February 21, 2013
I have been off campus for the last year and a half, therefore I’m in many ways out of the loop on both Hamilton and college trends in general. But when I returned to Hamilton this spring, it wasn’t the new Wellin Museum or the awesome transformation of McEwen that shocked me. Rather, it was the use of new, slightly invasive social media tools that are now embedded in daily college life.
While studying abroad in Beijing, D.C., and then working in Iowa, I had never even heard of Snapchat or Tinder, two of the newest tools. Snapchat is an app that allows users to take pictures and then send them to one or more friends, but the photo and message automatically erases after 10 seconds or less. Tinder, on the other hand, presents pictures of the opposite sex for you to either like or dismiss. If you happen to like a picture of someone who has done the same to you, you’re notified that you’re a match and can directly connect with that individual.
Despite my confusion about these now commonplace apps, I downloaded Snapchat to see what all the noise was about and can honestly say that I still don’t have a complete grasp of its use. Even so, I’ve found that Snapchat can be an amusing app and that many students feel the same way. It’s a fun tool that erases possibly embarrassing and blackmail-worthy photos after a few seconds and can make texting (sexting?) more fun.
However, Tinder seems to be more controversial. Unlike Snapchat, Tinder has more real life implications that go beyond embarrassing photos. Some of you might remember the “Hot or Not” website that you may or may not have frequented in middle school. With Tinder, “Hot or Not” has returned in the form of an app that college students are using more frequently and not always for fun and games. Although after interviewing many Hamilton students it doesn’t seem that people are using Tinder as an actual hook up tool yet, it has already become a platform for weekend hook ups at schools nearby.
“It’s a quicker form than Instagram and you can capture embarrassing moments without them lasting.”
-Caroline Walton ’15
“Snapchat goes where you always wished texting could go. And it’s fun to be able to take a ridiculous picture and know it won’t end up as your most embarrassing recently tagged picture on Facebook.”
-Sally Bourdon ’15
“Sometimes over text you can’t convey a facial expression that goes along with what you want to say, but Snapchat lets you do that. ”
-Bryar Falvey ’13
“I’m ok with Snapchat, but every once in a while I get a Snapchat of someone’s weird face and I think to myself: what I could have done with those seven seconds?”
-Elin Lantz ’13
“It’s like the scarcity principle - it’s perceived as a rarity because it is scarce. Because I’m the only person who will see the photo for a few seconds and then it’s erased, it makes the picture valuable.”
-Hennie Bosman ’13
“It’s a funny application and a good way to procrastinate, but no one will meet their future spouse on it. But, I still think its funny and gives me a self confidence boost when I get matches.”
-Claire Corroon ’13
Even though its slightly creepy, it’s definitely amusing and a fun thing to do with other friends. I’ve heard people say it is the chat roulette of our generation.”
-Annie Lindahl ’15
“I like it because when I get a match, it makes me feel good about me. It’s an ego booster and good affirmation. When you find a match, a great way to break the ice is ask a personal question.”
-Charlie Bueneman ’14
“I think it’s hysterical, but I don’t have one. I have morals about trying to pick up girls online. I’m a college age student and if I can’t meet girls in person, then that might be a bigger issue.”
-Lyman Munschauer ’13
“As a tool or social media app, I would never use it. It’s more a source of comedic relief, rather than a tool for kindling (pun intended) a relationship with another. Needless to say, I still don’t use it.”
-Tom Youngblood ’13