Thumbing through your date’s Facebook profile will give you some basic information: her friends, interests, and probably what she was up to last weekend. Think that’s all she knows about you? Think again. Click through for five of the tools, tricks, and trendy apps that are helping your lady dig for dirt (if there's any to find, of course).
What it is: A free app driven by female Facebook users who rate datable and undatable dudes on a 10-point scale. The review system is multiple choice with no custom comments allowed. Only positive and negative preset hashtags such as #EpicSmile, #StrongHands, #CheaperThanABigMac, and #GoneByMorning can be published.
How it works: Women can search for men by name, or browse by high or low score, location, or category (e.g., sexual panthers, sweet guys, funny guys).
How women use it: “The Lulu app gives girls essential intel on the guys in their lives, whether they’re looking for a fling, a relationship, a guy for their friend, or just some fun,“ says Alexandra Chong, Lulu's founder and CEO. “One negative review might not mean much, but 10 could point to a trend.”
Try it: See how you measure up. Download the app and click on My Stats.
What it is: A free website that can reveal who’s really in your address book.
How it works: The site allows anyone (ahem, your lady friend) to type in a cell phone number and listen to that person’s outgoing voicemail message, without dialing.
How women use it: “You’ve moved into an exclusive zone, but another girl’s number keeps popping up on your cell phone. You lie and say, ‘It’s Bob.’ But if your girl writes down the number, spy-dials it, and gets a message like ‘Hi, this is Roberta,' you’re screwed,” explains Maria Coder, author of InvestiDate: How to Investigate Your Date.
Try it: Enter your number and listen to your voice message. Creepy, right?
Facebook.com’s Graph Search
What it is: A search engine that finds photos, similar interests, and other information about the site’s users.
How it works: Instead of listing links, it combs information using real language, like, “photos of Bob Smith on New Year's Eve.”
How women use it: “[Women] can find all photos [guys] are tagged in, even if it is not on their wall,” says Jason Silver, president of We Just Match, a personalized matchmaking service. “The first thing I look at are people's pictures. You can see what they're doing, how they dress, and who they surround themselves with.”
Try it: Search for yourself. Type in your name, a category of interest such as photos, and a location.
What it is: A no-fee database of sex offenders in the United States (with the exceptions of Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont).
How it works: By typing in a first and last name, (zip code and middle name are optional), records of offense are at her disposal. “The site is a gold mine of information, complete with photos, physical descriptions, the type of crime someone committed, weapons used, home address, whether the victim was a minor, and much more,” Coder says.
How women use it: If your name pops up, she'll stop answering your calls. “There is no advantage to appearing on this site,” Coder says. “You don’t end up listed on a site like criminalcheck.com if you have a squeaky clean record.”
Try it: Type in your name. Here's to hoping you don't share your identity with a criminal.
What it is: An online tool that determines if texts were crafted by a male or female. It is 60-70% accurate.
How it works: “The words you use can reveal identifying features. GenderGuesser uses an algorithm to try to determine if the writer of a text is male or female,” Coder says.
How women use it: Catfish, anyone? If she has yet to meet you face-to-face, it can reveal whether you're the person you claim to be. “If you have enlisted the help of a paid writer or service to help you woo someone online, this site might ‘out’ you,” Coder adds.
Try it: Find a sample text in your phone. Type it into the system and see if GenderGuesser correctly determines the writer's sex.