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Tinder , a dating app for the iPhone, has become so wildly popular in the six months since its launch that it’s already spawned its own malady: Tinderitis, or the sensation of having a sore thumb from swiping to approve or reject the faces of people offered up as potential date material.
Tinder has lured people in by unabashedly offering a place to do all the things we love doing online, but won’t admit to: act shallow, make snap-judgments based on looks, obsess over what people think of us and boost our egos. It’s turned passing judgment into a pastime, and people are thrilled to take part.
“People don’t think of [Tinder] as online dating, they think of it as a game,” said Rachel Ellicott, a sophomore at Cornell University who downloaded the app earlier this winter after hearing about it from friends at other schools. “I think of it as a beauty contest plus messaging.”