Byline: Hannah Rosson
Among the explicit and cheesy pickup lines Shannon Leung saw on the mobile dating app Tinder, one stood out. She said she felt she had to respond.
Leung, a fourth-year biology student who downloaded Tinder initially as a joke after pressure from her friends, met her boyfriend on the app via the pickup line "Zero interests in common - I see we are off to a great start."
The two have since been together for a year and a half.
Tinder is a mobile dating app that connects people in the local area. For some students, the app can be a good resource to meet people looking for relationships and to make casual friendships.
Benjamin Karney, a professor of psychology at UCLA who specializes in intimate relationships and marriage, said he thinks Tinder is effective at connecting people and solving the problem of determining who is dateable.
"Tinder is an unprecedented advance in the way people identify potential mates and connect with them," he said.
Though Leung said she thinks using Tinder is good way to meet people for relationships, she thinks part of the process is luck, and that finding the right person takes time and patience.
Though some people use Tinder to find hook-ups or relationships, others use the app to meet new people and to increase their social network.
Elwin Martin, a graduate student in physics, said he met one of his best friends on Tinder and that he has seven to eight friends from Tinder he stays in touch with.
"You can tell from a profile what kind of person you are dealing with," he said.
Martin said he thinks Tinder is not much more useful than going up to a stranger in a coffee shop. However, he added that it is a lot easier for him to start a conversation on the app than in person because there is no pressure of wondering whether or not there is mutual attraction.
"I use Tinder the same way I use Kerckhoff," he said.
Karney, one of the co-directors of the Relationship Institute at UCLA, said he thinks that though Tinder can be useful for dating, it does not solve one of the crucial aspects of finding a compatible partner - deciding if someone likes a person and wants to begin dating.
Karney said he thinks Tinder does not help people decide if they like someone's personality, and it does not pretend to even address that problem for anyone.
Martin said he thinks some people are not comfortable with how apparent surface-level judgments can be, and it bothers him that some who use Tinder are either too ashamed or shy to admit they use the app.
He added that he finds it frustrating to see people that only use the app for trolling because it can ruin the experience for people using the app for other, more serious reasons.
Leung said she was nervous for her first date with her boyfriend because she was worried that his Tinder profile would not portray who he was in real life, since she thinks people can behave in a misleading way on the app, different from their real-life personality.
Leung said she remembers watching a kidnapping episode of Law and Order before her date came to pick her up from UCLA. She was worried about getting in the car with a stranger, but decided it was worth the risk, she said. After he picked her up, they went out to eat dinner at Novel Cafe in Westwood.
"Tinder can be really misleading due to pictures," she said.
Leung said she thinks her relationship from Tinder worked because she and her boyfriend constantly made new plans each time they saw each other, which created what she considers a good foundation from the start.
After the first date, Leung's boyfriend invited her to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Nevada. She said that during the time between the first date and the ball, she was not talking to or thinking about other men because she had the ball to look forward to.
Leung said she is happy she swiped right and took a leap of faith on Tinder.