Back in the olden days, meeting someone new was a word-of-mouth type of deal. A friend would know a friend who had this cousin who just so happened to chew the same brand of tobacco as you, and everyone reckoned you’d get along great. So you’d go to the drive-in and convince yourselves that you like each other, because it was so impossible to meet new people. Then you’d get married and live miserable lives, and have miserable kids and then die. The End. Aren’t we lucky that we don’t live in such times anymore! Nope, now we have technologies which grant us the power to judge a human being’s worth within seconds of seeing their face. Rejecting or approving the order of their features by shooting them off the screen, peeew, instantaneously replaced by a brand new person, just waiting for the assessment of your almighty thumb. At the same time, people are making identical split second decisions about you, which you’ve hoped to influence by placing your very best profile picture first; praying for a match so you can meet up and get drunk and sleep together, and maybe even get to know one another once it’s all over. God, I wonder how many perfectly paired couples have carelessly slid over each other due to this tragically superficial design. Regardless, Tinder undeniably revolutionized the dating game. By 2014, the app registered over one billion swipes, predominantly by lecherous boys who weren’t even looking at the screen. When considering such a monumental community of singles trapped inside of your tiny phone, it’s imperative you build an account which annihilates the competition. Whilst you dodge those red flags yourself with expert swiping precision. No time to waste, quickly now, read how to recognize these profile pitfalls below.
15. Group Photos
Ok, yeah, we get the message. You have friends. You have a whole load of friends, and you want the world to know just how proud you are that you’ve managed to integrate yourself into society. Now a member of a close knit community where no one has yet exposed your reams upon reams of neurotic warfare, completely unaware that you’ve modeled your entire personality on what you believe Matthew McConaughey or Emma Stone to be like.
The problem here, is that we don’t know who the Tinder profile belongs to. By a rule of your left-swiping thumb, the general public will assume you to be the most unattractive frumpy looking one who is using their group of hot friends as a human shield to block out the judgemental eyes of Tinder hunters. Listen to me carefully: even if you don’t have the most photogenic of all cheekbones, at least give yourself a proper chance, because you never know. Somewhere out there, right now, there may be a person just dying to swipe right on someone like you. Ah, modern romance.
14. Snapchat Filters
A decade or so ago, the most dangerous illusionary weapon people had to entice intrigue was a little bit of subtle photoshop action; inflating the lips or bulging the muscles whilst scrubbing blemishes clean off with a simple stroke of a virtual brush. But now, there is a whole new fashion of poisonous falsehood running through the market’s veins. What’s more, nobody is even trying to hide it.
They call it “Snapchat Filters”. The sad truth about them is all too often you can almost acknowledge a decent looking individual, hidden beneath a comically sized dog tongue or a rainbow vomiting from their mouth for some reason. Of course, we all understand that your bunny filter makes you look omg super adorbs, but you have to ask yourself: if your potential future lover finds a bunny rabbit sexy, what kind of sick person are we dealing with here? Furthermore, what if you finally agree to meet up? How disappointed are they going to be when they find out you were, after all this time, just another average human being? I ordered the bunny, what the hell is this?
13. Cute Props of Distraction
A standard trick people adopt to poke upon heartstrings is the cunning use of cute little accessories to throw glitter into their victim’s eyes. These come in many dangerous forms: a puppy dog, a stuffed teddy bear, a giant inflatable… it doesn’t matter what they are. What matters is that they’re a ploy designed to stimulate certain emotions whilst diverting your attention away the person’s face.
Be better than that. Be Tinder-wise. See through this visual manipulation. Certainly, a person’s ability to handle a prop with a natural expression deserves some degree of admiration, but if their greatest asset is detachable from their physical being, I’m sorry to pull back the curtain, but it’s not actually part of the package. Even if you end up matching and your date arrives with that very same adorable kitten in their backpack, this animal is going to be a nuisance rather than a plus; because animals need attention or they die, which gives you less space to talk about yourself. As always, make eye contact with the photo first and foremost, whilst pondering the questions “is this the face of a mass murder?” Because it very well might be, and you don’t want to miss that fact just because a cuddly teddy bear told you otherwise.
