The Cats out of the bag .
So, there is one main thing your parents and older influential people tell you throughout your life, “Don’t talk to strangers”. I am now starting to realize that has a bigger meaning as technology continues to evolve. Yes, Tinder and other dating websites are mainly based on talking to strangers to meet people, but although a picture is worth a thousand words, people are getting tricky and manipulating their photos to attract the opposite sex. We all do it. Even just a little filter on Instagram or Snapchat is a way of manipulating your photo and can be used to deceive people. So, what happens when people put that same manipulated photo as their profile picture on Tinder? The only thing we have to determine whether to swipe left or right is a couple photos (that may not even look like that person) and a bio (half the time there isn’t one).
I have had a Tinder on and off since I was 16. The app is only for 18 years or older, I know, but I obviously lied. I am now 19 and a couple months ago I decided to download the app again. I seen a lot of familiar faces that I had seen the previous time I had the app and swiped right on a couple of the people that looked interesting. A few weeks ago, I ended up matching with this guy I had matched with the previous time and he messaged me. We talked for a few times, and he told me “I don’t really come on this app a lot, sorry if I don’t respond”. My reaction was “that’s understandable his life doesn’t revolve around a dating app”. Being naive and a child, I sent him “since you don’t get on this app a lot, do you want to continue the conversation through text?”, after that I gave him my number and didn’t even think about it. A couple days went by and we made plans to meet up for coffee at this local coffee house in town. It was between 8 and 9pm, there were a lot of adult and college kids their doing homework and hanging out. As I walked up, there was a man standing next to the door. It didn’t look like the picture of that guy I had been talking to, so I proceeded to walk in and go to the counter to get a coffee. As I was ordering my coffee, that same guy walked up to me and said, “wow do I really look that different from my pictures?”.
I decided to be blunt and say yes, so he could prevent this situation in the future. At this moment I felt super uncomfortable and had texted my roommate to call me at 8:45 to get me out of there. We sat there talking about work and school. This man is in his mid-20’s but continued to talk about high school like it was yesterday. I don’t know if he was trying to relate to me or what, but the conversation was empty. 9pm rolls around and my roommate still hasn’t texted me. The guy had to briefly get up for something, so I texted my roommate and requested her to call in ten minutes. She finally called and was pretending that her cat went outside, and she couldn’t find it. We talked for a few minutes to make it look believable, and eventually I looked at the guy and said, “I need to go home to help my roommate”. He seemed like he understood, but he could have just been being polite. I got in my car and all I could think about on the drive home was, “wow, that was a close one. Good thing I payed for my own coffee.”. later that night when I got home I unmatched him on Tinder and blocked his number. Yes that seems a little extreme, but I just didn’t feel comfortable with the idea.
Moral of the story, a picture doesn’t justify a whole person. There is more to a person than a good-looking photo. Although, there are many different scenarios that could be proven, this is still relevant with my age group.