Love at first swipe

By Branda Mitchell, @BrandaM_DE

To swipe left or right, that is the question.

In January of this year, mobile devices accounted for 55 percent of Internet usage, according to an article by CNN. Increasing mobile access directly correlates to increasing usage of apps, so it means more people are connecting through dating sites like Tinder.

Initially, the idea of online dating seemed comical to me. I thought it was for old people who didn’t go out on Saturday nights anymore, but more and more young people are doing it. So, I decided to try it and see what all the hype is about. 


The following is what I have found:


OKCupid is the best of them all. It is based on a mathematical algorithm to best match you with others dependent on the way you answer various questions. It gives you a match and enemy percentage to gauge how well you and another person might get along.  

You can browse profiles and compare your answers to questions you both have responded to. Unlike some other sites, you only need to provide basic information. There is an option to elaborate on your answers, but it isn’t required.

The site seems like a good mix of people looking for different things, whether it is hooking up for the night or a serious relationship. The free version is more than enough to meet and talk to new people.

This app has a pretty even blend of locals and students on campus. The amount of polite messages heavily outweighed the creepy ones, so I spent less time than I did on other sites filtering through strange messages like, “You are so beautiful I had to leggo my eggo.” 



Tinder is free, requires nothing but Facebook and is full of people. Tinder is the place to be if you’re just looking for casual fun. While some people meet others who are interested in serious relationships, most people are using Tinder to hook up.

Tinder works by linking to your Facebook account and posting pictures you already have. You then get matched based on distance or a location you choose. Swiping left means you’re not interested and swiping right means you like the person’s profile. 

The coolest feature Tinder has is its mutual match. Everyone you match with thought you were good enough to swipe right for, so you’re always off to a good start. There is a limited amount of matches each day, so don’t get too right-swipe happy. You can pay for extra stuff, like the ability to take back an accidental swipe.

In the ‘Dale, this one is perfect if you’re looking for a student. Most people you match with are close by and in college. 

Plenty Of Fish

Plenty of Fish, or POF, is for the more serious online dater. I did not like this one. It requires a short novel for a description and a variety of lifestyle questions that you have to answer. People who are looking for a quick hookup aren’t going to bother with the hour-long process of setting up a resume. 

The perk of this one is it is completely free. You can play the game of swiping like Tinder, where you will be notified if you have a mutual match. You can also search based on distance or other requirements you may have. In Carbondale, this one seems to be more popular among the locals rather than the students on campus. 

The weird level of this one was very high. One guy actually tried to sell me a dog. 

Although I only used three apps, there are a ton of different ones to choose from. Other popular apps include Grindr, which caters to gay and bisexual men, Down, which lets you scroll through your Facebook friends to look for mutual matches or Match, a mobile version of the website.