SWIPE TO FLIRT: MOBILE DATING TIPS. As today’s dating scene leans toward smartphone apps and mobile platforms, it definitely pays to pick up some pro-tips that will lead to offline meetings
Once upon a time, introducing yourself to a potential date meant drumming up enough courage to saunter to her side and enough wit to make a classy intro followed by a smooth pick-up line. Then came online dating, which was a Godsend for shy gentleman or workaholics with little time, followed more recently by mobile apps, which further upped the convenience factor by quite a bit. There’s also a wide range of options available, from established platforms like Tinder and OkCupid, to relatively new players like Wavoo.
Of course, mobile dating has its own set of intricacies, unspoken rules and—more importantly—risks. When in the past all you had to worry about (well, obviously there’s a lot more to worry about, but let’s take things one at a time) was accidentally hitting on a married woman or your boss’ daughter, today you also have to worry about accidentally divulging your information to scammers, bots and other less-than-savory characters.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to have a safe and meaningful romantic adventure sparked by a chance-mobile meeting. And to make sure that the odds are ever in your favor, these handy tips might be worth noting down.
1. Audit Your Profile
Some information—your full name, home and email address, birth date, where you work—should never be in your dating app profile. The problem is that people tend to be less sensitive about information they share online; so, be mindful of how your personal information can be misused for unwanted purposes.
2. Embrace Your Inner Clark Kent
On a related note, try to pick a username (if the app requires or allows you to use one) that is far removed from your real identity. While Sm00thGentleman sounds rather corny and immature, it doesn’t offer as many hints to who you really are compared to, say, JohnSmith1992JKT. Put simply, you don’t want to make it easy for random people to know that you’re actively using a dating app.
3. The Web Never Forgets
Even if you delete an embarrassing photo mere minutes after uploading, it will usually (almost always) stay in the app’s content delivery network and might even become available to other channels. Uploading a risqué photo may seem edgy or witty, but it’s simply not worth the long-term risks.
4. The Web Always Shares
Make it a habit of regularly checking your dating app’s privacy settings. Actually, this is the first thing you should do as soon as you install it, as some services will make your profile public by default. In some rare cases, your profile may revert to this default setting after major updates, server rollbacks or large-scale glitches. So, again, make it a habit.
“Uploading a risqué photo may seem edgy or witty, but it’s simply not worth the long-term risks”
5. Separate Your Personal and Social information
Never, ever link your personal Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Path/LinkedIn account to your dating app profile. There will be plenty of opportunities to show off your vacation photos and/or talk about your views on Middle Eastern politics after the first date. Basically, your personal social media profile (and posts!) will likely reveal too much about you and shouldn’t be freely shared with complete strangers. Besides, let’s not make things too easy and quick for all the data mining companies out there.
6. Stay on the Cutting Edge
It’s surprising how many people don’t keep their smartphone/tablet apps constantly up-to-date. If you’re not one of them, then good for you. If you are, then consider that the most common updates for mobile apps usually fix security issues or possible privacy leaks.
7. Find Closure
So, you’ve finally reached mobile dating nirvana: You’ve found “the one” you want to spend the rest of your life with. At least you want to take it to the next level and, by the looks of it, things are headed toward a mature and meaningful relationship. Now, congratulations are in order, but first of all, delete your account. Don’t just delete the app from your phone, but make sure that you’re completely unsubscribed from the service. A dormant mobile dating profile is a case of identity theft waiting to happen. Besides, you don’t want the future missus to stumble on a friend invite from FoxyLady2015, right?