OPINION: Swiping left on your distractions

Swipe right. Swipe left.

This was my Labor Day weekend rhythm as I used Tinder for the first time.

Tinder is an app based on physical appearance, usually accompanied by a witty bio. 

Curiosity and the emptiness of campus over a three-day weekend sent me on my swiping spree. I had 26 matches, 14 conversations and by the end of the weekend I had a date.

I talked about everything from tattoos to rainbow-colored face masks. 

I didn’t realize how stupid my weekend Tinder fling was until I got a call from a friend that Monday. She reminded me how I often tend to look for new, exciting things and overlook what is already valuable in my life.

We’d fallen out of touch, but she called wanting to hang out, wondering what I’d been up to over the weekend.

I told her that I was so bored I downloaded Tinder for something to do. Then I asked her the same question.

“I stayed on campus over the weekend.”

Immediately, I felt guilty. Ally and I live in the same residence hall, one floor apart, and I didn’t even know she stayed and had free time over the weekend. 

Instead, I downloaded Tinder because I thought I didn’t have a friend on campus. I wanted to make new friends, but I overlooked the ones I already had.

While my eyes were opened to the wonders of the modern dating world, they were closed to reality. I pushed myself to have uncomfortable conversations with strangers on Tinder, but not with my real friends.

It’s easy to swipe left or right, but it’s challenging to think of others. It’s hard to call someone out of the blue and it’s even harder to go up to someone and ask them out for coffee.

My first go at Tinder made me realize I don’t want to meet friends through an app; I want the opposite — less of my time staring at a screen and more time spent investing in friendships.

Hopefully, you’ll choose to swipe left on distractions and focus on what brings value to life.


Brianna Schreurs is the Digital Producer at The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].