I have a confession to make: I’m using social apps such as Tinder, Badoo and OK Cupid to make new friends.
In this day and age, this is perhaps one of the fastest and easiest ways to make new potential connections that are outside of my current social circle and work acquaintances when there is little time to spare.
When I first started on Tinder, it was a novelty. I was swiping left and right, either accepting or rejecting men based on their looks. Initially, judging people based on first impressions can bring about a guilt related factor as I raised questions to myself. “What if he’s a nice person? What if he’s a stalker? What if…[insert concern]?”
But within my first week of swiping, I have learned how to master the split second photo judgement.
Our decision making process is based a lot on how our subconscious feels about something. In that instant judgement, many questions have been answered the instant they form in the subconscious mind:
“Does the person have the glare of a potential serial killer?”
“Is this person going to take me seriously?”
“Will I feel bored talking to him?”
“How does this person perceive life?”
“Is he genuinely enjoying his life?”
“Is he desperate?”
“Will I feel safe talking to him?”
Endless lists go on.
When you’re going through at least 40 swipes per commute (that is on average 3 times a day, once to work, once on the way home, and once on the way to my post-work location) that makes about looking through a minimum of 120 first impression photos daily.
That’s a lot right?
Actually no, it isn’t.
Imagine that you’re an employer who has been sent a stack of application forms. Your job is to pick the best person for whatever position needs to be filled.
The job candidates come in, you begin to nit pick them. Are they dressed properly? Do they have a decent handshake? How confident do they look? How do they come across? Do they ramble on in their CVs?
This is exactly what happens when you’re on Tinder.
There are only so many hours I can use, and torturing myself with people who are going to waste my time with boredom is not on my to do list.
Already you’re looking for specific cues when scanning a snapshot of the Tinder photo and you’re already doing exactly the same thing. Except instead of a job position for the work place, you’re filling positions for potential friends and/or conversationalists.
So make sure to give more thought to the photos you choose for your online profile, because people on the other side of the screen are judging you too.