The origin of the Tinder series lies with my good friends at the Sass Effect podcast; two ladies who are simultaneously the agony aunts and drunken uncles of the Sydney gaming scene. Tegan and Lee had enthusiastically discussed Tinder trends they’d noticed, and I’d dipped my toe in the app, much to the delight (and horror) of my Facebook friends when I reported back what I’d found. Bossy as ever, when they both moved on to committed relationships, I forcefully volunteered myself as their Tinder Correspondent. And being a huge nerd who has spent years in the research field, what better way to discuss a dating app than with data?
In Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell is seen as the embodiment of Victorian values. She’s highly conservative, earnest and overbearing. Basically, I couldn’t think of a better pseudonym to talk about a hook-up app. This fed in to my decision to name the blog (where my content will appear from now on) ‘Victorian Values’. Although I want to write under my own name, I thought the transition to my new life in Victoria fit nicely in with the tribute to Lady Bracknell. I can’t promise it will always be fluffy content about Tinder, but I solemnly swear I won’t be talking about a single thing she will approve of.
Tinder Trends Part 1: Animal Attraction
In the beta episode of Sass Effect, Tegan and Lee brought up the old chesnut of men posing with drugged-out tigers in their Tinder profile pictures. Hey, look, I travel to exotic destinations and have questionable ethics! What I noticed is that Tinder goes through waves of clichés. At one point it was snakes. My highly scientific process was to screenshot every animal I come across to see what the most popular Tinder animals are.
The results are below:
It may not shock you that almost half of all animal appearances (27 of a total 58) were dogs. This is a pretty solid life choice by the men of Tinder. My profile even mentions my wish to see photos of people’s puppies. The only tip I have to offer here? Don’t post a photo of a dog humping your leg. That is weird and I have seen it.
The next most popular animal to feature was fish. Mostly dead fish, in the hands of the masculine hero that plucked it from the water. Maybe if a lady is considering you sexually, don’t present her with the image of something smelly, slimy, and cold. Just a thought.
Cats, poor bastards, only managed equal representation to snakes (speaking of penis metaphors!). Obviously no-one’s trying too hard to appeal to the cat ladies of Instagram.
Things get a bit different but also a bit more alarming at the ‘two appearance’ mark. Kangaroos, horses and exotic lizards feature here. But then two separate men decided to post photos of themselves posing with dead feral pigs. That’s double the amount of alive pigs I saw on Tinder. One was even grinning away while holding the corpse’s jaws apart. Don’t be that guy.
The trend seems to be moving away from ‘tranquilised animal I posed with in Bali’ to ‘animal I actually killed’. And judging by the guy that just posted a series of photos of guns and one particular dog, I’m scared the major Tinder animal trends may end up converging.
It may not surprise you, but people who think it’s a good idea to show you pictures of dead wildlife in an attempt to charm the pants off you sometimes struggle to talk about themselves. Next time, I’ll discuss the problem of the biography.
Note: the original version of this column appeared on the Sass Effect website here