Pictures in online dating

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Post by Guest on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:47 pm

From a comment about online dating in DNL Prime today, which I don't want to derail there:

Guest wrote:Is that really the case considering you only find out said information about a person if they pass an "attractive enough" test in regards to their main photograph? The only real difference in the initial stage is that the first impression is in 2D form rather than 3D.

This got me wondering: how do people treat pictures in online dating?

For me, it's very different when I'm searching for people than when I'm responding to a message.

When I'm responding to a message, I almost never filter off of pictures. I read the message, then click through to the profile if I like the message. I skim the profile quickly, then (if not turned off by the initial skim) reread the profile in more depth. After that, I go to the top and check out the pictures. I don't think I've ever had a "yes, I like this guy," turn into a "No" based off the pictures, but I have had a "meh" turn into a yes.

When I'm searching for people, all I can really see are the pictures, so they do more to set up my feelings about a person. It's entirely possible there are people I'd otherwise like that I haven't looked at because of the pictures, and there are definitely people with low match percentages that I've checked out just because of pictures (or username).

I am probably an unreliable narrator for this, but I also think I tend to be drawn more to interesting pictures than good-looking guys. Some of my favorite pictures, which I can still remember, are a wacky guy in a goofy hat, holding up a copy of a book he co-authored, a guy feeding a fawn, and a dude in a plate helmet. None of the three of them are conventionally good-looking, but they all had personalities that jumped off the screen.

Anyone else have thoughts? It would be interesting to see M/F splits on this, but I suspect the M side would have fewer "this person messaged me" anecdotal evidence.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:18 pm

Started getting notified of views and "likes" slightly more frequently when I switched my main image from a decent but standard photo of my face to a super low-res amateur GIMP edit of a splash screen from Mega Man 7 that replaced Dr. Wily's face with mine. So, +1 anecdote for "interesting" being better than "good-looking", though it still hasn't actually helped me any.
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Post by eselle28 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:19 pm

I generally do a skim which involves looking at the main picture and the rest of the profile. If the skim is promising, then I go and look through all of the pictures. This isn't an experience that all women seem to have, but I do have distinct "yes" and "no" reactions to pictures and have made decisions about whether or not to reply based on them. There's also a sort of broad "uh, maybe?" zone where I can't tell if I'd be attracted to someone in person or not, and I've learned that I should consider that a "yes" for the purposes of replying. Although I do care about looks in pictures, I also like interesting pictures. Anything that signals a guy is generally my kind of person (travel pics, goofy poses, costumes, artsy poses and filters) is a huge plus, while lazy pictures (bathroom selfie with the toilet in the background) or pictures signaling incompatibility (if a profile consists of a picture with a dead deer, picture with a dead pheasant, picture with a dead fish, and picture with a truck) generally convince me not to reply.

I don't find that there's that much difference between the way I look at pictures when I respond versus when I'm writing, but I live in a relatively rural area where there aren't very many men in my age bracket who are high percentage matches, so when I'm writing I generally look at all the men in my age range who are over 70% or so and who I haven't met yet.
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Post by reboundstudent on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:23 pm

My response is exactly like yours Eliza. I think the only insta-crush I ever got from an online picture was a guy who was dressed like Quailman.

My only difference is that I didn't get a whole lot of messages, so I would use the picture to figure out if I wanted to skim the profile. If I liked the picture, and I liked the skim of the profile, then I would message them. If they responded, then I started reading their questions and their profile more in depth.
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Post by waxingjaney on Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:50 pm

I would always read through the profile first and glance at the main pic, then take the time to actually pay attention to the pics if I liked what I had read.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:36 pm

More than half the people I meet online tell me I'm cuter than my pictures. And my pictures aren't bad. So I take pictures with a grain of salt and I get the impression other people do too.

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Post by PlasticFruit on Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:41 pm

A good picture will get you an initial page view in my book as most of the sites I go on show very little of the write-up. If they are paired with a non-existent or bad write-up that gets a pass. If the write-up gets my bells ringing the pictures usually don't dampen anything unless they are really bad. Really bad in my mind is things like drinking/smoking in every picture, topless bathroom pics, cuddling up to lots of different women, not smiling in a single picture (seriously I was going to start a topic on why don't guys put photos of them smiling on their profiles?!?), and just no personality in the shots. I will admit that good pictures can ramp up my excitement though. Good pictures in my mind are generally lots of smiles, not all selfies (he has friends!), in a variety of backgrounds (travels! does things!) and if they show off something sexy about him without being a let me show you my abs shot, well great!

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