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Tinder revisited: Changing my profile to a ‘Professional standard’. What does this say about Tinder users?

In this post, I will be exploring what is considered a ‘professional’ standard Tinder profile and how much more ‘swipeable’ I become. ‘We argue whether online relationships or face-to-face relationships between two people are better worse or just different’ (Boyle 2003), personally, I find it strange that putting certain pictures of yourself on an app, makes you more likely to find love. But that’s what qualified Tinder professionals claim. Much like, Julie Spira, who is ‘America’s Top Online Dating Expert’ and has been for 20 years. Julie provides one-to-one advice (for a fee) on how to ‘how to flirt on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, master the art of swiping right on Tinder’, but recently, she starred in a video with Buzzfeed, giving some pointers for how to make your profile more ‘swipeable’. 23191665_1932121566804383_89511027_o

  1.  No group photos if it can be avoided (Spira 2017). Above is a breakdown of my profile and as it’s clear, the fourth picture is a photo of a friend and I. Although this isn’t a ‘group photo’ , it’s still not a photo of just me, so I changed this photo to another selfie.

     

    2. Don’t hide behind your sunglasses (Spira 2017)- In my profile, I am not wearing any sunglasses, but I did look to see if you could see all my face in every picture, which meant getting rid of picture number two, because although I wasn’t wearing sunglasses, I was not making eye contact.

    3.  Show interests and places you would like to go (Spira 2017)- In my profile, a majority of my photos are taken in my bedroom or my garden. I had hardly any photos of me in my favourite places and if I did, they were candid and I wasn’t looking at the camera. However, I enjoy gardening and caring for plants, so I changed one of the two similar selfies to one with me with a plant.

    4. No animals- again, I had to change another one of my photos because it was a selfie of me and my dog.

    5. Be confident in your bio, don’t apologise! (Spira 2017)- my bio from my last experiment was ‘Second year of uni, just looking for someone to talk too’, which doesn’t come across as confident at all. However, Julie Spira also says that you should ask a question in your bio because ‘When they see that question mark, it is giving them an instruction’ (Spira 2017). So I changed my bio too ‘Second year of uni, I love reading, writing and dogs. Are you more of a dog or a cat person? The answer better be dog’.

    The experiment 

    Following the advice of, ‘If you want to have the best experience on Tinder, use it at 9 p.m’ (Beres 2016) again, I began my experiment following the same routine as last time, waiting ten minutes between the 30 swipes.

9.00

Previously when I did this, using my old profile, I received 7 matches and 2 messages after swiping through the first 30 people. But this time around, I received 22 matches and 3 messages. The very first message I received was addressing my question in my bio, with the answer being ‘dogs all day x’.

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9.10

With my old profile, by this point, I had 15 matches and 7 message. But with my new updated profile, I had received 34 matches and 10 messages. Again, the majority of my messages were about the ‘dog or cats’ question but also questioning about my old places of work, that appeared in my bio because it is connected to Facebook.

9.20

I finished swiping at 9.20, with 56 matches and 17 messages. What I found this time around, apart from getting more messages and matches, I also got more ‘super-likes’ than before.

 

Thoughts

It is clear from the results that I received more matches with my edited profile, however, why was this? ‘We can change the appearance of our partners without their knowledge- realising of course, that they could be doing the same to us- seems to cut out the passion of a real, fallible lover’ (Boyle 2003), just because I have changed my photos, the angles at which they were taken and who featured in them, this apparently changed how attractive other people found me. Does this mean I am giving an untrue image of myself? Majority of the photos I have used are selfies, my potential dates have no idea what I like or dislike just by my photos. The only information they can gather is that I prefer dogs over cats. The advice of not having any group photos I feel really highlights how lazy online dating has become. It takes a man 0.3 seconds to decide whether to swipe right, so eliminating group pictures meant they didn’t have to spend un-needed time trying to deduce which one I was. ‘There is a widely accepted idea that people are withdrawing from society into their own homes, and inside their homes, they are withdrawing in front of a screen’ (Boyle 2003), using Tinder made me feel really passive, although I was only using it for an experiment. If I used it in my day-to-day life, I could see myself becoming more uninterested in people themselves. I could easily find another date, as Tinder has hundreds of different people waiting who happened to swipe right on my picture so I wouldn’t need to like or talk to someone if I didn’t want too, ‘if a member violates the rules, or even get’s slightly boring, you don’t have to listen or talk to them- you can just switch them off’ (Boyle 2003).

