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(LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

(LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

By Ben Jarzombek, Mount Carmel, and Chloe Rappe, Neuqua Valley

Regardless of whether you like it or not, Tinder seems to be here to stay. The app is popular with young people, possibly for its novelty (who doesn’t like to make romantic decisions with a swipe of a finger?), ease of access or the hilarious/horrendous hype around it. Below, Mashers Chloe Rappe and Ben Jarzombek share their experiences with the app, from setting up a profile to dealing with creeps and ghosts.

Setting up a Profile

Ben: I’ve been on Tinder for a while, so I figured it was time for a refresh before writing this article. I had Chloe take an objective look at my profile and let me know the good, the bad and the ugly. After having my profile scrutinized and nicely torn apart (thanks Chloe!), I felt that my profile had a breath of (slightly) new life. I had a few good photos and a semi-witty bio that hopefully made me sound unique enough for a right swipe.

Chloe: Honestly I didn’t give much thought to setting up my profile. I added four pictures where I thought I looked my best: one selfie, one of my senior photos and two pictures at concerts to show that I am cool and also that I have friends. I did have to crop my mom out of one of the photos, sorry mom! Writing my bio was a bit tougher. How do I sound interesting, but not like I’m trying too hard? I ended up with three very sarcastic sentences about my love/hate relationship with the outdoors and a hint at my perpetual laziness. Who wouldn’t want me, right?

Swiping Left/Right

Ben: I guess my swiping criteria depends on how invested I am. If I’m bored, I may just swipe left and right without really looking into a profile. If I have more time, I enjoy looking at people’s profiles. Interesting jobs or bios usually earn a right swipe; I like having something to talk about. I’m torn about group pictures though. On one hand, they let me know you have friends, but if you don’t have any pictures of just yourself, I’m spending way too much time trying to find out which one you are to be interested.

Chloe: I immediately swipe left if there are blatant spelling mistakes in the person’s bio. I appreciate it when a guy posts a selfie with his dog, and those people will usually get a right swipe from me. A tip to guys everywhere: learn how to take a proper selfie. Some of the pictures I see are so cringe worthy I feel truly embarrassed for this person I don’t even know. Taking a picture of yourself looking down at your camera while trying to simulate a sexy smirk does not work for me. I like it when a guy has a genuine smile in his photos. I also love it when a guy doesn’t take his bio too seriously. I didn’t ask for your life story; write something entertaining that will catch my attention in the midst of a rapid swiping session.

Weirdos

Ben: I guess that “weird” Tinder profiles are unavoidable, but I definitely think there are less from a guy’s perspective. I occasionally hit a few profiles that are creepy, but more often, I see a ton of spam profiles: three to four similar pictures with a short, terribly punctuated bio. If you match with them, you’ll usually get a message asking you to text a phone number or go to another site to talk further. Nowadays, I figured spammers would get a little craftier.

Chloe: Weirdoes on Tinder can go one of two ways: you can either have a delightfully strange conversation or you can receive messages that make you want to gouge your eyes out with a fire iron. I swiped right on a man whose entire profile was pictures of him dressed as a scary clown. His name was Garb, short for Garbage the Clown. How could I not swipe right, right? We had a lovely conversation about the perks of having a party clown. It’s one of my fondest Tinder memories. If you’re looking to avoid receiving hideously inappropriate Tinder messages, then I would swipe left on people with naked selfies, gun selfies or middle finger selfies.

Ghosting

Ben: If there is one practice I could eliminate from dating, it would be ghosting. Not to say that I’m opposed to slowly slipping out in the early stages of a Tinder conversation (what do you expect?), but I think that if the conversation seems to be going well, or you actually meet (gasp!) for a date, the least someone deserves is a quick message letting them know that you don’t see it going any further.

Chloe: Ghosting is horrible, but incredibly effective. I have ghosted several people. One guy I ghosted because when we started Snapchatting he simply did not look anything like his pictures (maybe I was looking at the wrong guy in the group photo?) I ghosted another guy because during our second conversation he came on way too strong and asked too many freaky personal questions. I don’t think I would ever ghost someone in real life, but I find ghosting in the Tinder world to be completely acceptable.

Conclusion/Tips

Ben: At the end of the day, I just learned to be yourself. Tinder’s fun, but be careful about taking it too seriously. It can be a great place to have a conversation with some cool people and possibly find romance, but don’t go into Tinder looking for your future soulmate. If you’re really looking to meet someone, just get out there instead of staring at your phone all day.

Chloe: Don’t put too much thought into making conversation with random strangers. When I started on Tinder and someone messaged me with a simple “what’s up?” I would stress for about 30 minutes thinking of something interesting to say that would make them want to continue the conversation. I’ve learned though, that if the best they can do is “what’s up” then just respond with the truth: “I’m clipping my toenails, hbu?”

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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