Tinder Trends Part 2: So Tell Me About Yourself

While you let the secondhand embarrassment of the above video sit with you for a bit, I want you to consider that the only difference between those vignettes and a Tinder bio? Is that one third of those men aren’t staring silently at the camera. Everyone struggles essentially putting the ‘Hey I’m a relatively normal human being who wants companionship’ out there in to the world – but at least Mr Refined Valley Dude knows what he’s about.

Once again, I’m concentrating on men (….because that’s what I’ve got set as my Tinder preference) but I think there’ll be some takeaway for women. In fact, I think this edition is going to be very common sense, but my favourite part of putting together the data for the column is just to demonstrating how low any woman’s expectations are going to be for what you write about yourself.

So here’s the first tip. Just write something.

I should note that this column is aimed at people who use Tinder as a dating app, rather than for facilitating hook-ups (which I know is what it’s designed for). I don’t do casual sex, so I can’t really give a lot of advice on the subject, and I feel like people who are just looking for a shag can probably get there on their own. For you guys, the only suggestion I would make, and this is the common sense of any Murderino*, is if they look like they have a body in the back of their car, or if they say something in chat that makes you suspect that they don’t respect bodily autonomy…don’t have sex with them. So keeping that in mind, unless you have the best bod in the world, and some plucky young lass is planning to use you only for that body, you’re probably gonna need just a little something in your bio to avoid an immediate left-swipe. And if you have anything, just anything, you’re doing better than 35% of my sample of 100 profiles.

A note here: I have been an unintentional hypocrite on this personal deal-breaker. If you de-activate your profile and then re-activate it, it wipes your bio. Go check if you’ve still got one!

bios2

(Okay so this is not technically a pie chart. It’s a donut graph, which I have permission to use if I need to, plus I love any excuse to think about eating donuts. Bar charts do not evoke going to a bar)

Here’s the common sense:

If someone’s considering whether to swipe right, they might want to have an idea of how compatible you are, what you might have in common. The best way to get an idea? Knowing who someone is, what they’re looking for in a partner, and what their interests are.

Five per cent of men in my data could actually articulate all that.

Others came close. Six per cent outlined their interests, succinctly. Four per cent issued a laundry list of everything they liked.  Four per cent outlined what they’re looking for. Pretty much all those guys could be saved, with a little profile re-write.

Getting an idea of what someone is looking for is a good preview of your potential compatibility. A guy who’s looking for princess to look after? Not for me.  But that could be some woman’s dream guy. If you’re not sure about the whole Tinder thing, and you’re just hoping to meet some new people? Put it out there.

It doesn’t have to be strict. You might as well keep it light – research has shown your idea of what you’re looking for may mean nothing when it comes to who you match with (note that this research is based on RSVP, which is prescriptive when it comes to having users describe their ideal partners – with fields like hair colour, eye colour, body type, education level, personality type, political view, and religious affiliation).

You can get deep talking about interests and deal-breakers and all those things in chat or on a date after matching, bios are just a great way to rule you in or rule you out in that first round. Unless you’re kicking a baby or a dog in your pictures, if we have a few common interests and you haven’t said anything problematic in your bio, I’m probably going to swipe right.

Now.  Let’s outline how low a girl’s standards are going to be. Here’s some things I came across in my data:

‘The girls sayin’ “not into one night stands” or “not into netflix and chill” are totally into them [wink emoji]

An idea to try: when a woman tells you explicitly what she is and isn’t in to, believe her.

‘Won’t buy your taco’s But I will touch your butt!’

Por que no los dos tbh.

 ‘If you don’t believe in love and fairytales we probably won’t have much in common [heart emoji] Taylor Swift’

This message was somewhat undercut by the fact that one of his pictures is he and (presumably) a friend naked, with their backs to the camera, doing the shaka sign.

Outside this sample, I did have an example of using your bio to be really really gross that I probably need to share. I’m quoting this sucker in full.

‘Keep it simple and real. My life is a drama-free zone.

I’m in no rush, going with the flow and seeing where it leads. I like to think of women like cars. Used cars may have low mileage, been cared for, kept clean, or they may be abused, with visible and hidden damage. Then there are ex-rental cars, only suitable for short term use, troublesome and costly to maintain while offering minimal benefits. What I really want is a brand new car to start afresh, care for and travel many miles with!’

Admittedly it was kind of tempting to match with this guy who’s cruising Tinder for virgins just to link him to the car chase in Blues Brothers.

crash

After absolutely nothing at all, the biggest trend were bios that would send any woman possessing all her mental faculties to sleep.

