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“It’s easier than going out to a party, especially if you’re someone who doesn't like partying that much or just wants to study …

but at the same time, the way it is marketed is detrimental to finding friends.” In other words, it’s a dating app. Tinder itself has, in the past, insisted its users aren’t only in search of hollow, loveless encounters. Studies from the University of Michigan will gladly ‘prove’ it.” In her article, Dewey rounds up a number of studies and papers with differing conclusions including one that looked at the same data set Paul did for her research but found a far rosier outcome (namely that relationship quality and strength is similar online and off).

But is it possible students are also using Tinder not for sex but to find friends? There’s certainly reason to be skeptical, experts say, but there might be a kernel of truth there.

More than half of college students in a recent survey said they were using Tinder and other dating apps (but mostly Tinder) to find friends, not hookups. “That seems a little bit of a stretch,” said Aditi Paul, a Ph. candidate at Michigan State University whose research has found online daters tend to break up faster and more often and are less likely to end up married than their off-line counterparts.

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(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) Who's on Tinder, Match, Plenty of Fish and other online dating apps and sites?“Many college students are not very clear what they want in terms of sexual or romantic relationships.That is part of the reason the vague concept of hooking up has flourished on college campuses,” she said.“A hookup can be a one-night stand or the beginning of seeing each other or the start of a committed romantic relationship.It can also be anything from kissing to intercourse on the sexual spectrum.

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