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18th Nov 2021

‘Voice-fishing’: the latest dating trend everyone’s paranoid about

Thanks, Hinge.

You’ve heard of cat-fishing – the simple act of pretending to be someone you’re not online.

Nev Schulman ensured the concept became known – and feared – across the globe with his documentary and subsequent MTV show, Catfish. Since then, the practice has been frequent enough across the social media sphere – in chat rooms, on Facebook, and of course, on dating apps.

In real life dating scenarios, cat-fishing can sometimes be a little more subtle. Chances are you’re not going to actively lie about what you look like before agreeing to meet a stranger for a drink, but you can use old photos, flattering photos, photos that definitely look like you… but maybe not exactly like you.

There’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot (or best selfie) forward when dating. Most people won’t upload a photo of themselves they don’t like, or present themselves in a way that isn’t objectively cute and fun (in that order).

But unfortunately, only showing your best side can lead to dates being subjected to, well, all of your other sides once you meet them. And sure that’s grand – who among us can say that we haven’t presented a certain version of ourselves online at least once or twice in our lives?

We’ve all done it – whether it’s the photo with the stellar lighting, the group shot making it look like you’ve got more friends than you do, or – more recently – the voice note that you recorded approximately 17 times because your voice sounded simply horrendous in all the others.

Dating app Hinge recently introduced a new feature to its dating realm – voice prompts. Like voice notes, but for getting your bit.

As always, users of the dating app can now answer a question about themselves or their interests, but now they can opt to record their answers as a voice note instead. Neat.

The only issue is that the new feature has got guys and gals across the globe in a panic, as fears grow concerning the accuracy of such voice prompts, and how much they really sound like the person on the other end of the profile.

Hence ‘voice-fishing’, you get the idea.

Hinge has actually admitted that more and more people are actively voice-fishing on their platform, because a lot of people are turned off by certain accents, cadences, or dialects.

“Half of our users have become less attracted to a match after hearing the sound of their voice,” they said, adding that many people felt “uncomfortable, annoyed and even disgusted” after hearing their match’s voice.

“Almost two-thirds of Hinge users say voice is an important factor in determining whether they like someone,” they added – so that’s a lot of people banking on the voice prompts they hear being decent.

But what happens when those voice prompts aren’t accurate? When someone’s putting on a voice or an accent in an attempt to appear more desirable? Disappointment, probably.

But maybe we should simply all stop being so picky. Maybe we should accept what we’re given. Maybe we should love people for who they are – annoying voices, irritating tones, and all.

Or, on the other hand, ear plugs are always a thing.