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Tindstagramming Is A Creepy Online Dating Trend That Needs To Stop

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Jun 23, 2020

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Image Credit: Hitesh Sonar for The Swaddle/iStock

If you have had strangers DM you on social media — after they checked your profile on dating apps and realized you didn’t right-swipe them — you have been ‘tindstagrammed.’

Coined by New York Magazine in 2017, the term ‘tindstagramming,’ an amalgamation of Tinder and Instagram, is the act of sneaking into someone’s Instagram DMs after failing to match with them on Tinder. Popular dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge don’t allow people who haven’t right-swiped each other on the app to be connected. But, very often, users choose to bypass this boundary by finding and messaging the person they’re interested in on social media — completely ignoring the fact that the individual they’re interested in has already indicated that they don’t reciprocate or want to engage, by the simple, deliberate act of not liking their profile on the app.

Social media is replete with accounts of women being tindstagrammed. “It feels like a violation. You joined a dating app so you could find dates with whom you mutually match, and you likely did not sign up for Instagram to be bombarded by dudes, especially ones you already ruled out,” Samantha Burns, a dating coach and author, told Women’s Health.

Tindstgramming has gained momentum in India too. “When you don’t respond to their desperate worrisome pleas, they call us prudes… (sic),” Akanksha Narang wrote for The Hauterfly last year, commenting on online dating experiences in India. Last September, HuffPost India also published a list of problematic online dating behaviors by men, and tindstagramming featured at the top of that list.


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Tindstagramming appears to be an attempt to mansplain to a woman why her decision to left-swipe the man, in question, was wrong. “I didn’t match you because you don’t interest me. By emailing me you are encroaching on that right, being a creep and invading my personal space,” a Tinder-user told the guy who had found her on Instagram, then made his way on to her Twitter, and then emailed her. Speaking to Metro, she said that the tindstagrammer was undettered by the response and told her that she should get to know him better to see why they’d be a good match. “Tinder profile[s], most of the time, don’t provide enough information for you to find common ground with the other person. [But] when sending an IG message, I can show myself — as my Instagram is a layer in an internet persona [that] I consciously built,” Daniel Elf, a tindstagrammer from Tel Aviv in Israel, told New York Magazine.

“Part of good game is not giving a fuck and doing everything you can to meet women. The No. 1 reason [tindstagramming is so common] is probably because it’s easy. Yes, it’s ineffective, but it’s so low effort that it’s hard to justify not doing it if you are committed to doing everything you can to meet girls,” another male tindstagrammer from NYC said, explaining his motives. Consent, evidently, is not a consideration. Tindstgramming is just another manifestation of not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Besides being an abuse of boundaries, this is also an extension of male privilege and entitlement. It is their refusal to accept that simply because a woman has chosen to sign up for a Tinder account, does not entitle them to her time, or a special consideration. In fact, a 2018 survey of men aged between 18 and 35, quoted here, found that 14 percent of the responders used social media to stalk women, and 30 percent of them used pictures posted by women on social media to masturbate.

One theory is that tindstagramming became a bigger menace in 2015 when Tinder enabled users to link their Instagram accounts to their dating profiles on the app. However, the problem at the root of this creepy, intrusive, upsetting trend is not Tinder’s policy, but an absolute disrespect of boundaries. And it needs to stop.

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Written By Devrupa Rakshit

Devrupa Rakshit is an associate editor with The Swaddle. She is a lawyer by education, a poet by accident, and a painter by shaukh. She has her own podcast called #DateNightsWithD on Spotify. You can find her on Instagram @devruparakshit.

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