It was only a matter of time before Tinder, the sexy new app on the block, overtook an old favorite. And sure enough, Mic reports that people now spend more time on Tinder than they do on Facebook. While Facebook takes up around 40 minutes of the daily lives of its American users, Tinder occupies 90 minutes of its users' time each day. According to data reported in the New York Times , users log onto Tinder an average of 11 times a day, with women spending nearly 8.5 minutes swiping left and right over the course of a single session, and men spending around 7.2 minutes doing the same. It would appear, then, that people are now more interested in the flashy right swipe than a good old-fashioned Facebook stalk.
Here's why I'm not surprised: Tinder is way sexier than Facebook has ever been and, let's face it, sex sells. When I think about my current use of FB, it has transitioned from trying to glean information about the hot guy in class by scrolling through photo albums and wall posts (a pretty time-consuming process) to using it as a quick way to find out what's going on in the world or watch a funny video. Tinder, on the other hand, allows us to fulfill our need for instant gratification, while also proving just as addictive as Facebook once was when it was our only link to the social vortex.
While Facebook will always be lauded for having a revolutionary effect on our society, Tinder has surpassed the site in terms of ease and sex appeal as far as romance-seeking goes. It also seems to be a better representation of the real-life dating process. Like Tinder, normal, everyday dating involves forming an attraction based on the first glance. Once a person has sparked our interest, we then proceed to communicate with them and develop a connection on a more personal, introspective level. In contrast, the whole process of Facebook stalking feels very inorganic. It allows us to scroll through hundreds of photos of a person, analyzing their likes and dislikes and creeping on their friend groups, in turn providing many opportunities to find flaws or develop obsessions (depending on what kind of person you are). In addition, hypothetically speaking, this could all be before we've had any interaction with the person we're stalking.
Of course, let's not discount Facebook entirely. Ellie Krupnick, the author of the Mic article, correctly points out that "Facebook has a bigger and more diverse user base, which means a wider array of user behaviors." But it's precisely this wide array of behaviors that has sidelined Facebook in favor of simpler, sleeker apps. After all, the number one complaint of Facebook users as of February 2014 is the over-sharing of information on the site. At the end of the day, all we really want to see are pictures.
Tinder also has an advantage over Facebook in that it presents itself like a game. This makes the app far more addictive than any social media site because users are attempting to accrue as many matches as possible — a process which consumes a lot more of our time. There's also motivation to want to spend more time perfecting your photos and bio to increase your odds of getting that coveted right swipe.
With all this information in mind, it's no wonder people spend more time on Tinder nowadays than they do on Facebook. Still, this doesn't change the fact that Facebook has a greater following — 57 percent of American adults continue to use the site, and I don't foresee this number changing anytime soon. I do believe, however, that as Americans become more comfortable with Tinder and the notion of online dating, it's possible for the app to replace Facebook as the go-to form of social networking. Of course, only time will tell if people's desire for quick, easy love matches trumps their inclination to stay up-to-date on the goings on of friends and family, or perhaps perform some in-depth stalking of a potential romantic connection. In the meantime, however, Americans continue to prove that swiping through the profiles of strangers is a better use of their time.
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