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Hinge: Musical Red Flags

Lucy Hillier takes a deep dive into the world musical of icks and red flags on everyone's favourite dating app, Hinge

By Lucy Hillier, Second Year History 

It’s cuffing season which means there’s an influx of people downloading and redownloading dating apps in attempt to feel less single. Perhaps the most fun is Hinge. Whilst the dreaded prompts can be nightmare, they are a good way to weed out the red flags and start conversation.

Intriguingly, when you scroll through Hinge profiles, it's a rarity to find one without a musical mention. Whether it's a list of favourite artists, concert photos, or a Spotify anthem as an icebreaker, music has become a staple in the world of digital dating. Our playlists have become our dating resumes, showcasing our personality, interests, and even our sense of humour. It is no surprise, then, that Hinge is full of musical red flags and icks. 

I, for one, am not opposed to using music in my prompts. In fact, I have two. Although quite embarrassing, I feel as though I can’t grill everyone else without exposing myself first. One prompt involves my ability to sing ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes’ in six different languages, which in itself is a red flag because I can’t speak any of them.

The other includes Busted’s ‘Year 3000’, which is a banger of a song. This one is in reference to a fear that people in the year 3000 wont actually be able to listen to it. This prompt allows me to find red flags by people’s responses. The amount of “what song?”’s I get is baffling and an immediate no. As cringe as exposing my prompts is, I feel that its only fair that I share them and subject myself to criticism before I judge everyone else. 

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Musical red flags, however, are subjective and as diverse as our taste in music. In my quest for insights, I stumbled upon some common themes. Firstly, Jeff Buckley seemed to take a hit from the girls - apparently “anything Jeff Buckley” was an instant red flag. Buckley has made a comeback from the grave with his song ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’ blowing up on TikTok and I have seen his name come up a few times on Hinge. Mostly linked to indie boy profiles, I can see how it would ring alarm bells – no one wants a pretentious pick-me who is “not like other boys”. Therefore, it is hard to tell whether these boys are hopping on the trend or do simply like Jeff Buckley, thus making women more cautious. 

Leading on from dear Jeff is guitar videos. A Jeff Buckley guitar video would perhaps be the pinnacle of a red flag according to my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a musician but I feel like the fact you play guitar is something that can be brought up later down the line. Remember the sage advice from the Barbie movie? Women have no interest in listening to men play the guitar at them, so why make us suffer on Hinge too? I’m all for listening to you play the guitar on my own terms but being slapped in the face with it on a Hinge profile is not ideal. 

As well as guitar videos, we have the classic DJ. At this point DJ's have become such a meme (especially in Bristol) that if you’re putting it on your Hinge account it is highly likely that people are clicking that X. Whilst I don’t doubt that some are pretty talented, I guarantee that the fact that they have some decks is their main personality trait and that if I were to go on a date with one, I would be subject to endless conversation about “sick mixes” that I couldn’t care less about. You’re not going to be the next Fred again.. so please keep it to yourself.  

On to the topic of songs, it becomes a hard area to judge. Most are quite personal and it’s hard to criticise someone from a specific song, but a few have raised eyebrows. Speaking of Fred again.., lets discuss ‘Rumble’. Surely, out of all the songs in the world, that’s not your number one. The amount of times I’ve seen this one pop up has me questioning the diversity of modern music tastes.

Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster the People? Undeniably catchy but declaring it as your favourite or your anthem doesn’t bode well. We all know it’s about a school shooting and its so overused as a wannabe indie boy anthem that it just screams red flag all over.

This Charming Man’ by The Smiths? Screams manipulation. I don’t mind The Smiths at all, some of their songs are scattered over my playlists, but if their most well-known song is a Hinge prompt I would say run. It gives off conceited, fake deep energy to try and attract people, but it simply does the opposite. And ‘Creep’ by Radiohead? I’ve seen this one crop up numerous times especially as people’s “my cry-in-the-car song is” prompt.

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Again, using a bands most well-known song, especially about being a “creep” and a “weirdo”, is not the green flag that we’re looking for. In fact, according to my sources Radiohead in general is a major red flag inflicting fear in just about every female. Radiohead fans, like fans of The Smiths, have the reputation for being very cynical, depressed, snobby, and elitest so its no wonder that they repel rather than attract.  

In the realm of Hinge profiles and musical tastes, it’s crucial to recognise that red flags are subjective. What may raise concerns for some could resonate perfectly with others. While the observations laid out here reflect a personal lens, they also echo shared sentiments within the online dating scene.

As we navigate this period of crippling jealousy and craving for companionship, let’s approach profiles with an open mind – you never know the love of your life could be a guitar playing DJ who cries in the car to ‘Creep’. So, best of luck out there, stay safe, and think carefully about your prompts or you’ll end up with unqualified people like me ripping them to shreds. 

Featured Image: Lucy Hillier

What are your musical red flags?