Tinder love and care.

Tinder is slowly taking over the world.

Because of the exponential growth of technology, my generation has never experienced the old-fashioned dating ways our parents swear once existed. A boy won’t call you to ask you out anymore – he’ll get your number from a friend and text you to see if you’re going out. That, or you’ll match with him on Tinder.

Apps like Tinder are growing in popularity and making this hands-off approach to dating and communication even more common. Everyone knows someone who uses it, and most people have experienced “swiping right” or “swiping left” on a picture on a phone screen. Most people, though, myself included, think of Tinder as the kind of app people use for entertainment around college campuses. But recently, Tinder has made appearances in unexpected places.

I first had this thought when I was watching MTV this past weekend. A commercial aired featuring various celebrities “swiping left” on Tinder when they saw pictures of a person smoking. The ad then stated that Tinder users without cigarettes in their photos get about double the matches smokers get. This commercial impressed me because it targeted people my age with an app marketers know most of us are familiar with. If my parents watched that commercial, they probably wouldn’t understand it, but that doesn’t matter. My generation is made up of people who are deciding right now whether or not to smoke cigarettes – a decision that could affect us for the rest of our lives.

A few days after seeing this commercial, a New York Times tweet caught my eye. I followed the link to an article, and it stated that at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, this past weekend, Tinder usage in the New Harbor, Maryland area spiked by 202% during the days of the conference. This data came from Tinder.

It’s shocking how popular this simple dating app has become among people my age. The fact that it’s being used as a tool to promote health nationally goes to show how secure the app’s popularity is. It also shows how powerful apps can be, even when they are just talked about.

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