Did you know that a simple Google Image search of one of your Tinder match’s photos can change how you use the dating app entirely? Vv Magazine’s Vicki Hogarth shows you how to discover the true identity of all your Tinder matches, and weed out the losers, sociopaths, and potential murderers before you even bother leaving your house.
I use Tinder with the same kind of controlled recklessness Gwyneth Paltrow reserves for smoking cigarettes and unleashing transparent passive-aggressive Goop attacks on Martha Stewart. In other words, the mood doesn’t strike me often, but when it does, I’m smugly calculated about the ways in which I stoop to new lows. Friends of mine who’ve never used Tinder often say predictable things about my dating habits: “Aren’t you afraid to meet up with a complete stranger based on a small selection of photos and his proximity to your apartment?” – as if their drunken hookups-turned-longterm relationships — which, of course, predate the dating app — are a testament to their more respectable and judicious approach to finding romance. Here’s the thing though: I’ve barely met up with anyone from Tinder who I haven’t fully investigated (read: stalked) first.
“Even though Tinder links to every user’s current Facebook profile, a lot of Tinder pros up their Facebook privacy settings to ensure potential stalkers don’t find them there.”
I’m superficial enough to only “Right Swipe” potential Tinder dates who have at least three photos that prove: a) they’re good-looking; b) they’re taller than me; and c) they’re not doing anything in said photos that suggests they’ve attempted a male modeling career at some point in their lives, have confused their plans for growing a beard with accomplishing life goals, or are displaced frat boys. Following these simple standards alone often leads me to Tinder chats with people who can compose full sentences. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be murdered or – worse – end up dating someone who’s goalless, unmotivated, or unaccomplished. You might thing that’s an around-the-bush way of saying “someone who’s poor,” but I’m open-minded enough (read: from Montreal) to date someone who’s got serious plans for himself without the pocketbook to show for it.
Sure, I could ask questions like, “What do you do for a living?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But that’s generally a poor use of time, especially since we all know the ways in which members of Generation Selfie tend to embellish their personal circumstances and life choices. There are so many “Social Media Consultants” out there, and it turns out that’s just a fancy term used by the unemployed to mean: “I have Twitter, a trust fund, and prescription-free eyeglasses that define me more than I define me.”
“Once I’ve determined which Tinder photo is the Tinder match’s “most likely to be a LinkedIn profile pic,” I crop the screen grab”
To get to the bottom of who my prospective future romantic partner (read: friend with benefits or someone I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with in public) is, I often take screen grabs of a selection of photos used by the Tinder match in question, starting with the one that I deem “most likely to be a LinkedIn profile pic.” Even though Tinder links to every user’s current Facebook profile, a lot of Tinder pros up their Facebook privacy settings to ensure potential stalkers don’t find them there. While this means a Google image search of a person’s Tinder photos won’t necessarily lead you to his or her full Facebook profile page, chances are that vain people (read: the kind of good-looking people who are worthy of pre-date background checks) use a hot-meets-professional photo for their LinkedIn profile that they also use as a glamour shot on Facebook and Tinder. Aren’t we all guilty of that?
Once I’ve determined which Tinder photo is the Tinder match’s “most likely to be a LinkedIn profile pic,” I crop the screen grab, so I have just the clean image to work with. Then — and here’s where the fun background investigation really starts — I load the cropped pic into a Google Image search. Almost always, I end up finding out the true identity of the Tinder match within seconds of my search, and usually on LinkedIn. Keep in mind: I often force my roommate to do the search on his computer, because we all know that LinkedIn leaves a trail of visitors to every profile. It’s best to let my potential Tinder lover think some guy named Kevin was just perusing his life for some creepy, undetermined reason.
“I once went out with a guy who I knew – even before meeting him, or discussing career specifics via text — had worked with Spike Jonze.”
Once I’ve cracked into said fella’s LinkedIn page, I then get to see everything LinkedIn has to offer regarding his work and life history. This often leads me to even more exciting Google searches for articles, social media, and random online information relating to the dude’s personal life, career highs and lows, and overall achievements. I once went out with a guy who I knew – even before meeting him, or discussing career specifics via text — had worked with Spike Jonze. When he didn’t even mention the occupational highlight on our date, that’s when I fell in love… and went home to Google more and more. Terrifyingly stalker-esque behaviour? Sure, but I’d never date some loser I met randomly in a bar. That’s so pre-Tinder.
Love all the Tinder talk? Vv Magazine’s Vicki Hogarth has the office nickname #Tinderella for a reason. Check out her other watercooler talk-worthy articles on dating in the Tinder era: Is Tinder Inhibiting Our Ability To Feel?; Tinder Conversation Starters; Tinder First Date Don’ts.