‘Hi

I work in the transport industry’

‘6ft Tall

Eastern Suburbs’

Look honestly a boyfriend who’s not around much would probably be great for me, but I’m still going to need a bit more information. And height is not a personality feature.

You can be weird to get attention, or can seriously raise a woman’s curiosity by being a 38-year-old-man who’s ‘new to this whole internet thing’ (how? You’ve been in prison, right? Or trapped in an underground bunker?), but being genuine is always going to be the winner.

The rules for Tinder bios are basically the same as the rules for being a human being someone might want to talk to, and potentially eventually see naked.

  • Have something say for yourself.
  • Know what you want and what you like (being open to possibilities!)
  • Don’t be a fuckwit.

 

*If you listen to My Favorite Murder please @ me immediately.

An Introduction, and Tinder Trends Part 1

An Introduction

The origin of the Tinder series lies with my good friends at the Sass Effect podcast; two ladies who are simultaneously the agony aunts and drunken uncles of the Sydney gaming scene. Tegan and Lee had enthusiastically discussed Tinder trends they’d noticed, and I’d dipped my toe in the app, much to the delight (and horror) of my Facebook friends when I reported back what I’d found. Bossy as ever, when they both moved on to committed relationships, I forcefully volunteered myself as their Tinder Correspondent. And being a huge nerd who has spent years in the research field, what better way to discuss a dating app than with data?

My choice to write pseudonymously was not because I cared about anyone knowing I was on an app designed to match people for casual sex. After all, at 30 years old (now 31) and single (still single), what business had I not being on Tinder? No, I had to make it clear that I was not actively dating, nor even right-swiping, because of my impending interstate move to Melbourne. Which my employer at the time was not aware of (it all worked out fine, they had plenty of notice and we only parted ways in February 2017 on very amicable terms). Turns out, by the way, that there is a huge grey area between ‘dating’ and ‘not dating’ available to exploit, although the haziness will not protect you from being hurt by people you care about.

In Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell is seen as the embodiment of Victorian values. She’s highly conservative, earnest and overbearing. Basically, I couldn’t think of a better pseudonym to talk about a hook-up app. This fed in to my decision to name the blog (where my content will appear from now on) ‘Victorian Values’. Although I want to write under my own name, I thought the transition to my new life in Victoria fit nicely in with the tribute to Lady Bracknell. I can’t promise it will always be fluffy content about Tinder, but I solemnly swear I won’t be talking about a single thing she will approve of.

 

Tinder Trends Part 1: Animal Attraction

In the beta episode of Sass Effect, Tegan and Lee brought up the old chesnut of men posing with drugged-out tigers in their Tinder profile pictures. Hey, look, I travel to exotic destinations and have questionable ethics! What I noticed is that Tinder goes through waves of clichés. At one point it was snakes. My highly scientific process was to screenshot every animal I come across to see what the most popular Tinder animals are.

The results are below:
tinderanimals2

It may not shock you that almost half of all animal appearances (27 of a total 58) were dogs. This is a pretty solid life choice by the men of Tinder. My profile even mentions my wish to see photos of people’s puppies. The only tip I have to offer here? Don’t post a photo of a dog humping your leg. That is weird and I have seen it.

The next most popular animal to feature was fish. Mostly dead fish, in the hands of the masculine hero that plucked it from the water. Maybe if a lady is considering you sexually, don’t present her with the image of something smelly, slimy, and cold. Just a thought.

Cats, poor bastards, only managed equal representation to snakes (speaking of penis metaphors!). Obviously no-one’s trying too hard to appeal to the cat ladies of Instagram.

Things get a bit different but also a bit more alarming at the ‘two appearance’ mark. Kangaroos, horses and exotic lizards feature here. But then two separate men decided to post photos of themselves posing with dead feral pigs. That’s double the amount of alive pigs I saw on Tinder. One was even grinning away while holding the corpse’s jaws apart. Don’t be that guy.

The trend seems to be moving away from ‘tranquilised animal I posed with in Bali’ to ‘animal I actually killed’. And judging by the guy that just posted a series of photos of guns and one particular dog, I’m scared the major Tinder animal trends may end up converging.

It may not surprise you, but people who think it’s a good idea to show you pictures of dead wildlife in an attempt to charm the pants off you sometimes struggle to talk about themselves. Next time, I’ll discuss the problem of the biography.

Note: the original version of this column appeared on the Sass Effect website here