A Terrible Case of Mistaken Identity

There’s all kinds of fraud on dating apps but one in particular has me riled.

Did you know people illegitimately use Tinder profiles to traffic cocaine? Well, they do. Fun fact but not the point of this post.

App users are performing low-key identity theft while trying to find friends, dates and sexual partners. This is deceit that is one-degree shy of catfishing: A person posing as someone else, while still appearing in their own profile.

How does that work? I’ll tell you. I’ve encountered it all too frequently.

The deceiver places their radiant best friend front and centre in all their photos. They’re in the photos too, albeit blurred out or cast in shadow or partially cropped from the image. There but not really there. Secondary in the photo. Almost like it wasn’t their profile at all. Almost as if they wanted other people to think they’d be getting a striking redhead who exclusively wears Uniqlo, instead of their actual self.

The futility of fraud

The absolute best a deceiver can hope for is that they have a conversation, built on a foundation of lies, with a match. Eventually the conversation ends or…

Worst case, they meet up with someone, who hasn’t realised that they were the fuzzy figure in the corner of profile pic #2, and are met with anger and confusion.

Does the deceiver think that the person will connect with their soul and disregard all the manipulation, like in the film Sierra Burgess is a Big Loser? Sorry to say, in real life, Sierra winds up alone.

The real victim

Perhaps the greatest victim of such deception is the poor stand-in, the friend who has been unknowingly cast in a role they never auditioned for.

No one likes to be falsely represented; half of our human misery is the feeling that people don’t get us. Nothing makes you feel misunderstood like a person posing as you.

The rules

Since dating apps are still relatively new to planet earth, today I’d like to establish a dating app etiquette to stop you from enraging your friends and alienating future matches.

Cease with the low-key impersonating by adhering to the following dating rules:

Rule #1. Thou shalt not use a photo with a friend in which thy self is not the featuring individual.

Rule #2. Thou shalt not use photos in which thy self appears with the same friend more than twice.

Rule #3. Thou shalt not include photos of thy self when masked/cropped/pixelated.  

Follow these steps to attract genuine interest. There is someone out there for you. And you’ll miss them if you’re too busy posing as your hot cousin.

You want to be liked for who you are. Even if who you are is a cat-loving videogamer who enjoys conspiracy theories and Brussel sprouts.










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