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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tinder dating app rules: do’s and don’ts

Tinder profile

I was hanging out with of my recently single buddies when he introduced me to a relatively new, totally awesome dating app. The app — Tinder — was first available on the iPhone and recently became available for Androids. It’s fun, it’s cool, it requires very little effort, and … it may lead you to some fun new people.

One of the best parts about Tinder is how simple it is. Once you download the app, you log in via your Facebook account and the two synchronize to create your Tinder profile. The Tinder app downloads all the pictures you have uploaded to your Facebook account and allows you to choose five photos for your profile. Tinder also ingests your “about” section from Facebook, but you can edit that in Tinder and customize it to your liking. The other thing Tinder does is use the birthday you have in your Facebook account to display your age, so make sure that’s set correctly, otherwise you’ll be stuck with the wrong age on your Tinder profile.

Once you’ve got your profile squared away, getting used to the app is easy. You go into settings and choose an age range for profiles you want to display. You can also narrow the radius of profiles you want to see from 1-100 miles away from your current location (it works based on GPS). Once you’ve done that, profiles start appearing and you can “like” or “pass” on each one similar to “Hot or Not.” If two people happen to like each other, then you get a match and the ability to chat on the app’s instant message system. Once you’ve chatted a bit and feel comfortable with each other, I recommend swapping phone numbers because the message system is wonky and sometimes unreliable.

So if you’re thinking about trying out Tinder or looking for some Tinder tips, here are some recoemmended do’s and don’ts for users.

DO realize we’re all in the same boat. Don’t worry about feeling a little awkward because you’ve never tried it before. This is a new thing for all of us. It’s going to be a little weird.

DON’T be too worried about fake profiles. We’re real people with real Facebook accounts. And if you want to be extra careful, only communicate with people with whom you have mutual Facebook friends (Tinder will tell you what mutual Facebook friends and Facebook likes you have).

DO check your shared Facebook connections before deciding to like or pass on someone. This might give you a good sense about what circles the other person runs in and could give you some helpful background. It also might help tell you whether to avoid that person.

DON’T be afraid to like someone just because you know a few people in common. That doesn’t mean they’re all going to gossip about it.

DO peruse Tinder at different points throughout the day. Tinder works based on GPS settings, so someone who isn’t in your area at 1:00 p.m. may be within your radius at 8:00 p.m. depending on where they work, live, go to school, etc.

DON’T post all group pics to your profile. How the heck are we supposed to know which one you are if there are five people to choose from in each damn photo?!?!

DO keep in mind the hours of the day. People who work a day job might be most responsive during their lunch break or after work. Helpful hint: the Tinder freaks come out at night.

DON’T sweat it if it takes a while to get a chat response. Some people may be at work and unable to text, or they may have just gone into a class and can’t use their phone. If they’re into you, they’ll respond when they can.

DO put witty sayings in your about section. There’s no better way (aside from awesome pics) to get someone’s attention than by having a great liner. My favorite? “I’m down to lie about how we met.” Now who wouldn’t want to talk to that person?

DON’T write your life story in your about section. Just a few tidbits. If you pique their interest, you’ll get to everything soon enough.

DO use the crop feature for photos. I don’t need to see a picture of you with your family, unless you’re subtly trying to tell us you’re a daddy’s girl. Zoom in on that photo and crop yourself. Ditto for group pics.
Mustache girl
DON’T post mustache pics. I get that mustache pics are like the new version of the duck face, but seriously, it’s not attractive. And it definitely isn’t funny or unique when every 25-year-old girl is doing it. Also: a picture of you jumping in the air or skydiving is played out.

DO consider getting professional photos of yourself. You’re on Tinder and Facebook, and probably Twitter, LinkedIn, and Gmail, too. All of those services ask for a profile photo. Why not look your best for all of these? It’s probably money well spent.

DON’T quote bible verses. Look, we’re not here for a church gathering. If that’s your thing, I recommend heading over to ChristianMingle.com.

DO accentuate your best features. You’re on here to attract someone. No better way to do that than by showing ‘em what you’re working with.

DON’T swipe left or X out a person too fast. You can never get it back once you’ve said no to someone! It’s the worst feeling in the world! Sometimes you can get in a groove where you’ve passed on like five people in a row, and then you come across someone you like, but you’re so used to swiping left, you accidentally do it again. Don’t make that mistake!

DO ask questions based on the person’s profile. You’ve been to Nepal? I’ve always wanted to go. Love the Anchorman quote, which Will Ferrell movie is your favorite? How drunk were you in the club the night of that photo? Asking about someone’s profile is an easy way to break the ice and get them into their comfort zone.

DO ask a question when you’re chatting with someone. If your last message to someone is just a statement, then you might not hear back for a while. Make sure you hit the ball back into their court and give them a reason to hit it back.

DON’T promote a business on Tinder. Nobody likes spam. Help us keep Tinder spam-free.

DO give it some time to initiate a chat after you’ve struck a match. You can always go in straight away if you’re in a time crunch, but remember what Trent said in “Swingers,” if you go in too early, you could scare off a beautiful baby who’s ready to party.

DON’T take it personally if someone stops chatting with you. There are plenty of other possible connections out there. Keep it moving.

DO send screenshots to your friends. If you’ve just seen the greatest a$$ ever or the best six-pack in the world, do humanity a favor and pass it along to some of the homies. Just make sure you’re sharing it with reliable folks who aren’t going to blast it around the world and throw it on Twitter or Facebook, because that wouldn’t be cool.

DON’T click on someone who talks about wanting to get poked. That is likely a spam bot.

DO be wary of someone who starts out a conversation telling you about the weirdest guy/girl they just chatted with, or the worst date they just went on. Chances are, they’re going to be putting you on blast the same way once they’re done with you.

DON’T be afraid of rejection. It’s a numbers game. If you like enough people, you’ll get enough matches. If you try to chat with people, enough will respond. Don’t get discouraged. Expand your mile radius and like more people if you have to, and good things will happen.

DON’T be an a-hole. If you screw someone over in some way, it ruins the Tinder experience for the other person and makes them more hesitant moving forward. Don’t ruin things for everyone else out there.

DO have fun. Like people. Chat em up. Try out lines. Go on dates. Aren’t we all here to have a good time?



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