Life

‘Tindstagramming’ Is A Gross New Dating Trend And It Needs To Stop

It's downright predatory.

We all know that the world of online dating can be pretty woeful. It’s full of misleading pictures, ghosting, read receipts with no reply and so much swiping it could give you carpal tunnel.

But if you’re single, it’s almost impossible to ignore. A hell of a lot of people use it, and it’s a really effective way to meet people you might not have come across IRL.

So while we do have to put up with online dating, there are aspects of it we absolutely shouldn’t. Yep, there’s a new trend that’s making the world of online dating feel very really dangerous, and it’s not OK.

What Is ‘Tindstagramming’?

‘Tindstagramming’ was coined by New York Mag to refer to the act of a person sliding into your Instagram DMs if you didn’t swipe to them on Tinder. It started becoming a thing in mid-2015 when the app allowed users to link Instagram to their profile.

A classic Tindstagram message might look a little something like this: they’ll start by explaining that they saw you on Tinder and absolutely had to get in contact with you straight away. They’ll compliment you a lot, tell you how beautiful you are and give you a bit of info about themselves. They might even hope that you “don’t find this creepy”.

Tindstagrammers could be interpreted as people who are “just putting themselves out there”, or are just being friendly. But to that, we say hell no. Nuh-uh. There’s so much wrong with this behaviour.

A Match Is An Agreement

How have we reached the point where a Tinder match means nothing? That users (mostly men) feel like they can bypass the one required step to getting in contact with someone just because they can?

It’s not romantic. It’s not even nice. In fact it’s really scary.

Swiping right to someone isn’t just a nod to their existence. It’s a non-verbal agreement to let another person know that you’re OK with them contacting you. If you don’t match with someone, you cannot contact them because they don’t want you to. It’s not that hard.

Feeling like you have a right to reach out to a stranger – especially when they haven’t given you express permission to do so – isn’t just entitled. It’s downright predatory. And people have a right to be freaked out.

The Internet Needs Boundaries

The advent of Tindstagramming just highlights that we need to have rules about how we communicate with each other on the internet. Just because we have the means to contact anyone and everyone doesn’t mean that we should.

I’ve had a person track down my personal Facebook and message me because he “couldn’t risk me not swiping right to him”. Sure, it was just a message. And I could resolve it by quickly blocking him, but it made me feel violated and vulnerable. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from people about this happening to them. From my sister, to my mates, to my colleagues. How is it the new normal?!

Katie Meuser told New York Mag that she had a Tindstagrammer incessantly message her for up to two years. “I told him that I was flattered, but I didn’t want to meet him,” she said. “But he kept sending me messages and not respecting the fact that I said no. He kept explaining that he was a romantic and not creepy.” She eventually blocked him so he would stop.

It’s not romantic. It’s not even nice. In fact it’s really scary. We need to remember that the rules of consent should apply to dating apps too.

Paris Martineu summed it up perfectly when she wrote, “Tindstagramming doesn’t happen simply because it’s easy, or because the app’s algorithm is subpar; it happens because a lot of guys (both online and IRL) still don’t trust in a woman’s ability to say no and mean it.”

Left swipe means left swipe. Period.

(Lead image: Younger/TV Land)