The Challenge of Meeting People on Tinder and How it Inspired Spontime 🤔
This is a personal story of Spontime founder, Karolina. ENJOY 🙂
I’ve traveled to nearly 40 countries – backpacking, vacations, or spontaneous weekend trips. Every summer I have worked or interned in a different location, just to immerse myself in different cultures. Since my Senior year of high school, I’ve spent summers in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Greenwich, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, just to name a few.
Through my experiences, I’ve always encountered the same challenge – actually meeting people. These are big cities, and we go in thinking it’d be easy to make new friends. There are events and meetups happening all the time, different bars to visit, live music shows, and thousands of people just like me. But actually getting to know people in these environments is not an easy task. You can exchange your phone numbers, Facebook profiles, Instagram handles, or business cards, but it’s not the easiest way to actually get to know a person – they are very impersonal. Sure they give us a chance to look at someone else’s life, see what they’re up to or what they’re interested in, but why do we want to know all the fun stuff before we even meet face to face?
Individual or small group meetings for coffee, drinks, or lunch, are what actually help us build connection and get to know each other. These settings have less pressure, less noise pollution, and offer a more intimate experience. I was never into Meetup or other organized events that are supposed to help you meet people in a new city (e.g. book clubs, dance classes etc.). I didn’t feel I could connect with others individually, since large groups can be overwhelming.
My strategy to meet people has always been Tinder. I met many wonderful people with whom I spent time during my work or internships and still keep in touch with. But the process of actually meeting them and getting to know them was not easy… I went through a lot of “hey baby, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”, or conversations that seemed to be going somewhere, but were never followed through with.
It should be emphasized: I was NOT on Tinder to find my prince charming. I was using Tinder purely to meet people, which in itself created the pressure and expectation of something more than friendship. I wasn’t looking for a one-night hookup (so half of the matches had to be removed) or a boyfriend. I wanted to get together, have lunch or coffee, or walk around a town with someone that I could connect with. It was a hard concept for others to understand. “Why are you on a dating app if you just want to meet friends?” “Can’t you just go out and meet people?” “This is for x audience only!”. You think it wouldn’t be that hard…but I constantly found myself stuck in this loop.
Tinder might help you meet new people, but these apps consume a significant amount of our time which we’re spending glued to an app instead of spending time together in real life. And that’s not the point – I don’t use Tinder to have digital friends, but to meet people. And there’s less than 1% chance that you will actually meet!
To make it easier for both sides, I thought there should be an app that will allow you to skip the whole matching and chatting part, and give you the option to just meet right away. Guys will not have to think about creative pick up lines and wait for the right moment to ask a girl out. Girls will not have to put up with chit-chats and ambiguous questions.
That’s how I got the idea for Spontime. To actually meet people. So all these people on Tinder who visit a new city and need a guide, want to chill with a local,l or just feel bored and want to meet with someone new for drinks, could create a meetup in the app and people could join them. Right away.
There are hundreds of bored people around us looking for new adventures, connections, and fun. It was time to give everyone access to a good time.
At first I thought it would be useful for those who travel or move to another place and don’t know a single soul, (like me). But then I realized it’s perfect for anyone who wants to find a fun activity anywhere and anytime. Maybe they have a 2 hour break between classes and prefer to spend this time with others rather than on their phones/laptops.
So let’s skip the matching and chatting part and turn the process upside – down!