Tinder Travelers: Finding Friends through a Dating App

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When Editor-in-Chief Martin Smith first talked about his Meetup.com story (click here to read), I was quick to chime in with my own experiences using the website’s techy-er cousins: apps Grouper and Tinder.

If you haven’t heard of Tinder, you’re probably married. Single twentysomethings and thirtysomethings have adopted the “dating” app, which allows you to digitally check yes or no to potential dates, in droves.

On a recent sojourn to Seattle, a friend and I “Tindered Seattle.” The app uses geolocation to show you singles in your area, so we figured why not use it to get the local lowdown on what to do?

After chatting for a day or so, my friend and I each chose a guy to meet up with on two different nights. Both turned out to be sweet and nice. It was a blast to have people to hang out with while traveling, but there definitely wasn’t a love connection.

I haven’t had the nerve to Tinder locally—What if I see someone I know!—even though Tinder uses your Facebook friend data to specifically not show you people you already know. Tinder’s casual nature makes it an ideal app for friends or dating; it’s not unlike meeting someone in a bar, deciding they’re not a love interest, and still becoming friends.

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