What’s up everyone and welcome to Part 2 of our DAT TRP Series. We already covered OkCupid so if you’re curious about the issue you can click here or work your way from the Beginning of the Shuffle Around Life series.
Hinge is an app that was popularized in New York, gained traction in LA and slowly crept and crawled throughout the country. One of the key differences with this app compared to OkCupid is it’s minimalist settings. Originally you had to sync your Facebook account in order to “acquire the friends of friends network aka your prospective dating pool” to see what you’re working with. As of the writing of this article, you can now sign up with just an email. You can do either way, however for me I started with Sync’ing my own FB account and went from there.
When you first start you need to set your Preferences, who are you interested in (are you interested in the same sex, opposite sex, or you like to grab from both genders). Unfortunately for certain LGBT individuals this may be off putting. Afterwards you need to turn on Location Settings because you need to “Claim your hood.” Then you have to set all the other demographic data: Age Range, Maximum Distance and more. One of the key features that stand out as a filter is the “Is this a Dealbreaker?”
If you’re one of those people that likes to sample the entire world’s buffet, then never turn on that option. However if Religion, Maximum Distance (which only covers 100 miles, talk about limited parameters) and more are truly important for you, then by all means switch on and indicate “It is a Dealbreaker?” It will be marked with ‘Dealbreaker’ in the preference setting, so you can set it and forget it. Now me personally, unlike OkCupid you cannot filter by fitness preferences (seems superficial and probably better for overall user experience) but for those of us who want someone a bit more active, than average (and that’s not asking much) this is one of my few qualms about it. One other thing to note is, while OkCupid still has a slant (no pun intended) to favor Caucasian Males and Asian Females. This app caters to a similar audience (it’s not to throw shade it’s the facts), so if you love Basic Becky/Techies (70%) then you’re probably in Nirvana. There are a portion of Minority Females but the breakdown before I placed my filters were (20% Asian and 5-10% Latino/Hispanic or African American given your geographic location). You don’t have to fill out everything but you should definitely address everything, if you want to take this thing seriously. Your mileage may vary and as an Asian-American male my experience is much more unique than let’s say someone who is Caucasian or African-American. When thinking about how you want to convey yourself to your dating prospects be mindful to:
It’s very important to setup your profile sections, you need to optimize: six pictures, three answer prompts, seven virtues, eight vitals, four vices, and the option of syncing your Instagram (sounds like the 12 days of Christmas song, doesn’t it?). I’ll break it down by each section mentioned:
You have six pictures to make an ideal impression on your would-be prospect. I’ve seen both my friend’s profiles and some acquaintances. If you don’t like taking pictures either befriend (or pay) for professional photography headshots. If you’re crafty (or gutsy like I was), you can have someone take them for you and take a chance. For my recommendations you should have a split, three photos of you: One clear headshot, one full body shot, and one action shot (pick your ideal activity: climbing, racing, dancing, etc.) The other three, should showcase your personality/interests: Do you like dogs, have a specific passion, have an “urge” to travel (which is very common in dating apps)?
Once you pick those photos you can put it in order, now there’s another three ways you can break this out:
- Treat your dating profile like a page from your life story, infographic style and easy to follow, top to bottom
- While creating PR highlights about yourself in between the snippet
Three Answer Prompts
English majors, Hinge will make you shine so hard, it’s not even funny (maybe even OkCupid), very few know how to entertain those with a tap of the keyboard. In any event, if you’re a man of few words, use your concise language effectively. My recommendations are: Two Truths/One Lie (if you live an interesting life, are a good liar, entertaining storyteller, or all of the above), I’m looking for (you can be as blunt or witty, e.g. I like tongue and cheeks…. tongue twisters and baby cheeks to pinch, you pervert), & Ideal first date (to set the tone of the first encounter).
This is your personal/impersonal background. You don’t have to give out your life story like a business card, of the seven, I would say: Work, Job Title, and Education Level are the most important. A tie for forth is Religious Beliefs/Politics, if that truly matters to you.
These are your sports stats, get ready to flex (or not flex) your biological prowess. As for the important ones in this list: Gender, Age, Height, Ethnicity, Family Plans and Location. If you’re concerned about stalking safety (yes ladies, it happens to guys as well), then change your Location setting to what’s reasonable and within the area you’d like to be. Just note, if you place yourself into some “perceived rich metropolitan area” you could be cat fishing those along, who might be looking for a lifestyle that doesn’t equate to your standards.
My Four Vice
This particular section is all about which vices resonate or deal break the entire experience. Do you sip, get lit, hit the bong, or go off the grid?
Instagram feed Syncing is optional. If you decide to sync it, think of it like your first pictures but people will be able to “Hinge comment or heart like” (I’ll explain this in a bit). your photos via IG (up to the most recent 27 entries). Again, think of these recent entries as part of “What’s going on in my Social Media life recently?”
Now that your profile is set you’re ready to engage. When you encounter a profile, you’ll see their name in the top left corner. And you’ll begin to notice the choices people make on their photos, prompts, and etc. The heart icons enable you to “like” a specific part of that profile (why I encouraged optimizing your profile from the beginning). While scrolling top-bottom you’ll see a pink-red ‘X’ notating you can outright reject the current profile (a swipe left in Tinder/OkCupid land) and movie onto the next. If you did your due diligence, once you like this person and they review your awesome profile, they’ll like you back and “maybe comment'” about whatever picture or content you wrote about.
Like most dating websites, there are stereotypes both regionally/nationally/globally about genders. For instance, women on dating apps “love to travel” (I get it, you have not only disposable income but you’d also like to explore a buffet of men and destinations before settling down, men feel the same way). Whereas guys love to “Rock Climb, go Camping, Racing, or “Raving.” etc. Pick your poison and if you want to make it a drinking game, play dating app bingo and see how many stereotypes you come across. Also note, didn’t realize women we’re already ahead of the curve, case in point (however the insecurities of putting dating effort into the app, definitely hit her hard) as well as a few others who came into this realization.
Overall, you get what you put into any experience and dating apps are no exception to this rule. Sure, there are some things you might want to hold back on your first few dates. However over time people will eventually see if you’re worthwhile or not, which I stumbled upon content creator George Bruno and his timely video here, said this in his script “Women marry a lifestyle, a man marries a body.”
This really hit close to home because as I get older, I do fear in some respects that could be a possibility. And with the advent of Social Media, more and more people are “conforming/settling” for a specific lifestyle, I wonder why that may be the case? Side note aside, Hinge as a dating app (like everything else in the market) gives you an opportunity to meet new people. Some of you are expecting 100% effectiveness with these tips, unfortunately it may not work for some of you at all. I’m merely sharing my experience because I had to learn the hard way, there were no resources for Asian-American males and the things that were taught to me, didn’t apply (or I didn’t have the “model look” to pull it off like some of my peers LOL).
All I do hope is whether it’s this holiday season, you’re trying to get an extra ‘snack’ to stay warm with or are truly looking for something meaningful. I hope these few tidbits can help you one step closer in your journey to happiness. Merry Christmahanukwanzaa to all and The Relationship Podcast will be ready to ring in 2019 with a brand new season! Thank you for the support as always and take care, the only single guy on the panel signing off!
-R.M. 2018 DAT TRP