Day 523: Advice to the Tinderers

In an attempt to be a social butterfly (instead of one of those irritating moths that gets trapped flying around in the lampshade when the light’s been on too long), I recently re-downloaded Tinder.

For those of you in-the-know, Tinder has been around since 2012 as an alternate to other cold sweat and anxiety-inducing online dating platforms like OkCupid. It’s much simpler and less work to manage. It hooks into your Facebook profile and let’s you choose one main photo, five extra photos and add a short “about me” paragraph. In addition to the photos and paragraph, other users see your age, how many miles away you’re located, any Facebook friends you have in common, and any mutual interests you identified on Facebook (although, I haven’t bothered to add any new Facebook interests since approximately 2007—has anyone?).

Aside from one super creepy message from someone who is apparently known for sending creepy messages (Dude. You know who you are. Stop being a creep.), it’s been fun to see who’s around. It’s really, really, really (really) easy to tell which Tinderers are looking for—erm—”short-term experiences,” and which ones are actually interested in meeting interesting people. And the ability to cross reference potential matches with mutual Facebook friends is a huge benefit.

Since Tinder users have to make most of their initial assumptions about each other based on six photos and not much text, the photography becomes extremely important. And telling. In keeping with my habit of offering unsolicited online dating feedback, I have some advice for folks (specifically guys) about how to make the most of Tinder photos.

The Advice

1. You can only use six photos, so don’t use the same one twice. Or worse, three times. This app is super easy to figure out, so it’s not a good expression of your intelligence if you don’t get how to use it.

2. Understandably, most of your Facebook photos are probably of you out and about with your friends, because that’s when people take pictures. But you with a beer in each hand and a bro on each side in every photo suggests you don’t have many outside interests. Add one of you with your dog, or your favorite board game or your roller blades. (The ladies are pretty good at sussing out staged photos, so you might as well be honest about what you like to do.)

3. Pick at least one photo in which you’re identifiable as the subject. You’re virtually invisible when all of your photos are of groups of people. Which guy are you? Trying to figure it out is like a weird Where’s Waldo game, only everyone is Waldo and they all wear sports jerseys.

4. Keep the close-up mustache shots and fishing photos to a minimum. For more information, see Day 115: Advice for Dudes.

5. Be yourself, and represent yourself as such. Per the number 2 parenthetical, don’t bother trying to trick people into liking you. This applies to more than just your images. There are so many different types of people in the world, all looking for different types of relationships. Be honest about what you’re looking for—odds are, someone else out there is looking for the same thing.