Despite dominating the dating scene in the UK, Tinder is always looking for ways to innovate and keep its edge over upstart rivals like Hinge (primarily friends-of-friends) and Bumble (launched by a Tinder co-founder).
One of the ways they’ve done this is to add Instagram integration, so you can easily hook up your accounts and display your Insta snaps right there on your Tinder page.
This. Is. A. Mistake.
1. It gives people you haven’t matched with your full name
When people are swiping through Tinder accounts, they only get a first name and an age. In most cases, that’s not enough info to track you down online (unless they’re going to be a proper creeper and use Reverse Image Search). Add your Instagram account though, and you’ve given people you haven’t matched with and know nothing about your full name.
Even if you don’t have your name on your Instagram account, you’ve given them your username, and since so many people use the same one across platforms, that might also be enough to find out who you are.
But why does it matter if they have your name? If I sound like a paranoid Daily Mail writer right now, it’s because I connected my Tinder and Instagram accounts for exactly one day and it was horrible.
People I’d swiped left to started tracking down my Twitter and Facebook accounts and bugging me there, and one guy messaged me on no less than three other platforms. The messages weren’t hostile, but it’s entirely possible they could get that way when someone realises you’ve rejected them.
Some of the people who tracked me down elsewhere had also Googled me and started commenting on things they shouldn’t even know about. Again, these are people whose profiles I either hadn’t seen or hadn’t said yes to, and suddenly they were all up in my life without my permission. Ugh.
2. It gives people you have matched with your full name
The majority of Tinder matches don’t turn into anything. One of the benefits of the platform is that when they give you the weirds or it’s clear it’s not going to work out, you can just stop talking (or block them) and move on.
If they’ve got your Instagram, you can’t do that – at least not without blocking them on heaps of different sites, and even then there are ways for them to bug you (anonymous blog comments, anyone?).
Take a guy I spoke to recently. We matched, had a conversation which moved over to WhatsApp, and seemed to be going fine. At this point, I’d given him my phone number but wouldn’t have given my surname, and you can’t use my number to look me up on Facebook or Twitter (I’m careful).
But he didn’t need me to give him my last name, because he already had it from Instagram. So when I said I was having a busy day and couldn’t chat, he started aggressively tweeting me. When I didn’t reply there he tried Facebook. Then he started following my friends.
It all escalated really quickly and I hugely regretted that he had so many ways to contact me. If I hadn’t had Instagram connected then I’d just have blocked him when he started getting demanding, but now I’ve had to block him on multiple sites and I’m still not entirely convinced he’s gone.
3. Your Instagram photos will be deluged with crappy comments
Do you want the words “Hey, I saw you on Tinder…” on all your Instagram photos from multiple randoms?
Because if you do, you should definitely connect your accounts. Also, the fact that they found you on a dating site seems to put some people in a particularly sexual state of mind, which means their comments are a lot less PG than just “Wanna get drinks?”
NB: If you’ve ever thought of asking out someone you saw on Tinder via Instagram, consider this: why haven’t you asked them on Tinder? Because either they haven’t swiped right to you, haven’t replied, or haven’t had the chance to yet. If they like you, they will. Don’t be weird.