12. “Hardcore” Props of Distraction
On the flip side of loveable little decors of mind control, we have the more “hardcore” style of the same practice, usually employed to convey a message that goes something like “I am super bad, you gotta be careful of me,” which in all fairness, would work on some of you. You know who you are.
However, if you are a normal person who likes normal people and wants to go out and have a normal nice time, there are certain visual giveaways that this profile is doing everything it can to impress you by flexing its muscles of fabricated peril. For example: if their photo features a clouded scene of smoke pouring from a gigantic spliff which protrudes from a stoner mouth, their proudest hobby may not make for the ideal guest at your Christmas dinner. The same goes for those who pose with guns, because they might shoot you dead one day. Finally, be wary of profiles who flash expensive cars, or cover their naked bodies with piles of money. This is normally a technique intended to compensate for a lack of personality and/or physical endowment.
11. Mirror Selfies
What’s worse than a narcissist? A narcissist who has no friends! For reasons beyond me, I do not know how we’ve evolved to accept a world where a large majority of photos in existence feature a smartphone held up as if it was an Academy Award, but here we are, and the war has already been lost. However, if browsing through a potential candidate’s chosen photos, and all you come across is mirror selfie after mirror selfie, you have to wonder how much time this person has spent doing this. Furthermore, why is no one else taking photos of them? Why has this responsibility been solely bestowed upon their blatantly enthralling lifestyle? If you simply have to do it yourself, then set your phone on a timer, move away, and act naturally. It’s really not that hard.
Additional red flags to look out for, is when these photos are purposefully angled to maximize abdominal muscle and/or bikini figure boasting. Of course, these can be enjoyable sights to drool over, but unless you have a water resistant device (said drool could be damaging to your phone). Snap out of it and remember that the strenuous practice of flexing muscles or sucking in the tummy, whilst exploiting the optimal filter can shave pounds off the waistline in a few seconds, or your money back.
10. No Body Shots
Delving deeper into this world of shallow evaluation, we have those who exclusively focus on close-up face shots, over and over again. It may even be a really nice face like the one above, but the fact of the matter is this: you have not been granted access into the full perspective here. And more than likely, there is a reason for it.
But let’s not be insensitive. Instead, let’s try to be receptive to the reality that, yes, we all have our insecurities. Perhaps this person feels as if they are a little overweight or too short, and therefore, suppress this fact with cleverly executed angles, or hiding their entire body behind a couch. I realize for some, this may seem like the only way to encourage a right swipe, clearing a shot to seduce the prospective partner with your charming wit and extensive knowledge about the current bee epidemic, but it is still only a temporary solution. Ultimately, the end game is to invite this person into a real life situation, and if they feel cheated by your camera dishonesty, then they have every right to leave, as you’ve essentially lied to them. If you are guilty of practicing this manoeuvre, stop that, rather be proud of who you are and reveal the whole deal; opening the possibility of finding someone who likes you for you, not because you look like Tyson Beckford with the charm of Robert Redford oozing out your ears.
9. No Face At All
In the completely opposite direction, we have those ripped torsos and tight g-string buttocks which spin our brains upside down so quickly that it sends an automatic message to our thumbs to SWIPE RIGHT! SWIPE RIGHT NOW, DAMNIT! Not so fast, hormones. Where’s their face? In fact, on closer inspection, all these incredibly impressive body shots have conveniently cropped their main recognizable features out of the available frame. Why has this happened? Well, there are four potential reasons:
Reason #1: They’ve never used a camera before. Reason #2: They don’t have a nice face, so they conveniently leave it out, hoping you won’t notice because of their smoking hot body. When date time comes, they will wear a funny mask, hoping you’ll appreciate how quirky they are. Reason #3: They don’t want anyone to recognize them on Tinder, potentially because they are a known ax murderer and want to eat your lungs. Reason #4: Finally, maybe they don’t have a head at all, in which case, always approach the topic delicately, careful to not ask rude questions like “where does the food go?” or “hey, what the hell happened to your head?”
