I’ve never been a fan of dating apps, yet somehow I got banned from Tinder. It has always seemed so superficial to me; finding a potential partner based of off a ‘witty’ bio and a few pictures was not how I wanted to find my future significant other. I’d rather meet someone organically, the old fashioned way… but it all changed when I heard about Maggie Archer, a girl who would quickly become my muse.
Maggie, a college student, quickly rose to internet fame for her genius Tinder bio that read “send me $5, see what happens.” Most people would think that this plan could never yield her any profit, but she received upwards of 20 payments to her PayPal. And what would happen when the boys would message her? She would promptly unmatch with them. I read this story, and the light bulb above my head turned on. I was going to make money off of Tinder.
Setting The Trap.
I couldn’t make my bio the same as hers, because the story had gone so viral there were hundreds trying out the same. But I knew I needed to get guy’s attention. On any normal day, you’ll see me sporting jeans and a t-shirt with some Adidas, talking about movies and rock climbing, sipping Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee because I cannot afford any better. For my Tinder profile, I knew I had to jazz it up. I dug up the nicest pictures of myself that I could find from New Years, a fraternity semi-formal I went to with a friend, and a friend’s fancy birthday party. Then I made my bio something about liking coffee and dogs, which wasn’t far from the truth, but the profile in no way showed who I really was as a person. I was a low-key catfish.
Set Up For Success.
Swiping was never a chore, as I pretty much swiped right on everyone, except for people I knew… and surprisingly enough there were a lot of people I knew from school I had to avoid. When guys would message me, I would amp up the flirtation. I’d call them hot, tell them they are smooth talkers… really boosting their confidence. I did my best to wrap them around my finger in a few messages, and then I would snap the trap.
Closing The Deal.
Once I had exchanged a few messages with them (never any day long conversations or anything, I was never that snakey), I would tell them I was on line for coffee at a coffee shop, and say, “hey, how’d you like to get me coffee right now?” or I’d occasionally be as blunt as to say, “hey wanna pay for my coffee right now?” Sometimes asking for money for coffee would be the first message I sent. Most of them said no, and if they did I’d unmatch with them. But some of them, shockingly, would say yes. And as soon as that Venmo payment went through, I’d unmatch with them.
A Tragic Ending.
I managed to make about $20, before a guy called me out on it. He referenced Maggie’s viral scheme, and asked if I was doing the same. He saw right through me. This guy was one of the few that I thought was actually kinda cute, and almost debated just talking to him and maybe even trying to get him to take me to expensive coffee in person. I was blinded by his cuteness, outed myself, and confessed to my scheme. He called me out, said what I was doing was awful and wrong, and later that day when I went to get on Tinder I was locked out. I looked up the error message the app gave me, and sure enough: I got banned from Tinder.
This happened probably 9 months ago, and what do you know? I’m still banned. Do I feel bad for what I did? Not exactly. I totally understand that what I did was not the best move, and I have received my fair share of backlash the few times I’ve shared this story. I don’t tell people I did this often, because it is kind of embarrassing and rather twisted of me. I’m not super proud I got banned from Tinder.
It was definitely an experiment, and I never thought I’d actually get any money. Then again, I never promised the boys anything, and it’s not like I forced them to Venmo me. They Venmoed me on their own terms, with 100% consent. I do feel badly that they were naive enough to fall for it, but as a struggling college student, the money was put to good use, and I was able to get some nicer coffee than my usual Dunkin Donuts.