By Nathan McKissick
When Grace Biggerstaff, a Trevecca alumni, was swiping through Tinder, she had no idea she would marry the guy she matched with.
Biggerstaff attended Trevecca during the pandemic when social distancing was at its highest. She downloaded the dating app Tinder where she soon met her now fiancé. The two college students met in person shortly after and instantly hit it off.
The couple will marry in April.
“Going on dating apps with little to no expectations is the best way to do it,” said Biggerstaff. “I know of some amazing relationships and friendships that have come from Tinder.”
Using a dating app while in college has grown increasingly popular. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 48% of 18-29 year-olds reported using a dating app. Adobo, an apartment hunting app, interviewed 3,500 college students about the usage of dating apps. Out of the people that were surveyed, 90% said they used dating apps for several reasons.
Tinder recently announced the company is launching a feature called Tinder U where college students can meet other students from the same school. The app requires a student email address to use the feature, and it must be turned on in the in-app settings. The feature can be used for finding study buddies, friends or even relationships.
Sean Farrell, a freshman at Trevecca, said he uses Tinder as a source of entertainment and finding new people. Farrell has been on Tinder for a few weeks and has had a good experience so far.
“Dating at Trevecca is hard in a way,” said Farrell. “I wanted to expand out of the campus when I decided to download Tinder.”
Safety on dating apps is an issue on college campuses, as it involves meeting strangers. Jamie Cathcart, Title IX coordinator at Trevecca, said there are some tips and tricks to staying safe.
She recommends Google Voice, an app used to get a new phone number when talking with a stranger, so your personal information cannot be seen. This app can help people using dating apps to stay safe when communicating with strangers, she said.
“Let friends or family know where you are when going out with somebody from a dating site,” said Cathcart. “Share your location with a friend or keep somebody updated about what you are doing so they can keep an eye out.”
Sarah Waddell, a grad student at Trevecca, agreed that safety while using dating apps is the priority.
“When you share your location with a friend, share it indefinitely,” said Waddell. “If something were to happen, you would want somebody to know where you are.”
Other students said dating apps are a fun way to meet other college students in Nashville or learn more about people before going on a date.
“I went on Tinder with no expectations. I was just looking to have fun,” said Biggerstaff. “But look where I am now. I am happy I did it.”