The Rise of Snap-Judgment Dating

If you haven’t heard of Tinder yet, you probably haven’t been hanging out with any single Millennials lately. The dating app has become big buzz in recent months, finding popularity on college campuses and in urban dating scenes alike. The basic premise of Tinder is to connect you with new people in your area (within a 50 mile radius) that you already have common interests with. Using Facebook information, the service presents potential matches to the user based on a rating composed from a combination of shared friends, interests, and networks. Once two users have expressed mutual interest in one another and a match has been made, they can chat through the app and then meet up in real life.
 
On one level, Tinder is a perfect example of the technology that facilitates Millennials’ real-life interactions. It connects people with common interests, and allows them to test the waters of communication by chatting casually through the app before deciding to actually meet. A useful service with a positive purpose: helping young digitally savvy people meet and find love, and one that some may say is especially needed in the modern dating world where old structures of courtship have broken down.
 
But on another level, Tinder puts the superficial snap-judgment front and center in the pre-dating process. The most addictive (and talked about) feature of the app is the ability to filter through potential dates with the swipe of a finger. Images (and the name and age) of possible matches are shown in a seemingly endless stream and then pushed into “like” or “pass” categories— mostly based just on their profile picture, and often in a mere few seconds. Think Hot or Not for dating. To use another comparison, it is essentially the digital version of the now-defunct MTV dating show Next, in which…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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