Culture Shock Top 5

Pixel Dating: Top Tinder Red Flags | Kimberly Rivera

Why shower three-day-old bedhead and change twice-turned boxers to socialize? Bars are so yesterday. The stench of sweat and strobe lights blinds my 20/70 vision, and don’t get me started on the overpriced drinks. My point is Tinder is the future! I swipe left, I never see you again. I swipe right and hope you right swiped me as well, so we can be a match made on the Internet. I can look like the A-list celebrity that I’ve always dreamt of—my left side anyway. I make sure I angle my picture so you can see my chiseled jaw. I’ll leave out the part that I’ve been unemployed for two years. Or that I have a collection of over three hundred action figures displayed through my parent’s home. Hmm . . . maybe I’m a red flag.

Red Flag #1: If I come across your page and it has no bio, I’m swiping left. In a world of endless things to talk about, how can you have NOTHING to say? Not even a witty pick up line like, “On a scale from 1 to 10, you’re a 9 and I’m the 1 you lack.”  How do I know you’re the one for me? I’d rather you admit your sexual crazes than having no bio—at least you’re being honest. In my bio I include my name, age, hobbies, location, and what I’m looking for. Then I like to add that I am extremely into comics and the fantasy world. Are you the Zelda to my Link?

Red Flag Number 2: You know what’s worse than not having a bio? Having little to no pictures of yourself. Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen your dog Max in three different photos. Stop posting your 2006 Honda Civic or collection of thirty plus Jordan sneakers thinking I care. I’ve seen people post the three-foot bluefish that they caught on the Cape—beginner’s luck—and still have no pictures of themselves. Yes, you like to fish, but that’s what your bio is for. I am more interested in seeing your charming face: that cute little birthmark above your lip or a contagious smile that’ll make me swipe right. Tinder allows users to post six pictures to win my heart, so don’t post that one awkward, below-the-chin selfie.

Red Flag Number 3: Group photos. If I’m swiping at a hundred miles per hour, I’m not going to slow down to take the time and figure out which one you are at cousin Cindy’s wedding. You have the entire basketball team in your photo, dude. Are you the preppy blonde on the far right? Or the short stubby one in the middle? I’m a swiping roadster—make me stop in my tracks. 

Red Flag Number 4:  I get it, filters are cute. Every holiday has custom filters. We got the bunny ears, Rudolph nose, leprechaun hat, and American flag makeup. There are filters to apply freckles, makeup, hair changes. And get this, you can even change your voice. It is safe to say, not every picture of yourself needs a filter. I’d rather not show up to our first date and tell the hostess I’m here to meet Santa.

Last summer I went on a Tinder date with a girl named Sydney and got catfished. We went to the movie theater to see Spider-Man: Homecoming. I put on the blue hoodie I wore on my Tinder profile because she said it looked cute on me. Before I got out of my car, I made sure I had my wallet, keys, popped some gum in, and sprayed myself with the last bit of cologne in a random bottle I found on my floor. You got this man. I approached the theater door and went inside, scoping the place. I looked around and saw a few girls. No Sydney. She’s a five-foot-one blonde with honey-glazed eyes. “Hey!” A girl approached me.

“Hi?” I replied. I kept looking around. 

“It’s nice to finally meet you,” she said. I tried not to show my shock. She looked… different. I mean, yeah, her hair is blonde and eyes are a light shade of brown, but she, uh, isn’t what I expected. For one, she’s definitely taller than five foot one. I was literally looking at her in the eyes. Her hair was way shorter in person. She’s not her Tinder profile. Maybe she posted old photos of herself.

“You ready to go?” She shyly tucked her hair behind her ear, blinked flirty eyes, and pointed towards theater twelve.

“Yeah let’s go in, I already got the tickets for us.” The date continued because I’m a gentleman, but let’s just say I now FaceTime my dates beforehand.

Red Flag Number 5: Tinder offers a feature called Anthem. You can add a song to your profile and give people a taste of your music preference, or leave a subliminal message. Music taste is a preference and if our preferences don’t match, we don’t mesh. The categories I find acceptable are hip hop, R&B, pop punk, pop, or any subcategory of these genres. But if you have some Fritz Schroeder yodeling on your profile, I’m going to have to swipe left. Our car rides would echo through the mountains.

Blue Muse Magazine is a general interest literary magazine published by the students of the English Department at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. We publish poetry, fiction, and a gamut of creative nonfiction on anything and everything the blue muse inspires us to write.

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