 

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How differently are men and women treated on Tinder? Does old-fashioned dating rules still apply to digital dating?

My idea& the rules

Tinder has been in business since 2014 and has been estimated that 50 million people use this app. I personally have never used it, but I know many people that have. I wanted to explore further how and why women and men are treated so differently on Tinder.

To set up this experiment, I got one of my male friends to set up his own Tinder account*. We both used four recent photos and had the same bio, ‘Second year of uni, just looking for someone to talk too’. Both, Jack and I could only swipe right on people, we couldn’t dislike or ‘Super-like’ anyone. And we only used this app for half an hour, measuring how many matches we got, how quickly we got messaged and what we were messaged.

My findings

According to the HuffPost, the best time to be on Tinder is between 8.30pm and 9.00pm, as that’s when most people have finished work and for ‘certain people who use the app for late-night hookups’ (Beres 2017). We began by swiping right on 30 people and then waited five minutes, to add up many matches and messages we both got.

8.30

Within the first minute, I had already racked up 7 matches and 2 messages. The first

22711858_1916726411677232_556180824_omessages I received was from a match that had ‘super-liked’ me, it was a simple ‘Hello’ and was sent almost immediately after I matched with them. My second message took a little longer to come in, taking about 3 minutes to be sent and it was noticeably longer. My first thought when reading this message was that it appeared copy and pasted, it came in quickly and would have taken a while to type out. Meanwhile, Jack had not received any messages or matches.

 

 

 

8.40

After waiting 10 minutes, we began swiping our next 30 peop22664039_1916738695009337_74110749_o (1)le, again only swiping right. With Jack still at 0 matches and 0 messages, I now had 15 matches and 7 messages. Two of the messages were advertisements but the rest were from, what seemed to be, real people.  Majority of the messages were just a simple, ‘Hello’ or ‘Hey’, but there were a few that really highlighted the difference in how men acted differently on Tinder compared to women. One of the first messages I collected was ‘eggs or bacon?’, hinting at the idea of making me breakfast in the morning, which I felt was very forward for an opening message and if I was using this app seriously, I wouldn’t feel inclined to reply. Another message I obtained was ‘Hey, How’s it going? I do have better lines than this I swear”,  this message highlighted to me, the fact that men are almost expected to open with a pick-up line, to even think they will get a message back.

8.50

We now had to swipe our final 40, as Tinder only lets you swipe right 100 times a day.  Overall, Jack finished with 3 matches, 0 messages and I had 17 messages, 23 matches. In 22711753_1916770678339472_26720765_omy last forty swipes, I received a lot more pick-up lines as the time neared 9pm and that’s when the app is most used. The funniest one I got was from at match who claimed he had a library card because he was ‘totally checking me out’, and then when I didn’t reply, messaged again, saying that I went to university so I must ‘like books’. Jack, however only matched with three girls and didn’t get a single message.

 

 

 

 

Final thoughts

I feel that Tinder is very well marketed towards the old ideals of dating. Jack’s profile was set to a heterosexual, which led to him getting more adverts from restaurants like Dominos with dates offers, whereas I hardly saw any adverts at all. Highlighting the idea that it’s the man that must plan and make arrangements for a date. Secondly, Jack didn’t obtain any messages, and 2 out of the 3 women he matched with openly stated in their bios that they wouldn’t message first. Underlining the idea that men have to make the first move. ‘It has been shown that people online commonly misrepresent their appearance, making it more flattering’ (King 2009) and Jack found this. You are allowed up to five photos, Jack found that most women looked completely different in all their images, mainly because  ‘users like to present themselves in the best light possible’ (King 2009).

On my end, men who used pick-up lines knew their chances of getting a response was low and would message more than once, even though they still continued to use these lines. I also feel there is an  ‘If rejection happens online, no one knows’ (Oden 2009) element, because it’s online, there isn’t the humiliation of being rejected in person. And finally, the premise of copy and pasting messages I found very common on Tinder. I would receive a message within second of matching that appeared generic, proving that some men had obviously had success with those lines before and use Tinder often.

