A few weeks ago, I was convinced, once again, to give Tinder a try. I sort of caved in, mostly because I was curious but also to ease the pressure that was sitting on my shoulders like a fat Santa (yeah, I am getting into the Christmas spirit!).
Quickly, what hit me was a ton of aubergine emojis and the fact that you could see where people were working. Basically, if you put your workplace in your details on Facebook, it will show to the vast jungle of singletons that populate the dating app.
I am a curious person by nature, hence the journo/writer label, and I wondered: “Could you use Tinder for something else than hook-ups? Could you use it to network?”
I gave it a shot and thank this idea because it gave me a legitimate reason to use Tinder. I was a woman on a mission!
What I noticed first is that I got a lot more matches with people working in my field. Is media filled with single Pringles or is it because having the same kind of job brings us instantly closer? Either way, it gave amazing results and the matches kept happening. Keep in mind that I was swiping right based on their workplaces only and that meant swiping right on people that I was not especially attracted to.
Weirdly or rightly, I still talked to a foot fetishist and to a man who kept telling me about every woman he met on Tinder who performed oral sex on him…Charming…
Muraly told me he thought it was possible to network on Tinder if you were using the right cards. I asked him if the right cards were to trade sex for a professional favour but he remained vague and eventually unmatched me. Vincent said that too many people were after sex and that it’d be very hard to find other people willing to network.
Were my researches going to hell?
I started talking to Guillermo because he was working in a big media company based in Soho. He showed a wise approach and believed that you can encounter all sorts of individuals on the app: lovers, friends, one-night stands and professionals. We connected on LinkedIn and he said that he would probably pass my CV to HR if my profile was matching a job opening. Score!
Later on, I spoke to Laurie. I have had a phone interview with this guy’s company and didn’t hear back, despite being told that I’d be invited for a face-to-face meeting. I told him about it and, not only did we connect on LinkedIn, but he also enquired with my interviewer and made sure she would get in touch with me! Double score!
To be honest, I only researched the subject for a week because Tinder proved itself to be a filthy jungle full of horny baboons and I got pretty tired to be talked to as if I was a walking/talking vagina. In a week, I did meet guys who were happy to network professionally and therefore think it is possible to use the app to network, even though it is not the best medium to do so.
Basically, if you are upfront about your motives, if you are nice and caring, you will find understanding and open-minded people, even on Tinder. Beware of your vocabulary, as the meaning of certain words seems to change online: “dating” means “open relationship”, “relationship” means “let’s get hitched and live happily ever after” and “networking” means “making new friends”.
My best advice is to network in the real world and talk directly to people: nothing will ever beat a good chat and a business card!