When it comes to Tinder, I guess I’m an expert, if you will. A connoisseur. I'm part of the 'old guard', shall we say.
...I’ve been on it a really long time, Ok?
Regardless of whether I need to invest in a professional photographer or a full personality transplant, my consistent failings mean I've seen it all. Back in the old days of Tinder (circa 2015), most swipers were met with a litany of alluring fake accounts who quickly turned out to be robots. They wouldn't pass the Turing test, but they'll trick a horny guy in a second!
Beautiful Girl: Just thought I’d say hey! *Winky face*
Me: Hey, How’s it going?
Beautiful Girl: Just been to the shop to buy some fruit!
Me: Oh, great. Fruit is an essential part of a well-balanced diet. I admire your commitment to nutrition.
Beautiful Girl: Lol. You’re so funny. Oh, I hate this app. WHY NOT CLICK THIS LINK!! I’M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR GUYS TO DO FILTHY THINGS TO ME
Me: Balls. It happened again.
Note: This clearly isn't a real conversation. I'm much cooler and more enigmatic than this In real life... Honest.
The first rule of Tinder - If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. I won’t have been the only guy lured in by a robot *Ahem, a few times* and I’m positive I won’t be the last. Admittedly, I’m not as ‘active’ on the app as I was back then, but these robots don’t seem to happen so much anymore. There are still a lot of suspect accounts lurking about, though. Maybe I’m becoming cynical, but sometimes a match comes along where something is just a little off.
So, In my extreme negativity, and apparent lack of self-worth in believing I could really match with an Instagram model, I can only assume it must be pretty easy to set up a fake account to lure in guys. For what reason? Who. Knows. I’m not here to delve into the rationale behind a lonely 50-year-old guy who has taken a break from running @SwearDownImTheRealKatiePerry on twitter and turned his hand to the dating game. AND - I saw the sexual exploitation episode of Black Mirror and read a couple of real life situations where people were blackmailing others upon receipt of nudes. Dick pics aren't my thing, but I'm still feeling pretty unsettled with this little application.
Anyway, I was intrigued, so before catfishing becomes illegal - and I realise it's too weird - I'm about to embark on what is possibly the creepiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m going to see how easy it is to set up a fake tinder profile.
Step 1: Email Address
I settled on the name Janine McGeary and set about creating a 'burner' email. Jmac was taken, so I settled for JMACY67. Conveniently helping me decide the age of my new Tinder persona. Well, that was stupidly quick! The next time an old person tells me they can't set up an email address I'm going to laugh in their face.
Time taken so far: 2 Minutes 43 Seconds
Step 2: Facebook
So it turned out when I registered a new Facebook account I actually spelt my new email address wrong. And it still verified. I guess that first 2 minutes 43 seconds was a waste of time. If you ever want to reach these creepy heights, you can learn from my mistakes.
Ok, I’m Facebooked up. Poor lonely Janine has no friends but Tinder cares not for her lack of social life. Time for a profile picture.
Time taken so far: 4 Minutes 20 Seconds
Step 3: Photos
Where’s the best place to find real photos of random people? The front page of the internet, Reddit, of course. I trawled through a page of poised ‘Gilfs’ that wouldn’t meet Tinder's timid guidelines and found our Janine. Leather and all.
Time taken so far: 7 Minutes 10 Seconds
Step 4: Tinder
Still reeling from all old sultry bodies I've just been exposed to - Damn you Reddit. You're a hole nobody should have to dip into - I log into Tinder, verify the new account and add a quick Bio.
Total time: 11 Minutes 50 Seconds
There we have it! Under 12 minutes. and now I’m officially Janine, a 49-year-old Marketing Manager who apparently can't write too good. (Sorry, I was under the clock and regretting every decision I was making.)
Ladies and Gentlemen, replace this account with a bit more effort, and a 26-year-old beautiful Instagram model who is 'here for the weekend', and you're one proposed Uber ride away from a horrible smash-and-grab in your flat. Ok, I'm being dramatic, but even facebook verification means jack shit in the modern world. Main point? Watch out ya'll, there're weird people out there on the internet.
...Oh, you knew that?
But, why do people pretend to be other people??
What!? There's a whole TV show about it?!
Shit. Ah well, at least I only wasted 12 minutes.
I immediately deleted all remnants of Janine and I still feel like I've failed society. I need to have a shower and go donate something to charity.