Daters digging deeper into digital footprints

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

As curious daters dig deeper for online information on matches, is your digital footprint hindering your chance of a date?

Online daters are digging deeper than ever before into the digital footprint of their matches; and as many as 1 in 6 are turning down dates due to what they uncover (or not) online.

New studies into dating habits reveal that an increased 50% of curious singletons actively online dating rigorously research their matches across the internet before even contemplating a real life meet. From search engines and social media to professional networks and news forums, fact checking everything from hobbies, lifestyle choices, backgrounds to how they conduct themselves professionally is on the up.

And of those doing the extensive digging, 30% admit to having rejected approaches and even blocked members, simply on the grounds of what they learn only, away from the dating website or dating app they connect on.

These stats clearly point to one dating behaviour we are well supportive of at Muddy Matches; be the best, authentic representation of yourself whilst dating with us; from their choice of profile photo to carefully constructed bio copy.

So here are 8 golden rules to ensuring your digital footprint on search engines and social media supports your online dating persona.

1️⃣ Be genuine, always
We know your online dating persona may be tailored to appeal but is it a true reflection of what people will find elsewhere online? The two need to match up perfectly, one providing sufficient proof to support the other, to avoid any unintentional confusion.

2️⃣ Be active, not passive, online
As strange as it sounds, one of the biggest culprits causing date rejection is not what was unearthed but because nothing of note was uncovered! This is certainly a case where less definitely doesn’t mean more.

You may think a clear digital footprint gives little away, but daters can read into negatively into this… ‘what do they have to hide?’ Likewise, well populated profiles with plenty of engagement and regular status updates build far more confidence and trust than an account left dormant.

3️⃣ Frequently run your own name through search engines.
…and not just on Google either. Try Bing, Safari, even Silk to cover all devices. We recommend you review the first 2-3 pages of results every 3-4 weeks to get ahead of what’s out there about you. It can also reveal what sources of info are being displayed and will help work out which platforms to focus on when it comes to cleaning up – and protecting – your image and reputation.

4️⃣Audit your accounts with a spring clean
From managing the photos and posts in which you are tagged to moderating comments and replies to the stuff you post online is really important in maintaining an online persona that you are fully in control of. Make it a daily or weekly routine and don’t be afraid to make changes historically.

Removing tags, hiding comments and removing posts that are no longer relevant in a timely spring clean of your online presence can give you peace of mind there’s nothing untoward that will put people off and come back to bite you.

5️⃣Give your old online baggage the heave-ho
Remember that old social account you set up, that redundant email address or the profile you once had on hobby forum but no longer use? Well now is the time to get rid even if you’ve not touched them for years. Identify old accounts, delete the personal details and deactivate.

You might need to do a bit of digging for login details and run a few ‘forgotten password’ resets but clearing out that online baggage is super important in cleaning up your footprint as you never quite know what search engines will throw up.

6️⃣A picture paint a thousand words
Gone are the days of people, simply using search engines and social media to verify someone actually exists. Those digging online are actually check and challenging what you say, especially when it comes to lifestyle, background, hobbies and interests.

If you mention a love of clay pigeon shooting, hacking, falconry or off-roading on your dating profile, then make darned sure your photo gallery on social media – be it twitter, Insta, snap or even TikToc or twitter media feeds, back this up with photo evidence.

Bear in mind also that 23% of curious daters admit to reverse image searching using the person’s dating platform profile picture

7️⃣Sort out those privacy settings
…but never rest on your laurels and never trust them. Take some time to really appreciate how important getting those privacy settings right is, especially on social media, which can change by post type or group discussion.

How you choose to display is totally at your discretion but be mindful that some social platforms will share to other networks unless you take deliberate steps to challenge that; the biggest bugbear being Facebook’s willingness to popular Google’s image search with user photos!

8️⃣Think before you post
It is a lot easier to say than the reality of it but taking a moment to breathe and think about what you are about to put out there in cyber space for prying public eyes to read can pay off. Emotion, context and tone of voice rarely come through online posts so, whilst its sometimes good to get things off your chest, oversharing with a throwaway comment can sometimes backfire down the line if its misinterpreted.

26% of daters said consideration and respect on social media was something they went looking for.