Tinder isn’t just for questionable hookups anymore. American University students are using Tinder to feed other hungry students. Food for thought? Definitely. Also, sorry about that awful, awful pun. It just kind of had to be said, y'know?
Created by Julia Reinstein, a junior at the Washington, D.C. school, Swipe for Swipes puts spare meal swipes to good use by connecting students with extras to students in need of one. According to its Tumblr, all you need to do is edit your Tinder bio to say either “I have spare meal swipes” or “I need a meal swipe”; once you’ve done that, slide your search distance down to one mile and wait for the connections to roll in. “Now everything in your life is better,” Reinstein wrote. “That’s symbiosis, folks.”
Of course, it’s not a perfect system; Molly Greenberg of In the Capital (who, by the by, is also an AU alum) tried it out and found it to be a little problematic. “You have to click through each Tinder user’s profile to find out whether they are offering up free meal swipes, making the process not only tedious but also quite time-consuming,” she wrote. Then again, it’s still pretty new; the Swipe for Swipes Tumblr has only been up since Sunday, April 20, so it may take a little more than a week for it to really pick up steam. If I were an AU student, I’d be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Getting and giving free meals may not be the only alternate use for Tinder, by the way; Fortune ran a piece back in February detailing how some people are actually using it as a career booster, advertising themselves through it and encouraging people to become fans of their professional Facebook pages. On a slightly more insidious note, a flaw was recently discovered in the app that allows users to track each other in real time (yikes). But I think Swipe for Swipes is one of the better alternate uses for it out there; as TIME wrote in their coverage of it, everybody wins.
Somewhat hilariously, Reinstein even got asked out by a freshman who really dug her idea. “I guess that’s what happens when you found an Internet movement,” she wrote in an email to the Washington Post. To which I say this: If she’s already coming up with revolutionary life hacks like this as a junior, just think what she’ll be able to accomplish when she gets out into the real world.