The hugely successful dating app, Tinder, celebrated its fifth birthday this year and has around 50 million users, so it must be doing something right. However, Tinder’s huge popularity could be down to the fact that there are as many people using the app to get a free bus ride or buy MJ as there are people genuinely looking for love! The dating app extraordinaire that lets you swipe right or left to rate someone’s attractiveness and find a “match” has a weird dark side to it, and it’s no longer just about making a romantic connection.
After launching in 2012, Tinder quickly became known as the “hookup” app since it makes it so quick and easy to find people you match up to in your area. (So, it definitely wasn’t always about “romantic” connections from the start!) But lately, some users seem to have Tinder confused with sites like Gumtree or Craigslist since they’ve been able to find some great–and sometimes dodgy–deals in their local area.
From those who use the fun dating app to compete with friends over “who’s more attractive?” to people who saw an opportunity to make cash (or steal a car), this list proves that Tinder has as much to do with dating anymore as Facebook has to do with making genuine friends. The app’s main webpage tells users that using it can “empower people around the world to create new connections that otherwise might never have been possible.” You’re telling me. Here are 15 bizarre, illegal, and wonderful uses for Tinder that people have found in recent years...
15 Scamming Money From Thirsty Guys
The whole idea behind Tinder–or indeed any dating service worth its salt–is for people to attract potential partners with the help of a fun bio, a great personality, and a decent photo. “Screw that,” thought one woman, though, who realized that all the creepy men coming on to her could be useful to her—a way to make a little extra cash. The 20-year-old student, Maggie Archer, from Missouri hasn’t filled her bio with the usual niceties about her hobbies or what she’s looking for in a guy. Her profile simply states, “Send me $5, see what happens.”
You wouldn’t think many men would fall for this, but apparently, Maggie’s scheme appears to work. According to an interview with Buzzfeed earlier this year, she even got 20 paying “matches” on the app in one week alone. That’s around $100 for basically writing a one-line tease! You could compare this to the oldest profession in the book, but nothing ever goes further than being “matched” with Maggie. Once she gets a payment, she unmatches with the poor guys and watches her PayPal account fill up. Who said romance is dead?
14 A Place To Score What?
The great thing about Tinder is that it connects you with people in your area. The bad news is, some people like to take advantage of that and scout out something other than local women who are into Game of Thrones as much as you. In recent years, it’s been found out that a number of users on the app are using it to score drugs locally—swipe right to deal, swipe left to stay clean? Okay, so it clearly doesn’t work like that, but this is pretty worrying stuff and shows how quickly apps can become corrupted.
On a forum known as Shroomery, an anonymous Tinder user confessed that he was able to track down some cannabis after he had recently moved to a new area and needed to scout out new dealers. Whether actively searching for some new gear or not, other Tinder users are said to have come across dealers selling to them. Tinder is a pretty apt name as it goes. Seems like half the community is pretty well-lit.
13 Lupus Diagnostic - A Kidney Donor (And Perfect Blood Type Match)
This is one of the few nice Tinder stories out there that didn’t end with car thieving or psycho dates. It ended with love (pretty rare for Tinder) and a kidney (very rare). When Alana Duran from Long Island swiped right on a girl called Lori, she was swept off her feet in more ways than one. Not only did Lori turn out to be a perfect romantic match for Alana, she was also–quite literally–her life saver. Alana had been waiting for a kidney transplant for more than four years and after dating Lori, she discovered that they were a perfect blood type match for her operation.
Alana had been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tissue. Fortunately for her, a chance meeting of hearts on the dating app led to a solid relationship and a much-needed kidney transplant. Alana got the girl and a new kidney, proving that the otherwise shallow hook-up app can actually change lives for the better sometimes.
12 Stealing A Car
They say that love is blind and that phrase could also extend to “the promise I might get some tonight” makes people blind. Surprise, surprise, not everyone on Tinder is out there to hit it off and make a genuine connection with somebody. For some users, it’s the best manipulation app out there (a little like Craigslist, only with even more relaxed rules), and unfortunately, some people can get ensnared in the trap.
On the face of it, one guy assumed he was headed for a hot hookup with a cute girl he met on the app. He picked her up in his car and they drove to a motel in town together. Just as they were headed to their room, the girl stopped and said that she had left her purse in his car and if she wouldn’t mind taking the keys to look for them. Most would spot the alarm bells at this point, but this poor gullible guy walked out to find his car stolen. Yikes.
