In this hollow world of social media and online dating, an app has found a way to cut to the chase with just a swipe of a finger. Tinder is a dating app for your smartphone that links to your Facebook account and allows you to browse through multiple people in your vicinity.
It’s simple. You rely (mostly) on luring potential mates with the pictures you choose. Swipe left to pass, swipe right if you are interested. If they also swiped right, the two of you will be able to message each other.
You can explore their profile and other pictures in order to make an informed decision, but who has time for that? My friend Joanna from Keep Austin Stylish and I came up with a few guidelines to help you navigate your ship in these shallow waters.
Light, so low upon earth,
You send a swipe to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.
DON’T: Take Your Shirt Off
This screams that you’re trying too hard, and you probably spend way too much of your time going to the gym (and taking selfies in your bathroom mirror).
DON’T: Cover Your Eyes
Your initial photo needs to instantly attract, and it’s hard to do that when you’re wearing sunglasses.
DON’T: Look One Dimensional
All your Star Wars-related photos may be funny to you, but unless there’s a girl out there who has dreamed of walking down the aisle in a Princess Leia costume, she’s definitely swiping left. Don’t make yourself look like a crazy fanatic about something (and if you actually are an insane Star Wars nerd, then Tinder is the least of your worries when it comes to dating).
DON’T: Bait Us With Your Attractive Friend
Your first photo should never be with another person, especially if that other person is more attractive than you. If you’re trying to trick us into thinking you are the better-looking friend, it’s only going to lead to disappointment and a swipe to the left.
DO: Provide a Full Length Photo
It’s good to show off what you look like from the neck down, and a group shot can also provide a helpful height comparison. Providing these things means you have nothing to hide and you aren’t ashamed of what you look like.
DO: Upload all the Photos
One photo is just not enough to show what you actually look like, and posting all five photos makes you seem more like a real person and less like a Tinder bot.
DO: Look Fun
It’s way too easy to appear like an anti-social weirdo on the Internet, and that’s probably the last thing you want to look like when trying to appeal to the opposite (or same) sex. Posting at least one photo of you with a friend or a group of people at a party shows that you like to go out and have fun.
DO: Keep It Concise
Your “About” line does not need to be longer than one sentence. If you’re itching to write about your favorite foods, why you love Austin, and what you can’t live without, take that crap over to OkCupid.
DON’T: Take this too Seriously
You are not going to find your soul mate here. If you are quoting scripture, giving a mini-bio and stating “not looking for hookups” then a dating app which is comprised solely from Facebook pictures probably isn’t for you.
DON’T: Upload more than one Workout Picture
It’s great to know a potential mate likes to stay in shape. But obsessive/crazy bells start to ring when every single one of your pictures involve burpees, kettlebells and hanging out at the Crossfit gym.
DON’T: Pose with Guns or your Recent Kill
You are probably from the country and want to find someone with similar interests – which is fine. However, using an AR-15 and bloody deer corpse as your mate-bait has more of a “deranged obsessed killer” vibe than it does “wholesome, salt of the Earth person who grew up on a ranch”.
DON’T: Take Pictures with Kids
Nothing screams “turn off” like screaming kids. Sure they are cute but no one wants to look at them while perusing love. It’s okay if you have kids and want potential partners to know that upfront but the swiping phase is a little too early to have that discussion. Also, it’s weird to have pictures of you and other people’s kids. Even if the baby is just your new nephew, you are sending mixed messages.
DON’T: Be Creepy
This isn’t DateRomania.com and I happen to be very fond of my kidney. No Thanks.
DON’T: Use an Avatar
You must be so hideous in appearance that you choose not to use a real picture.
DON’T: Have Multiple Photos with the Opposite Sex
One or two pictures might show that you are social and capable of hanging out with another gender. More than that (especially if they are all with the same person) means you might not be over your ex.
DON’T: Hide in the group
Which one are you? I can’t tell because all of your pictures are in a group and most of us aren’t trained as forensic facial recognition experts.
DON’T: Use All Party Pictures
Damn. You really do like to drink? A lot.
DON’T: Use Terrible Photographs
If all of your pictures are blurry it means you are not technically savvy and probably not up to the times in other areas of your life. If you only have close-ups of your face it means you are trying to hide your weight. If your pictures are all from a distance it means you have some horrible defect.
DON’T: Be the Ugly Friend
Some people use this as bait but most probably don’t realize their friend (who is in every picture with them) is much better looking.
DON’T: Overdo it with the Pets
Animals are great and perfect swipe bait. If three or more of your photographs are you and Mr. Nibbles, I think “crazy cat person”. If they are you and your 35lbs lab, I think, “I bet her apartment stinks”.
DO: Use humor
This is extremely awkward and the best way to break the ice is with humor. Once I’ve swiped right and we’ve moved into phase two, I look for someone that likes to joke and has a great sense of humor.
DO: Swipe Friends & Co-Workers
Hey, you never know who might be secretly interested in you. Also makes for fun conversation at the office. Just assume they did it as a joke before diving head in.
DO: Find your best and favorite picture
This app is all about looks. Find that picture where you look damn good, have a cute puppy or look like you are really having fun.
DO: Be upfront with what you want
We are all on here because “our friend made us” download it but some have different motives. Try to make that clear on your profile or in the private conversations.