Tinder's 'Swipe the Vote' Feature Isn't a Great Match for Getting People to Polls IRL

Girl on Tinder

Tinder (the "dating" app) and the nonprofit Rock the Vote have made an unlikely alliance for the upcoming election. In an effort to get younger peeps to the polls, they created a feature -- "Swipe the Vote" -- that helps Tinder users decide which presidential candidate they're most closely aligned with. They set out to do this by asking users a variety of questions that were to be answered in a "yes" or "no" format -- which in the Tinder world means swiping right or left.


Some of the questions that help users match with their ideal candidate are: "Keep same sex marriage legal?" and "Repeal Obamacare?" When the answers are tallied, the app provides a user-friendly summary of what each candidate is about. At its core, it's the stuff that C-SPAN makes sound foreign for people like myself who hit snooze when the topic of politics is at play.

As someone who is honestly and sadly uninformed about the details of the presidential election (my only view being: anybody but Trump), I find that this is a very unique and fun way to get a younger generation both interested in and informed about politics. I mean, who doesn't want to kill two birds in one stone? We're all super busy juggling our dreams, dating, and still trying to hang on to our democracy.

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The best part is that the app seems to be pretty accurate in its polling, as early use shows that Bernie Sanders came out ahead with 37.8 percent of the vote. From what I've heard, he's the millennial pick due to his intentions to lessen our debts by making college free -- and I think that's exactly what a generation, currently bogged down in what seems to be an endless, unbearable amount of debt, is rallying for (or at least in part).

Tinder Presidential polls

But I wonder if the app will be beneficial to those who have no interest in voting. Frankly, I think that anyone who would find interest in this app is someone who has had every intention on voting from day one. What about those who are on the fence or completely opposed to voting -- you know, the "my one vote doesn't matter" type?

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Is a game going to be motivation enough? After all, mobile technology is an intricate part of our daily lives -- it takes little to nothing to access an app, but to get up and make it to the polls? Well, that isn't quite the same, is it?

Yes, while the general idea behind the app is great and I certainly hope I'm wrong, I can't help but think that the audience that Rock the Vote wants isn't quite a match (pun intended) here.


Images via Bonninstudio/Corbis; Tinder

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