A few months ago, an app called Tinder hit the scene and revolutionized the ability of twenty-somethings to form meaningless "romantic" relationships with, largely, random strangers. The Apple App Store calls it a lifestyle app. A generous onlooker would call it a dating app. I'm going to call it what it is: a hookup app.
It came to my attention recently that not just skeezy unknowns but actual people I know have been using this app. My friends' experiences made it look like a land of endless amusing stupidity, and, as we all know, there are few things I love more in this world than amusing stupidity.
Naturally, then, I joined Tinder a few weeks ago. My purposes were twofold and simple: fly under the radar and find out how many of my acquaintances I could find on Tinder, lookin' for love. I had no particular interest in meeting or interacting with people on Tinder, but I had a feeling I knew some people who did. So I browsed, and my findings were fairly interesting.
At Notre Dame, nearly everyone I found on the app whom I recognized from real life was a member of the Glee Club. There are a lot of things I could say about this. So. Here we are.
In Logansport, there weren't many patterns to the gentlemen I found whom I knew from outside the Tinderverse. A few were my classmates. Many more were several years my junior, which is a bit sad. Others were several years older, which is probably sadder. Eventually, I ran out of people I knew, and this, I thought, was where my Tinder adventures would end.
Then I found Russell.
Russell is a Wilderness Explorer. His bio told me all about his interests in wilderness exploring, assisting people, traveling to exotic locales with his friend Mr. Frederickson, and the like. This is Russell.
Now, I want to be very clear. I never intended to press a single button on Tinder beyond the X that means "yeah, bored, keep scrolling through until you can show me another old classmate that I can blackmail with this, Tinder, come on." But the mystery man behind Russell's profile was clearly a genius. Such brilliance cannot simply be X'd. It must be rewarded. I hit Like on Russell's profile. "It's a match!" We chatted briefly. He spoke exclusively in Up quotes. I congratulated him on being a Tinder genius. And that was that.
As I looked over Russell's profile and the countless other profiles that paled in comparison to his, I realized that I have some thoughts on what makes for a successful Tinder profile.
Ladies, if you're looking for tips on how to craft your profiles, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. As I've had only two matches including Russell (you could say I'm picky; you could also say I've only clicked like on four people in roughly three weeks), I am probably not the best person to ask for advice. I would point you instead in the direction of a dear friend of mine who joined Tinder this afternoon and had nineteen matches within a half hour.
But for the gentlemen, I have some ideas. I acknowledge, of course, that most ladies on the Tinder machine are probably not looking for the same things I'm looking for. I'm looking to make fun of old acquaintances' attempts to win over women - and in terms of actual potential matches, I'm looking for Aaron Tveit, whom I doubt is within 25 miles of Logansport. So I won't be presumptive enough to give you "advice" on how to cater your profiles to the things that ladies want. Instead, I will give you a list of Ways to Earn a Certain X On Tinder and In Life From Sarah Cahalan and Any Girl With Any Taste.
1. Be shirtless. Even if you are hot. When you're shirtless in your profile picture, my eyes add a filter that projects a Tupac tattoo across your stomach reading "Tool Life."
2. Wear camouflage. Attractive hobbies: tap dancing, reading acclaimed modern American novels, home-brewing cider, not killing animals for sport.
3. Pose with stereotypical Hot Girls. "One time I got this chick to take a picture with me. Swipe right."
4. Use senior photos in your profile. Anywhere. I have actually run into this, a number of times, and I have only to say: hahahahahaha. Hahaha.
5. Make your phone visible in your selfie. Team Stop Selfies 2014.
6. Include your height in your bio. Should I be impressed? Alarmed? These are honest questions; I don't understand at all. Help.
7. Have Tinder.