Given all the aforementioned statements, below is a few tips in conquering the virtual bar scene sans alcohol.
Please avoid myspace angles. This is a must, if you are overweight simply embrace that fact, don't try and shy away from it because there is always someone out there that is a chubby chaser. Be confident in yourself and do not try to be a picture charlatan and trick others into thinking that somehow you are a true reflection of your body type selection of "athletic and toned" when in reality you carry a few extra pounds, or tons. There is nothing wrong with that and as a plus you are being honest with others and yourself more importantly. If you are that embarrassed of yourself then please go on a diet and shed some pounds to then subsequently post pictures of your newer improved self on your online profile.
Keep pictures of friends and "guy/girl" friends out of your profile as well. No prospective winker or e-mailer wants to see your friends or a guy/girl that you hang out with or hung out with at some point in time (no one likes an attention whore). If you think you look really good in one of those moments, crop yourself out please. Otherwise, you should always be the focus of attention. Clear shots only and refrain from using far away shots as well. I should not need to use the zooming function of my computer like a creeper to be able to spot you amongst the wilderness.
Pictures are for better or for worse typically the first thing people look at in someone's profile. Do not try and fool others into thinking that you are interested in what the person has to say first. Unfortunately, we live in a world where materialism is still important in first impressions. Therefore, make the pictures good! Oh, and if you have slutty pictures on your profile do not then complain that you receive dirty e-mails from older men or women and weirdos. That is the definition of a hypocrisy boomerang. Keep it classy. If you feel the need to show skin, do so in an orderly fashion (e.g.; a simple beach picture).
Here is a concise run down for pictures on profiles:
1. Pictures of yourself only. No one is looking to date your dog, family or friends. If they're so important to you, keep them confined to your profile text.
2. No far away shots, the scenery isn't supposed to be the focus of the picture as no one is interested in dating the Italian Alps, Australia's Gold Coast or San Francisco.
3. No Myspace angles.
4. Front and side shots with smiles or no smiles. This shows both your serious side as well as your happy side.
5. A mandatory full body picture. Whatever selection of body type you choose must be confirmed by the viewer. I set up a meeting with a particular female who is supposed to be tall and slender, yet when arriving at the scene all that is found is either Shamu or a female version of Frodo Baggins.
6. More than one or two pictures please! Otherwise, be willing to exchange more at a later date.
All of you scribes out there please do not write a 5,000 word introductory text. You are not declaring the independence of a nation or trying to filibuster some law from taking effect in Congress with your profile text. Keep it short, interesting and to the point.
1.Who you are
2.What you're about
3.What matters to you
4.What are you looking for in a partner
Boom, done. No more, no less. If you like to read that's great, but no one needs to know about your 12 volume collection of encyclopedia Britannica.
If you feel the need to write about your entire life, write a biography, not a profile description. Yes, write about how you grew up in some village in the Ukraine and rowed a boat all the way to the United States while evading Somalian Pirates (is such a thing even possible.gif). No one will really take the time to read a "long wall of text" profile. Ergo, make some sentences pop out so that when the viewer is skimming through your text the important things that you want to convey jump out at them.
Use wits and charm because these two ingredients when combined form the ultimate potion for attraction. Catchy lines and humor are a major plus. Everyone loves a good laugh so try to provide it. Especially if you are going to make them suffer through the story of your childhood life in Chechnya.
Point out what it is that you are specifically after so that those who do not meet your criteria don't bother you. Of course, this will not keep all interested parties away, but it does serve its function to some extent. If you aren't interested in dating Martians, please emphasize that fact so that Marvin does not waste his time writing you an e-mail about how he knows Duck Dodgers and works for Warner Brothers making ridiculous dough which is why he owns a penthouse at Olympus Mons.
In short, keep it interesting, exciting and concise. If someone wants to know more about you, they can e-mail you and ask questions.
E-mail exchanges and Banter (and Winks)
Alright, there is such a thing as a "wink" function on Match.com. Other sites also have a similar option that may be called something different. However, for brevity's sake let's focus on only one of them as it should suffice to explain its proper use.
A wink should be sent to someone if you are out of any creative ideas for e-mails or want to make sure that the person will wink back thus providing a "green light" for further exchanges (i.e.; e-mails). Winking can however come off as a lazy approach to start any form of communication with another user. Often times winks can go unanswered due to the irritable nature of users who get "winked at" a lot.
In short, use winking at the appropriate time. You may also combine it with a follow up e-mail. Separate yourself away from the generic herd and e-mail the user if you are really interested in getting to know them. Try to avoid winks as much as possible. If you get winked at and is interested in the person, please respond with an e-mail and not another wink. Have you ever stopped and actually visualized what this would look like in a real life scenario? Yeah, it would look very stupid. If someone winks at you at a bar, you typically smile and approach the person. If you wink back and do not approach them, you will come off as a weirdo. A wink is a welcome and not a medium of communication.
E-mails can be tough. Coming up with something creative to say is unfortunately not everyone's forte. Therefore, the trick to sending a fun-mail and not just an e-mail is to find something unique about the user in his or her profile. Be it something found in the introductory text, perhaps an interest that you both share, a picture that can be made fun of in a subtle, but witty manner and a variety of other things. The receiver will usually appreciate this as it truly differentiates you from the rest. It shows that you took the time to read and find out about the person in whom you are interested. This type of e-mail is guaranteed to receive a response. If you don't get a response, then get the hint. Leave that user alone, freak.
Once initial e-mails have been exchanged and the banter is good, it is time to graduate to other modes of communication. Move on to either AIM chat (Marty, it's time to get to the DeLorean and go all the way back to 1998), Facebook, Text Messaging or regular good old phone conversations (rotary phones need not apply). At this point in time, you're on your own.
I hope this helps all you hopeless cybermantics out there. I'm gone.