11 A Free Chat Service
If you ignore the shallow hookup culture that has grown out of Tinder in the last few years, the popular dating app has a pretty decent chat feature which allows people to find friendship as much as a romantic encounter. Similar to Whatsapp or Apple’s iMessage for iPhone users, Tinder can be used–in its most basic sense–as a messaging service to chat for free with friends and even make some new ones.
Like having a pen pal for the digital age, many users have found it to be helpful venting their dating woes to a stranger knowing they don’t have to feel pressured into sounding interesting or “marriage” material. One Seattle Tinder user reveals in his blog about how he met his GF now, Jessica, on a “friendship first” basis and that it strengthened their relationship far more than if they had only met up for a booty call.
10 A Self-Esteem Boost
As long as it’s not said in a creepy or pervy way, we all like to be told we’re attractive. Who doesn’t? It’s a nice feeling. But some people are obsessed with getting this constant affirmation of their good looks. So much so that for a lot of people, Tinder is not so much a dating app as a “does my bum look big in this?” type of bizarre beauty rating exercise. For young users especially, looking for love is not as much of a priority as finding out if strangers think they’re hot or not.
According to a survey of millennial college students who use Tinder, 44% admitted to only using the app to boost their confidence and over 70% of students said they had never even met anyone from using it. Some Tinder users on Reddit have admitted to getting a self-esteem boost on the commute to work...whether or not they were single! I don’t think their partners would be so understanding.
9 A Free Holiday To Hawaii
Before any current users get their hopes up, Tinder is not in the habit of giving away holidays or running any big scale competitions for that matter. But for one Tinder “couple,” the dating app made an exception and helped out two people who seemed perfect for each other but never had the time to chat. Ohio based student Josh Avsec began chatting a girl called Michelle Arendas after the pair “matched” in November of 2014.
For the following three years, the two of them only messaged each other once every few months because of their hectic schedules at college and work. Most people would take long replies as a sign that they’re not interested in the other person, but Josh and Michelle clearly liked each other’s brief company, and thanks to Twitter and Tinder, the pair were able to finally date in the best way possible—on a trip to Hawaii! The internet was shipping the pair together as much as Ross and Rachel, and in summer of 2017, the pair finally had time for each other on the sunny sandy beaches of Maui! Romantic and seriously epic!
8 To Gain More Instagram Followers
Some people aren’t looking for love or even a casual hookup on Tinder. There are a number of users on the dating app who simply want to be more popular on social media, specifically on their Instagram. Any bio that leaves more than just a one-liner is a plus, especially those who leave their social media profile details since potential matches can verify that your too-good-to-be-true profile pic was genuine after all.
Of course, you’ll still get people lying about how they appear on Tinder, but who cares? By then, they already have the Instagram followers, and these people want to get to Kardashian status on Instagram (even if it means fabricating every aspect of their lives in their Tinder bio). For those genuinely looking for partners, though, as opposed to a popularity contest, Instagram pics can let you in on what someone’s hobbies are. Mountain biking and baking? Great. Endless duck selfies in the bathroom? Run.
7 A Not So Promising Career
It’s often thought that workplace romances never work out, but does this still apply if you hook up beforehand? One guy on Tinder found this out for himself in a super awkward way when he discovered that the hottie he had swiped right was his future boss. A couple of days before starting his new job training as a restaurant manager, one Tinder user was passing the time swiping right when he matched with an attractive girl. Not only did they have a good match together, she sent him some nude pics of herself to tantalize him even further!
This would have made for a super hot hookup story if it weren’t for the fact that a few days later, his Tinder date was also his new employer. Cringe. We’re not sure how long either thing lasted (the job or the relationship), but it’s a safe bet that was way too awkward to work out. One of Tinder’s best features is also one of its most off-putting ones—the person you match with can sometimes be a little too close.
6 A Way To Compete With Friends
Like the millennial kids using Tinder as a way to feel good about themselves, some less mature adults like to put themselves out there just to see if they rate as more attractive than their friends. Apparently, this is mainly a thing with single guys for a bit of fun, but even some couples in committed relationships are playing the game of “who’s more attractive than the other partner?” This surely cannot end well…
Of course, it helps to have a good profile to have any chance of playing the game. Take one user from San Fransisco, for example. 31-year-old Sebastian Stadil made the news in 2016 when it was reported that he swiped right on around 203,000 female Tinder users in his area but got zero action back. That’s 6% of the female population in Frisco and not even a single pity swipe right for him. Ouch.
