Miss Congeniality Made Me Feel Like A Targeted Individual

Miss Congeniality Made Me Feel Like A Targeted Individual

Back in the day, before I met my girlfriend, I was on various dating apps. Not the best experince in the world, though I did end up meeting my girlfriend through one of them (Hinge, which is therefore the one I'd recommend—though obviously a lot can change in 4 years!).

One thing dating apps makes you realise is that a lot of people have relatively little imagination when it comes to writing bios. Given that you'd expect most people (even in Brighton) are set only to see people of the opposite gender, the convergence is quite uncanny, unless there's some sort of weird Tinder Source Q for all of these that I'm unfamiliar with. I say that, but actually for a few of them there are really obvious Source Qs, as they're just quotes from It's Always Sunny or Peep Show—the kind of shows which are very popular but have also taken on a secondary identity-signalling role for some people in my age cohort (see also Louis Theroux documentaries).

(Many of them that aren't quotes also seemed to be phrases that were near-identical, intended to communicate something about the person in a light-hearted way but which loads of people seemed to alight on. I remember a friend commenting on the weirdness of seeing "More pub than club" and similar phrases recurring; seemingly the dating apps' answer to that kind of "working hard or hardly working" banal workplace nonsense banter. I understand that character limits require communication of detail in as efficient a manner as possible, but I found few things more distancing than these pat middlebrow thought-terminating cliche-adjacent phrases. I have no idea if they're still a thing (they almost certainly are).)

One bio I kept seeing, though, was a bit weirder.

"What's your perfect date? I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket."

Now, this is quite specific, right? Normally you'd assume this is a quote and move on, but it was a bit weirder for me becuase April 25th just happens to be my birthday. I started to get a bit paranoid as to how much of my data was exposed to other users by these apps. Had they worked out some kind of Tom Scott-esque thing where they updated their bio to correspond to the person reading?

After a few days of feverish imagining, I searched it and it turns out it's from a film. When I started telling this story to my girlfriend she interrupted me "Oh yeah, that's from Miss Congeniality". I guess this wouldn't have been such a mystery if I had watched more films of this sort. Still not seen that one, though.

Subscribe to Heed Not The Rolling Wave

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
[email protected]