Here's Why You Should Reconsider Linking Your Instagram to Your Dating App Profile

In this Love Syncs column: Linking your dating app profile to other social media accounts could reveal more than you intend.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson
2 min read
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Think before you link.

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Instagram. It's one of the best ways to curate an online self that's only kinda sorta reflective of who you are. And thanks to technology, you can link your Instagram to a variety of dating platforms you might use. The idea is that this could help you better show off what your life is like to potential whomevers. 

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But should you set up that link?

Allow me to caution the hell out of you. 

First, be sure you know exactly how the dating profile you use integrates with Instagram. Some apps do a good job of hiding your handle as well as captions that might contain hashtags or friends' handles or location tags. You can't tap through to the person's actual Instagram profile. That's a good thing for reasons I'll get into shortly. This might not be the case with every other platform you try.

The reason any of that matters is because SOME PEOPLE ARE CREEPY.

Trust me. I'm a woman on the internet. I know. 

Before you connect your Instagram, consider all the additional information you could be disclosing about your life to total strangers, like the places you regularly hang out, where you live, where you buy your hot sauce, the gym you go to, who your friends are. It's the kind of info you could glean just from looking at a collection of photos and connecting a few dots. Someone you just met online -- or maybe haven't even started talking to -- doesn't need to know your last name and where you walk your dog. 

So, before you go linking accounts, take a skeptical eye to your own Instagram account and make sure you're not unintentionally making yourself vulnerable to anyone out there with bad intentions. And don't forget that whatever crazy thing you post to IG will end up on your dating profile as well. That means that pic you took of your midnight pastrami sandwich. 

Or, you could just stick with the four or five photos you've already picked out for your dating profile, so I'm not up all night worrying about you. 

Your choice. 

CNET's Love Syncs is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you've got a question about finding love via app, send it to erin.carson@CNET.com for consideration.