Armour for Tinder



Did you know, plenty of studies show that Tinder has detrimental effects on self-esteem in many cases.

The reason can be summarised as easily as this: When we're reduced to a simple profile, we don't look quite so charming. What makes you amazing is the combination of skills, humour, talents, passions, looks and so much more. But a profile can only really show looks.

Looks = Pictures

These devious pictures fail to capture so much of our humanity. The notion "A picture says more than a thousand words" might be better said as "A picture matters more than a thousand words in your profile. But a thousand words tells us more about you, and at a thousand, we're only just scratching the surface of you".

So, that's a bit of a bummer, no? Well, the benefits of dating apps far outweigh this little flaw, if we learn how to use it, and keep our self-esteem in place. Here are some mindsets and strategies

It's not you.

Our brain coldly assumes our profile clearly shows us who we are. That's a huge cognitive bias, and oh so wrong. Take a second and ask yourself: do you believe this?

You would hope that the gaps your profile doesn't fill about your personality is left open in the readers eyes. Oh no! The reader will fill your profile out and fantasies about your personality, based on very little information. The reader will extrapolate on your picture beyond your belief - try it yourself: you can often tell an entire story about a stranger in a photo. These biases and prejudices are perhaps the same tendencies that fuels racism.

So what should you think? People are responding to your profile, not to you.

Real life VS photos

As we pull out some random profiles and look at them, we often can't believe how different a person can look from photo to photo. We have seen people being rated between a 4 and 8/10 based on the quality of the photo. Why? Often it's because cameras make assumptions and funny things when the lighting is off. And it's hard to look photogenic without a photographer.

It's simply like this: When you see a photo of yourself, who does your brain see? You. But when another person looks at your photo, they see pixels forming a complete picture, with all the unflattering angles, light, shadows and so on. And let's face it, you don't look good in many angles. And no-one looks good in blueish bathroom light.

Worse yet - when someone sees an unflattering photo of you, they think that's the real you. They rarely give you the benefit of the doubt - back to that age-old bias - pictures represent reality perfectly.

Pictures aren't as informative as we think - not even when representing the visible spectrum.

The assembly line

Especially for women, using a dating app is like buying assembly-line commodities. If you stand out, you'll be swimming against the tide.

So the trick? Inject vulnerability, humanity and feelings as soon as you can. Get professional photos, tell the reader something personal. Don't start with pick-up lines, be original instead.