5 Making Drinking Games More Fun
Nobody plays drinking games while watching TV or listening to song lyrics anymore; this is 2017! And Tinder is officially entertaining students and people on nights out who like to play drinking games with a twist. One Tinder user from Seattle invented a game while in a bar one night. It’s basically like playing “pass the parcel” but with smartphones. Take one phone with a straight male Tinder profile and another phone with a straight female profile. Take it in turns to swipe right and whoever is holding the phone when a match is created has to take a drink.
An important rule in this drinking game, though, is that a match with the female user equals a sip of booze, whereas the male user matching with someone is enough to qualify for a shot! It’s a fact that women get more matches on average than guys do, so it’s probably best not to play this game with two or more female Tinder profiles or you might need an ambulance...
4 An Ex-Con Looking For A Place To Stay
Presumably, Tinder is where people wind up when checking the personal ads hasn’t worked out too well because one guy fresh out of prison tried looking for a new place to crash on the dating app. In an anonymous Reddit thread post, a female Tinder user shared a screengrab of the creepy message sent to her by the former felon which basically read, “Hi, I just got out of prison and my parents have changed the locks so I could really use a place to stay. You’re cute by the way.”
What girl wouldn’t jump at the chance to share their home with a felon? I like the fact he tacked on a compliment at the end as if he suddenly remembered what Tinder is really used for. It’s disturbing enough to have a former criminal hit on you, but the fact that even his own flesh and blood refuse to have anything to do with him makes you wonder what he did. It’s enough to make you want to swerve dating apps altogether when you come across these creeps.
3 A Psycho Stalker Joking About...
2 Weeks in the online dating world is a lifetime compared to some users who meet, greet, and get breakfast all within 24 hours of getting a “match.” So thought a guy on Tinder who had been speaking back and forth to a girl for a fortnight. They shared jokes, hobbies, and interest and started to feel pretty comfortable in each other’s online company. That is until they met up and tried out dating in real life.
It wasn’t the girl’s over-hyped appearance or hidden halitosis that scared the guy away. It was her complete personality overhaul from fun and interesting girl to full-on psycho. As they begun hanging out in person, the girl began joking that she wanted to “kill” him. We’ve all said that to our partner once or twice, but we don’t usually repeat it on a daily basis and follow it up with the words “I have a shotgun in my room.” Creepy AF. The guy tried distancing himself from her, but she stalked him at his work, watched him outside his apartment, and pounded on the doors and windows until he would talk to her. Thankfully, she eventually gave up, but that had to be f**king terrifying.
2 A Woman Looking For Organs To Sell
Whether or not you use Tinder, you may have heard of a female user called Nicole who’s bio is basically–how can I put this–looking to harvest people’s organs! The 27-year-old student from Chicago caused the wrong kind of viral sensation in 2016 when other users began sharing her bio on social media. If you’re unaware, Nicole’s “bio” on tinder reads a little bit like every crazy ex-GF you ever had mixed with a serial killer.
In it, she writes, “I’m looking for a guy who is really trusting and healthy. You must have both kidneys, non-smoker, no drug-taking that could harm the liver. Type O negative blood a plus!” Freaky stuff. We’re not sure if she got many swipe rights with that kind of bio or if she’s received any takers, but rumors began circulating that she was looking to sell any of his “matches” organs on the black market in North Korea! You have been warned...
1 Meat In The Room
It’s one thing being stood up on the traditional dating scene–sitting alone in a restaurant for a girl that’s never going to show up–but this girl’s way of making her “dates” feel unwanted takes things to a different level. Basically, one guy hit it off with a cute girl who thought he had a good match with on the app, and after a few days of flirty banter, she invited him to a house party. Thinking this would be the night of their first official date, he headed over full of excitement and romantic optimism.
When he got there, she introduces him to a room full of guys that she claims are her friends. Turns out, they received the exact same party invitation on Tinder and were purely there to act as “meat in the room” at her house party. That’s pretty much a room filled with friend-zoned men, just so one girl’s party had a little more atmosphere. Ouch. I’d hate to think what they collectively spent on Cologne and flowers.