Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tinder Night Garden

I've spent the last week or so wondering whether I should mention this or not. What the hell, here goes.

I received an email from someone who - for good reason - would rather not be identified here. She's in her 30s. She's single. She live in London. She uses Tinder.

If you don't know what Tinder is, well, according to Wikipedia it's a "location-based social discovery application that facilitates communication between mutually interested users." I'm not sure that's made it much clearer. It's a dating app. It shows you pictures of people you might be interested in on your phone. Because it's on your phone it knows where you are and so it sort of knows that they're close to you. You swipe the picture one way if you're interested in them and the other way if you're not and if a mutual attraction is discovered then it allows you to get in touch with one another.

At least I think that's what it is. I'm a married man. I got married in 2010. Tinder was born in 2012. I have no first hand understanding of what it is and how it works. The closest I've come to it before now was at a dinner party a year or two ago when a group of us crowded around a friend's phone as she showed us what it looked like and we all chuckled at quite how many men had chosen profile pictures that featured them and dolphins. A lot of men seem to choose dolphin pictures.

I imagine people put quite a lot of thought into choosing their profile picture. That picture is what people will judge you on. Will they swipe right (good) or will they swipe left (bad)? It all depends on whether they like the look of you or not. So you'd probably want it to be you-at-your-best, right? In any case, you'd certainly want it to be you.

Wouldn't you?

Well, apparently not. Because, as my anonymous correspondent reveals, someone somewhere is using a picture of me.
"Is this you?" asks anonymous, to which the answer is yes.
"And if it is you, is it, um, actually you?" To which the answer is no.

Honest.

It really isn't.

I mean it is my face. But it's not me.

I suppose on some level I ought to be flattered by Ed's choices. (Of course, I know there's no reason to assume that a man who isn't using his own face would use his own name, but for ease, let's call him, Ed).

I'm not really sure what Ed hopes to gain by using my photo on Tinder.

I'm guessing he (or she) isn't trying to set up actual dates and that it's got more to do with sending spam or somesuch but even so, on some level, it ought to be flattering that someone thought it would make a passable profile picture.

Especially for someone listed as 32.

As I write this, I'm 44. I was, I think, 40 when that picture was taken.

As far as I'm aware the only place it's been used is in the Independent where it accompanied an interview I did while promoting the first series of Modern Life Is Goodish.  Even though someone is clearly up to no good, the fact that they're taking 8 years off me while they're at it makes me feel just a tiny bit happy.

Sort of.
But probably not so happy that I'm happy for Ed to continue with his lie. So I'm trying to track Ed down. (If I can do so, it might make its way into series three.)

If you're in London. On Tinder. And female. And you happen to find a man called Ed who looks suspiciously like me, could you please let me know? Please don't swipe right. I mean, obviously, you'll have a strong, natural urge to do so - who wouldn't - but without knowing what he's up to, I don't want to be responsible for anyone making contact with him in any way. Especially on a platform I have no real understanding of.

But if you do find him, could you let me know where you were and - if Tinder tells you this sort of stuff - how far away from you he was supposed to be? I promise I won't share your name and details with anyone. You can send me an email via my website, or find me on Twitter or on the slightly-harder-to-navigate, facebook.

But you can't contact me on Tinder. I'm not on Tinder.

Right. I'm going to post this. Cue the "yeah, yeah, we believe you!" replies!





26 comments:

John Bamlett said...

Yeah yeah we believe you!

Iain Moss said...

yeah, yeah, we believe you!...well you did kinda ask for it!

YuppieScum said...

Are you sure it's not your look-alike?

Living the Cream said...

Are you sure it wasn't Grindr? ;0)

Old Pedro said...

Maybe it is the real Dave Gorman on Tinder and this blog is written by someone pretending to be Dave Gorman.......

NickP said...

There can only be one suspect: Martyn Andrews!

NickP said...

Martin Andrews, sorry...

Mike Black said...

Dear Ed, I can't believe that you are denying your true identity.

Christopher Tumilson said...

Plot twist, This 'Ed' is actually Rick Stivens...

Billy Henehan said...

I'm waiting for the reveal that Ed is really Danny Wallace.

Anonymous said...

The green hunchback sits in the hand. 😉😉

Andy Wilkin said...

You sure it's not your brother?

Smarty Carter said...

Sorry I thought you said online cafe...

Smarty Carter said...

I was going to as if they deliver...

Trapper said...

He could get work as a Dave Gorman impersonator. I here the last guy didn't pan out as expected

Rob Z Tobor said...

Is it possible he looks just like you, have you considered a hunt for Dave Gorman lookalikes as you did with hunting Dave Gorman's. I mean there might be an entire Black Market economy making a humble living out of being Dave Gorman. . . . . I can think of worse ways of making a living and it has worked very well for yourself so far.

Digby Wilde said...

I've seen him on Tinder too but he was local to Manchester..... I swiped left tho, sorry. No offence :(

Emma Spreadbury said...

I'm enjoying all the "are you sure that's you and not just someone who looks like you?" posts. MLIGish is writing itself now!

Dave Gorman said...

I can't tell how many of the "are you sure it's not just someone who looks like you" responses are from people who think that, or are joking. If they do think it might be a weird coincidence, they haven't read the blogpost... but it's still impossible to tell. Especially on twitter where there's no reason why they would necessarily have read the blog. It's a confusing world.

Dave Gorman said...

@Digby Wilde: are you sure? You don't have a picture with your name, but Digny sounds masculine and Ed is, apparently, looking for female company. How did you see him? Was it this photo or another? Tell me more!

Anonymous said...

Not sure that a man ( even if it is you) who looks to be sitting in a municipal toilet will get many right swipes! Good luck trying to find him, there was a feature in our local paper about this happening to a young woman recently, it has the potential to cause a lot of distress.

Anonymous said...

Michael Legge has let himself go!

JohnLBevan said...

I recall someone called Chris Blackhurst claiming to be Ed of The Independent back in 2011...

FYI: By default Tinder uses your Facebook profile pic as your Tinder pic, so this could just be a fan who's not understood the app (whilst their yay/nay is user friendly it's not that obvious how to set up your profile when you first get started).
As such you can do a Google Image Search (search by image & upload the photo; or right click on the above photo and select "search google for this image" if using Chrome), then filter on site:facebook.com to only get results from that url. Initially no luck, but may be worth retrying soon in case they only recently changed their picture and it's not yet been indexed by Google...

Lewis Shedden said...

Quite a situation on your hands Dave. Has anything like this happened before?

Dave Gorman said...

@Lewis Shedden: I have had people impersonate me online before. A couple of different people were doing it on MySpace at one point. But that's different because this person wasn't pretending to be me. They were using my photo. It could just as well have been anyone else's. I guess they wanted to appear to be a certain type of person - but mostly, I guess they wanted to not-use-their-own-face.

This has happened to me before - with the same photo as it happens - but not on a dating site. It was someone offering their services as a web designer on that occasion. I wonder what search terms people are using to find that photo?

It has been dealt with now by the way. By which I mean, he's not there any more. Or at least, if he is, he's not using my photo. I can't say too much because - as predicted in the blog - the story has gone into series three and I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone.

Derek Wischhusen said...

I taped the program of this and it didn't record the end so don't know if you met up with Ed grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr