Good news, Tinderellas and Tinderfellas. The countless hours you spend swiping left and right have some educational value, kind of. Using Tinder is shockingly similar to a lesson you learned in your first grade science class -- the Scientific Method.
Don't believe us? Luckily we recruited "Hey Arnold"’s Helga Pataki and Arnold (everyone's favorite cartoon-couple-that-never-was) to prove our point. And no worries, we won't judge you if you have zero recollection of what the Scientific Method actually is.
Step 1: Make An Observation
Tinder turns the classic "judge a book by its cover" mantra into a ruthless hot-or-not dichotomy. In real life, the first impression you make on a person can evolve over time. In Tinderland, not so much.
Below we can see that a flattering primary photo allows Helga (who is the unseen Tinderer) to observe Arnold's (the Tindered) football-shaped head, which sparks her curiosity.
Side note: Thanks to this astute observation, Helga can later go on to sculpt an accurate representation of Arnold's noggin out of used bubblegum.
Step 2: Conduct Background Research
The preliminary research process is simple enough. Reading through the Tindered's profile and checking out their photos isn't mandatory but like, why wouldn't you? Your background research will help you figure out whether they're a cutie or a creep, and it'll be easier to think of talking points should you end up chatting with them later (see Step 4).
For example, Helga can find out all sorts of fun facts about Arnold just by browsing through his profile. She learns that he loves jazz music and little blue hats, among other tidbits.
Step 3: Formulate A Hypothesis
Helga is straight-up crushin' on Arnold at this point. He's friendly, he's around her age, he's nice to look at. She thinks he'd be a great match for her and guesses that he could feel the same way, if only he knew that she existed.
Step 4: Test Your Hypothesis
Helga has to conduct two experiments in order to test her hypothesis that Arnold like likes her back:
1. The Swipe Test
Helga swipes right and waits anxiously, staring at her phone in anticipation. When the "It's a match!" screen pops up, she does a happy dance around her bedroom.
2. The Message Test
Helga needs to think about this one carefully. The message needs to be artfully crafted so as to encourage a response without sounding too needy. A casual question is nonchalant and a great way to get the convo started. If the Tindered responds, congratulations! You just passed the Message Test!
Step 5: Analyze The Data
Helga soon has plenty of data from Arnold in the form of Tinder text messages, which we all know are excellent things to analyze in-depth. She pays meticulous attention to details like punctuation, capitalization, and emojis in her evaluation. The amount of time that passes between each response is also noted.
At this point, Facebook stalking Arnold and Google searching him is completely OK and not weird at all. In fact, it's probably a good idea to check out who the person on the other end of the phone is before telling them where you work, where you live, and your unabridged life story (refer to Step 2 for the importance of conducting background research).
Step 6: Come To A Conclusion
"Conclusion" is an iffy word in this situation. In the science world, it's impossible to 100% prove or disprove any hypothesis. So by "conclusion" we really mean a tentative ending, based on the available data, that may not always provide a clearcut answer to the critical question: Does Arnold like Helga?
The data below suggests that Arnold could like Helga -- or he's just a nice guy who enjoys talking to her as a friend (AKA the single most soul-crushing phrase that anyone could ever hear from their crush).
Tinder, like the Scientific Method, is sometimes uncertain in its outcomes. A single swipe introduces Helga to Arnold and helps them break the ice from behind their phone screens. But when it comes to the real world, the rest is up to them.