Blake Jamieson is yet another dude who’s gamed the online dating system, having been matched with more than 2,000 women on Tinder. Part of that, he writes at Medium, is because he swipes right on everyone (real original, bro). But part of that, he claims, is because he’s successfully branded himself. Using a combination of Photoshop and his ego, he’s turned himself into a Tinder “Match of the Day” — a designation he earned by writing it across his face.
He put his picture in the Tinder logo. He found a font — Rezland, he says — that matches the branded lettering pretty well, though it’s not perfect. He wrote “Match of the Day” across his main picture, and captioned the others with phrases he thought would be “desirable” on Tinder. If it looked like Tinder specially endorsed his profile — even though that’s not a real thing — he hoped it would make people see him as more dateable. And it worked. His match rate more than doubled, jumping from 8 percent to 18 percent. Part of that, Jamieson admits, is because he was doing so much right-swiping himself, but he claims that doesn’t tell the whole story. For better or worse, women responded to the “Match of the Day” campaign.
That’s not necessarily surprising: dudes have been using stupid stunts to get dates since the beginning of time. Also, to be fair to Mr. Jamieson, his profile looks pretty good. It is funny, or at least, it’s a little bit funny. If nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. But there’s another factor at work here. Jamieson was experimenting with what he calls “implied authority” — basically, he’s the best because he says he’s the best, and you believe it because he said so.
I would like to believe this doesn’t work, because why do you get to say you’re the best, you know? You’re not the best. Shut up and tell me about the time you walked into a tree stump or something. Obviously, though, it does work. It even works on me. I don’t use Tinder, but I do order at restaurants — bear with me here — and I am completely persuaded by any menu item that says “best,” “famous,” “world famous,” or “specialty.” Has this led to good food? I don’t even think so. I am consistently disappointed by all my best and famous and house-special orders, and still, I keep ordering them. I order them, again and again, because it says “best” right there on the menu, and I want the best.
Look, I’m not saying everyone should date like Jamieson, or take all their profile tips from the menu at the consistently disappointing Chinese restaurant on my block. But I am saying that confidence pays, and too much self-deprecation doesn’t. I order the flavorless dumplings because the menu says it’s the daily special and special means it must be good. Likewise, Jamieson is getting the response he’s getting because, on some level, his claim works. For better or worse, people will treat you pretty much how you tell them to, and that’s true whether you’re a human or a dumpling.