Swiping right has seriously changed the way we pair up.
Gone are the days of the simple copulatory gaze across a crowded bar. Men puffing up their chests with animalistic alpha presence and females coyly fluttering their eyelashes, puckering their painted red lips and strutting about in heels.
Now you walk into a bar and the singles can be seen hunched over, head down looking at their screens looking for a local hook-up.
We have a few still images and a series of mini algorithmic tests to make ourselves date-worthy.
1. The photograph
Two words…. Snapchat Filters.
There is absolutely nothing more off-putting than a grown man with doe eyes, bunny ears or yellow flowers around their head. Oh and topless gym selfies. Please can we all put an end to this madness?
But Snapchat criticism aside, even though it feels quite cruel judging somebody literally on face value, I guess this is how we’d do it in the wild.
The tiniest feature of a photograph can be the difference between a swipe left and a swipe right. One photo can make you look like a grade A piece of meat and another… not so much.
We’re all now masters in the art of visual manipulation. Chin out, cheeks in, eyes wide, hand-on-hips teapot poses that get what we think is the most flattering presentation of our human form.
It’s definitely the female of the species who are most guilty when it comes to filtering out flaws and selling counterfeit profiles, myself included. But it’s all false advertising and we’re setting ourselves up to be a bit of a disappointment.
2. The bio
Unless it’s a weird and wonderful one-liner, any kind of bio could be dangerous.
It just feels too much of a sales pitch and there’s something about proclaiming to be funny that makes your readers question the authenticity of it.
Somehow everybody’s a Director. There must be absolutely no males in middle management or below anymore. But anyway, amongst the beige and the cringeworthy, there are a few comedy golds worthy of a right swipe.
3. The chat
If you’ve passed the photograph and bio test, then congratulations you’ve earned yourself a right swipe.
This is the bit about online dating I do actually like because I’m a fan of the written word. It’s where you can break through the sales pitch barrier and be real, suss out the psychopaths and build up a pretty good understanding of personality.
Starting off with a basic “hey, how are you” is risky when small talk allergies kick in – it can be gameover before the game has even begun.
Like a real life conversation, the chat is a series of mini algorithmic tests that can make you fall at the first hurdle or make it to the finish line. And the finish line is actually just the start…
Online dating is definitely opening up the meat market to a whole new way of making a move. It’s having a huge impact on society and I’ll no doubt dig deeper into the neuroscience of it all at some point soon.
But whatever it is, I think that anybody putting themselves out there deserves a hug or at least a pat on the head.
It’s brave. It’s exhausting. It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s disappointing. It’s fun. It’s soul-destroying. It’s confidence-building. It’s full of Weirdos. And whatever you’re looking for it’s guaranteed to give you stories to tell.
The handful of people I’ve actually gone through the nauseating pre-date nerves to meet have all been Heroes, one or two I’d like to keep in my life for the forseeable.
Lots of Love.