 

*The names of have been changed/censored for protection purposes

753 words

References

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Like everyother girl

large“You are so hot”,

I never liked those words,

Till you said them.

 

Wrapped in love,

And raw lust,

You wove them.

 

Into my being,

On a silver tongue,

You served them.

 

I never wanted,

Or craved,

To hear them.

 

Those four words,

That you took,

And gave them.

 

And now, I am,

Like every other girl,

You gave them too.

 

 

(*I don’t own these images)

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Your body

0f75890043d573f12a24fa54885067d3

A collection of Haikus 

 

Your body is like,

a map that I know well,

But I am so lost

 

Someone has walked,

On this path, someone has been,

here, that isn’t me

 

I restlessly lay,

In the valley of your chest,

Waiting for the storm.

 

(*I don’t own the images)

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Creative writing, Uncategorized

Cold Coffee

tumblr_ojdppwx1UP1vn0nr7o1_500

A cup filled with steam,

A black coffee with cream,

His eyes a soft brown,

The same colour it would seem.

 

But every cup must cool down,

The words I found,

Over that tepid cup,

By the heat I am bound.

 

A cold lifeless coffee,

Sits next to me,

The coffee is as tart,

As you can be.

 

Every love must fall apart,

Every match must lose its spark,

Like a cold coffee,

Not as hot as the start.

 

(*I don’t own the images)

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Creative writing

You and I

fb78eb1c49fb65bd8339f441f64a4adeI’ve been receiving,

love letters from the sky,

And finding passion

 

She and I share,

The same colour eyes,

Sometimes they are more,

Blue than others.

 

Sometimes they look,

Cloudy and icy,

Unable to read her,

But we both have,

Our stormy days, sometimes

Thunderstorms and hurricanes,

But we always end up under the same sky.

 

(*I don’t own the images)

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Creative writing

Tea for two

img-thingThe vast pot of tea,

Sits between you and me,

Filling the space,

Between our knees.

 

And I can’t feel your embrace,

Or see the smile on your face,

We are separated by the sea,

Pushing you to a different place.

 

Two separate cups for the tea,

And you woefully watched me,

As I reached for the cup and not for you,

How more obvious could it be.

 

And I waited for my cue,

My moment to say ‘I love you’,

But you didn’t wait,

Leaving me alone,

With tea for two.

 

 

 

(*I don’t own the images)

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Creative writing

Pushing up roses

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_763uiyxf2kwsccg8gkk44ogg8_640I wear all black,

Because I am ready for death.

I am ready for the day

Of your funeral,

The day the darkness swallows,

Your unforgivable soul,

Like the night does,

With the sky.

The fake tears,

Sewn to my pale cheeks,

The half written condolences,

Screwed into a tight ball,

of my left breast side pocket.

Above where my heart used to be.

I will bury my feelings with you,

Underneath the lifeless soil,

Amid the worms,

I will place my final thoughts,

About you.

Rest them by your head,

Next to your restless mind.

Which will whirl and move,

Almost like the living,

But your decaying body,

Won’t have the power to do anything,

To do anything to me.

And as I fall asleep at night,

With a smile on my face,

It will still be for you.

And whether or not,

The knife slipped from my fingers,

Or you ran into it,

Multiple time,

I will remember the look,

On your sickly,

Sweet face.

And every Spring,

You will push up roses,

My favourite flower,

With fewer petals than most,

With a darker, black than any,

Because you continue to let me down,

Even when you are underground.

 

 

(*I don’t own the images)

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Creative writing, Uncategorized

Your hand in mine

I took a star from the sky, sewed your name into the seam. Placed it above your head, while you continued to dream. I whispered into your ears, warned off all the bad nightmares. Kissed your bitter cheeks in the morning and pushed back your thin baby hairs. I cradled your cold body and warmed up your blue lips. And brushed all the dust off your pretty dress while I tightened the bow around your hips.

I made the bed around you, wrapping the duvet up nice and tight. Keeping you trapped and safe from the cold, suspicious night. You stared at me, with your blue, crazy eyes and I can’t help smiling as I bat away the greedy flies.

They sit upon you, like small vultures watching their prey, but I will not let them get to you my dear, no, not today.

