This short video below of an art installation is hilarious if you know what the Tinder App is, and most young folks (say, ages 10-30) that use mobile media do know about it. For those familiar with Tinder, the message about the app is pretty clear, and for media literacy educators it offers an opportunity beyond discussing dating apps to challenge and inspire learners to create their own artwork that expresses their feelings or views on a particular type of media device, app, or use.
If you don't know what Tinder is, the tweens, adolescents, young adults and skeevy over 35's in your life can tell you--though I wouldn't recommend introducing the topic with kids under high school age unless it's already a thing with them. It's a dating app for touch screen mobile phones where you swipe right if you approve of the photo and short bio of the person who appears, or left to see the next person. You may then choose to contact those you swipe right to meet in person or to chat by text or by phone.
I suppose analyzing the metaphor is the right way to start; however, remind learners that you're not doing it to kill the humor, but so that they might be inspired to create their own visual metaphors for some media use that they feel strongly about that we may use uncritically or take for granted. So, um... it's a piece of raw meat repeatedly swiping right on a touch screen phone loaded with the Tinder app--what could it possibly mean?!? You could let that discussion drift into safety and ethical questions around dating apps like Tinder (if you swipe right for that sort of thing), or you could focus on creating visual metaphors for other media uses by breaking learners into creative teams to: 1) choose an app, game, media use, or some such media related behavior they feel strongly about; 2) describe the media app/use/behavior and express their feelings in a sentence or two; 3) develop a visual metaphor to communicate their view of the media app/use/behavior; 4) realize the visual metaphor in their own artwork; 5) if everyone is into it, have a small show of your work for your greater learning community, or post to someplace online (and send us a link!).
The installation above was a video project created in the Netherlends by video game design student Marcello Gomez Maureira. Thanks to boingboing for sharing!
For more on Tinder try this or this... and lots more out there, too.