8. The Same Face Over and Over Again
At times on Tinder, you need to work like a vigilant detective, and even if their photos seem to tick all the boxes, take a step back and try to pinpoint the patterns which run rife throughout every photo they have advertised to you. All too often, people find a certain angle which works particularly well for their own brand of facial features, and will capitalize on this discovery for everything it is worth. Classic arrangements to be watchful for include the Myspace Shot (a photo taken from an aerial view, accentuating their eyes whilst hiding any multiple number of chins), and the Duck Face pose (pouty lips, alluring you with a promise of a kiss, but ultimately performing an outdated mating call trend, which was popular back in 2009).
Other characteristics to be wary of are the over-usage of sunglasses (what have you done to its eyes??), and enormous hipster beards which are frequently a form of socially accepted disguises, cleverly hiding the faces of pubescent children beneath.
7. Fake Profiles
Bots are getting smarter and smarter these days. They are, at times, even more intelligent than some of the real people you may meet on Tinder. That said, we cannot let the machines rise and take us over. So here are just a few ways you can spot a fake profile before you end up giving your credit card number away to the first thing that offers it up to you.
Speaking of which, that is one of the earliest signs of trouble. If their arousing underwear photos come with a biography explicitly stating they want a no-strings-attached pure physical interaction, chances are, this is a trap. Boys are much more likely to fall for this deception, because our mental wiring is completely broken when it comes to intimacy, and we basically malfunction at the very mention of the word. Another easy way to spot a robot, is speed. If you match very quickly, they message you immediately, and their suspiciously worded responses are almost instantaneous… the chances are, you’re chatting with an automated system. This bot does not actually like you. Oh, and if they send you a link “to see more”, don’t be an idiot and click it. Your phone might explode.
6. Bad Grammar and Excessive Emoji Use
if u c a profile dat talkk lyk dis lol then you are either dealing with someone who is still in high school, or someone who never quite finished high school. Furthermore, if by some miracle, you actually end up in a relationship with someone from Tinder (and I believe this has happened once or twice before), then keep in mind that they will eventually connect with your Facebook friends, and everyone will know the level of education you are dating. Simply put, you will be embarrassed if they cannot spell. Then again, perhaps u talkk lyk dis too lol. In which case, bless the both of you, go forth and breed, creating babies who reach the mental age of seven and then abruptly stop.
These warnings extend even further into those who favour emojis over punctuation. For some reason, full-grown adults have begun to use these visual interpretations as a complete replacement of coherent words. Many of these people so fluent in emoji now, that it’s probably listed on their resume under “additional languages”. Ok, we get it, you love eggplants, what’s your point?
5. Novel Length Biographies
If you are one of those unique people who spends longer than 7 milliseconds judging a profile and at times, even reads their bio, then I commend your comprehensive screening process, ensuring you locate only the best potential candidates for the job, never wasting anyone’s time by knocking on the halfway match door just to see if they answer. Personally, I think it’s such a shame that these potentially hilarious or insightful summaries of someone’s self perception are generally so casually skipped over, and so I encourage all of you to take the time to read literally anything once in awhile.
The risk of doing so, however, is that you may accidentally ruin a perfectly attractive anatomy by coming across a life storyteller. Here is a person who not only gives you their time and date of birth; but also a small backstory on the town they grew up in, their opinions on today’s current political climate, how long they can hold their breath underwater, and a quick note on how this morning’s weather influenced their choice of breakfast, updated daily. You can almost hear them get so lost inside of their own internal monologue, that they completely forget that they are supposed to be impressing you, and that is the most important thing there is. Pass.
