Online dating is a minefield, and if you’ve using dating apps, you’ll know that writing a profile for yourself can be a daunting task.In this extract from Digital Etiquette, tech-journalist Victoria Turk schools us on the art of romance in the modern world and tells us what to absolutely (not) put on your dating profile. Perhaps that’s why so many people don’t bother, leaving the text box either entirely blank or dashing off a few clichés that really say nothing at all.On the positive side, this means that it’s really not difficult to be better than most other people. Think of your profile as a CV for romance: the aim is to make enough of an impression on paper that you get invited to an interview (or, in this case, on a date).
You’ll usually be asked to give your first name or a nickname.Don’t add your surname; you don’t want to make it too easy for any old internet stalker to find out your real identity. A description of yourself This is basically your Sleepless in Seattle moment.You’ll also need to give some basic information such as your age, sex/gender and location – ‘a/s/l’ as it was called in the olden days, when people still used chat rooms. It’s deceitful, it’s sleazy, and it’s hardly an auspicious start to a relationship if you’re lying to someone before you’ve even met. – and then there’s usually a spot to write a brief personal bio. You’re trying to make yourself look approachable; this is not the place for philosophical monologues, deep and meaningful chats, or your in-depth opinions on Brexit. You want to summarise who you are in just a few words – like ‘Fulltime barista, part-time bass-player’ or ‘Shy Northerner, new in town’.Some sites will ask for more specific information – Are you religious? Here’s a simple four-part template to get you started: 1. Choose something that speaks specifically to the kind of person you are.
Avoid listing generic positive traits; people will assume you’re decent, kind and friendly unless you show them otherwise.You don’t really need to describe your personality – that’s more easily done through actions than words – but if you want to give it a shot, stick to a maximum of two or three adjectives.A long list of character traits can easily be construed as just one: self-obsessed. Your hobbies and interests How you spend your time says a lot more about you than any self-description could.