By Omar L. Gallaga
Jessie Riley calls herself a “Tinder terrorist,” but she’s not dangerous and she swears she’s just having fun.
Riley is single, 32, and the owner of Maven Made Entertainment, a music and events business in Austin. She tried online dating services such as OkCupid before she got turned on to “Tinder,” a free iPhone and Android app that makes connecting to and potentially meeting people for dates a much quicker process.
“My girlfriend and I were at Halcyon one night having drinks. We got on ‘Tinder’ and just starting having a lot of fun with it. We were messaging guys in only ‘Jerry Maguire’ quotes. Or only in hashtags,” Riley said.
When she got bronchitis shortly after, she spent a week and a half in bed, trading sarcastic text messages with men. She posted the funnier exchanges on her Facebook page, and they caught fire among her friends, who begged for more.
Riley has a big personality, and she uses the dating app as a way of weeding out boring men with no sense of humor. “I use it as a vetting process,” Riley said. “I’m pretty ridiculous. You get a taste of me before we meet and gauge if you can handle it.”
Of the dozens or perhaps hundreds of men she’s viewed in the app and approved or rejected (in “Tinder,” it’s a swipe to the right to indicate interest, a swipe to the left to say, “No thanks”), she’s only met seven or eight people in real life. Only one of them turned into anything more romantic than a coffee.
But she’s having a ball, or at least more fun than she did using traditional online dating services.
“I did Match.com. I got drunk one night and filled out an entire eHarmony profile. Do you know how long it takes to do that?” Riley asked. “It was so boring. I just kept getting bad matches, not what I was looking for.”