4. No Integrated Instagram Account
This is a subjective point, because we all have friends who are not on Instagram. These are the same friends who still think a hashtag indicates a phone number; that a meme is just another word for a doppelgänger. Haha, I’m only half joking, of course. Certain people want to minimize the personal data they leak onto the internet for Zuckerberg to sell onto advertising companies, and that’s totally understandable. However, I am also half serious. If you’re not in Instagram, your social media game is weak and you will never truly be popular.
Anyway, for everyone else (and I do mean, everyone else) who is on Insta, it’s only polite to hook it up to your Tinder, because it’s the best virtual way to extend your hand to strangers and say “Here you go. Stalk me. Stalk me deep”. Said stalking has an element of creepiness, true, but it also grants viewers an additional level of verification. Proving this account belongs to a real person with an actual life, and not some reptilian overlord looking to fulfill its quota of humans to breed upon its spaceship. My mate Clint nearly fell for that one last year, it was really traumatic for him.
3. Too Good To Be True? Then It Probably Is.
There are those times when you strike gold! The photos are perfect, not too vain, but not too shy, just the right amount of tilted smile and revealing clothing; complete with a lens flair shining straight from their eye. What’s more, your bios are almost identical in structure; providing enough entertaining information to suggest a fun personality, and yet, never exposing too much, maintaining an aura of mystery. So you eagerly swipe right… and you match!!
Now, not to be the one who shatters your dreams before your fantasy romance has even got to the kissing part yet, but this person could be catfishing you. Perhaps it’s a lonely old woman who lives in a hut made out of hair. Or maybe it’s an underage boy who’s just discovered what girls are and is curious to find out more. Or perhaps it’s even a crafty clown who reckons your face would go quite nicely on his hand-stitched shower curtain. Some may claim I’m paranoid, but I’ve also never been murdered, so who you gonna believe? Whatever, there’s a simple solution: screenshot their photos, and run them through Google Image search. If they come up on some modeling site or a LinkedIn account based in Nigeria, preeeeetty good chance this person is a liar, and you should unleash the furious hell’s fire of reporting their account to the admins immediately.
2. Less Than Three Photos
We all have our personal favorite photos of ourselves. There’s that one where you appear particularly snazzy before a fancy night out, looking significantly different by the time you got home again. Then there’s that candid shot where you were performing your impressive party trick, seemingly oblivious to the camera, just having a wonderful time. Look how much fun you are! Oh, or how about that classic time you met Bill Murray, what a fantastic conversational piece that always turns out to be!
Which is why when you come across a so-called “person” who only has one or two (or no) photos to their name, you must pause and contemplate what type of game they are playing here; no matter how magnificent those photos may be. If you literally only have so few images of yourself deemed to be date-worthy, then you need to march right back to confidence school, because everyone is beautiful on the inside! What’s more, no one will trust your lack of visual representation, we need more data, cannot compute, error, swipe left. In some cases, we can give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume said person was in a rush when they created their profile. To which I say: don’t you know this is Tinder? Take it more seriously, damnit!
1. Inspirational Memes
Picture it now: a rich textured sunset. A thin, capitalized font. It’s talking to you. It’s letting you know that you are, indeed, very special. It’s assuring you that, yes, all of this will be worth it some day, just let go of the past and keep fighting. So you hesitate, and you reflect, as these encouraging words of wisdom fill your life with purpose, whilst you close your eyes, taking a deep breath, and begin to reevaluate yourself, wondering how you could improve as a person. Of course, this has never ever happened in the history of anywhere, least of all freaking Tinder, where everyone’s morals are already relatively questionable in the first place. You’re interrupting my flow, now move!
Look, Facebook is bad enough, but if someone swallows a cheap internet post as having some profound meaning on their life, and then regurgitates it as a primary photo to represent their entire person, then they are probably waaaaay more lost than anyone else they think they might be helping! Avoid this lot at all costs before they drag you down into their cesspool of desperate optimism. However, if you are one of these people, and what I’ve just said has upset you, simply give yourself permission to feel the anger. Then let it go, with love. We’re on different paths! That doesn’t mean life isn’t beautiful, and when you fall the wind will always be there to catch you, please like and share.
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