone’s Worst Threesome Fear
HDP: In other words, the chat we should never have been a part of. Tyler and Lehman had a full-on conversation in our Tinder Social chat. We almost thought they forgot it was one big group chat until Lehman gave Alli a song recommendation at the end. Tyler digs.
KC: Lehman just went for Emond’s life in front of four strangers… I don’t know who she is or if she’s actually “crazy af,” but honestly I kind of think she should be the one getting with Jenna. Also, I’m pretty impressed that Lehman was getting drunk, doing finance homework, and watching “lit” porn simultaneously. How does he have enough hands?
AG: Because I definitely know which rooftop you are referring to, Ryan.
JC: I think they meant the yuppie bar/restaurant Rooftop Downtown, but we weren’t about to take Tom’s work on “u guys r good.”
The Meet Up
We finally matched with a group of Brown students. Time to make moves.
AG: This party was walking distance. We put on our shoes. We slugged some wine. We were ready.
HDP: We showed up at 11 Arnold and I, for one, had never felt more SWUG-ish in my life. I was surrounded my sophomores, none of whom I even recognized. And, to make it worse, I was on a Tinder Social date. My night had quickly gone from desperate to the most possible desperate.
There were 20-30 people sitting on a garage roof and Jackson and Kelly climbed up to see if they could spot the “hot guy wearing a white polo.” We could not.
Jackson, sullen and defeated, called them out in our group chat. “You stood us up,” he wrote a solid hour after we had tried to find them.
Our phones continued to blink on and off for the rest of the night. We had messages at 3:00 a.m., at 10:00 a.m. the next morning, the next afternoon. It didn’t stop unless we shut it off.
Our Tinder Social was not so much failed as it was flawed. It is great in concept, horrific in practice. Meeting up with one booty call is hard enough as it is. Tinder Social is like being stood up on steroids. But, I suppose, as with many things in life, when we went down, we went down together. We entered the night as four sober Brown students, two of whom were Tinderless. We left the night smashed and still single, but Tindered, for sure.