You are still the most precious thing I own, I take your hand and admire the ring. Thin and silver, on your pale skin it has begun to cling.

The candle’s flame flickers in the descending light as I held your hand in mine. I look at your pale expression and how the light made your lifeless eyes shine. Your cheekbones were beginning to show even more today, your skin sinking into your face. The dark mistress of time taking away what was left of your beauty and grace.

Stealing your warm, perfume smell and replacing it with odours of old, as I clasp your papery skin to mine and try to ignore the cold.

I couldn’t keep you forever. I had known this for a while. But just a little bit longer, just a little while more, so I don’t forget your smile. The way your lips used to curve up when you looked at me. The confused way your face crumpled up when I got down on one knee.

Now your figures indent will forever be on our bed, as your body continues to decay. Resting in-between the duvet and the sheet. I will continue to tell you I love you, every single day.

Every day, I will press my lips to yours and pretend they kiss mine back.  I will hold your hand till it turns to dust and until your pupils succumb to the black. Until the final calls of death ring at our door and take whats left of your decomposing bones from me. I will keep you safe and locked away, with my fingers around the key.

You may be dead to the world, but you are still alive to me. I will keep your decaying body for as long as the flies will leave it be.

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Media convergence, Uncategorized

My experience of consuming a Transmedia Product- Pokemon Go

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The first Pokemon game was released in Japan on February 27 1996 and the franchise has been growing since. Pokemon Blue, the first official game, allowed the players to capture 151 different types of monsters and later, become a Pokemon master. Now with having 17 Nintendo games,  18 console games, 28 handhold games, 3 arcade games, a TV series and most recently Pokemon Go, Pokemon has become as Bainbridge (2014) argues the ‘second most successful game-based franchise in the world’.

Pokemon Go hit the app store in the UK on September 16, 2016 and currently has 6.1 million users, who YouGov have calculated spend 26 minutes a day staring at their phones trying to catch these imaginary monsters. I personally, came into contact with Pokemon when I was very young and was even on of the first games I purchased for my gameboy. And nothing brings back that nostalgic feeling more then playing Pokemon Go. Part of rawwhat makes Pokemon Go successful is that it follows on from the narrative that I knew and loved as a child. However, instead of Ash trying to become a Pokemon master, I can in real life.

Following Christy Dena’s theory of Emerging Participatory Culture Practices and her concept of separating transmedia users into tiers shines through with Pokemon’s newest addition to the franchise, Pokemon Go.  According to the BusinessofApps Pokemon Go has had 100 million downloads since August 8th 2016. However, 60% of those users only access the app every three days. This proves that majority of the players aren’t necessarily ‘hardcore’ fans and most of Pokemon Go’s interest comes from casual players. ‘Gamers who play games for enjoyment and relaxation rather than games with steep learning curves or requiring high levels of commitment or involvement’ (p51) is how Dena describes casual players and because all Pokemon Go involves is walking around, collecting the little pocket monsters, it doesn’t require very much dedication. Or any prior knowledge for that fact.

Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘hardcore’ fan,I did play and watch Pokemon as a child and eagerly waited the release of Pokemon Go. Following Dena’s theory, this would place me in the ‘active tier’ of players. Where I will promote and have a significant interaction with the game with limited background knowledge.

The ARG ,Pokemon Go, would fall in to Dena’s tier of  ‘Real world Player’s’ , where players participate in public using tools like GPS to complete challenges.  Dena argues that ‘It is narratives such as these that are the primary work for most audiences, and the effort the players put into these productions attests to their knowledge of the role they play’ (p46) . Within Pokemon Go, it is clear that the narrative followspokemon-day
you as a Pokemon Trainer, trying to achieve the title of Master, similar to the other handheld Pokemon games I loved as a child. However, the idea of bringing Pokemon to life, in a real world format was a real step forward in the franchise. Although Pokemon Go has to stay on top of it’s game by releasing new limited addition Pokemon, like party hat Pickachu  and most recently, generation 2 to keep their fans satisfied. The ARG has overall been a success, forcing people outside into their surroundings with YouGov recording that players have walked a total of 144 billion steps, this being 26% more that normal.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 20.19.57 (Sourced from YouGov)

Word Count – 553 (Without quotes or Bibliography) 

Bibliography

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